- Gloria Marfo
Brand of the Week: Nike's SNKRS DAY
If you love sneakers as much as I do, or Nike, or have even just overheard ‘sneaker chatter’ then you might’ve heard of Nike SNKRS, the app that gives sneaker heads access to the latest launches, hottest events, and exclusive releases that Nike has to offer. It’s an asset a lot of brands use, but Nike has capitalized on this extension of their fashion offering in a new way.
Alongside the app, Nike hosts an annual virtual SNKRS day, which curates special releases and content for the sneaker community, and acts as a promotion and celebration of urban culture. It’s an online festival of various activities from polls, panel talks, competitions and scavenger hunts, hosted by famous and lesser-known celebrities and musicians like Will, Az, Tsellot, Goldie and Nas. It just celebrated its fifth anniversary, and despite being digital, is only accessible in the countries where it hosts; so far Paris, Berlin, and London.
The event combines 4 values – Benevolence, Tradition, Achievement and Power to make it a truly authentic, engaging, and impactful event that works hard for the brand as a whole despite its smaller digital footprint.
“Our purpose is to unite the world through sports to create a healthy planet, active communities, and an equal playing field for all.”- Nike CEO
A sense of community and togetherness is key to generating a real successful social impact, something Nike cares about deeply. SNKRS Day is not all about sneakers (or trainers), but the impact the culture around the shoes has on community.
While guests don’t gather in the same space, it brings together a local assortment of artists, designers, influencers, and performers to interact with shoppers in an online, interactive space. It’s a chance to bring fans together to nurture a partnership where sneaker heads can assimilate with the brand and connect beyond the product.
By hosting underground and local artists from each of their host cities, including Varusa (owner of sustainable jewellery brand Ugly New Cute), Nike is allowing for celebration of each of these communities and providing opportunity to help their cultures thrive. It demonstrates the brand’s ability to listen to its customers and understand the cultural and artistic trends that it influences and is influenced by. It's an example that Nike’s SNKRS day is not just about the shoes, but about the impact that you can have on your community.
This year's celebration heavily reflected the fashion industries’ tension between tradition and evolution. With the rise of online shopping experiences, designers deciding to take their fashion week debuts digital, against a backdrop of heritage brands, Nike has taken a route somewhere in between. Although breaking from the mainstream and opting for an online festival, Nike chose to host exclusively to people located in Berlin, London and Paris.
On the one hand, being digital represents a mainstream accessibility that’s true to Nike itself. Whether you’re picking up the hottest new pair as soon as they ‘drop’ or walking your dog in the suburbs, Nike is still for everyone. The SNKRS event utilises the core of these countries that represent their tradition but uses the influx of rising fashion influencers and celebrities to welcome new ideas and give them an up-and-coming edge.
SNKRS Day takes pride in making it particularly tricky to get your hands on the latest drops - unfortunately for me as I tried to get hold of sneakers that were inevitably already sold out.
Wearing, or even seeing these trainers can make one feel powerful and prestigious; it immediately attracts on-lookers who are in the know to quickly take a second glance! While drops happen all the time on the app, SNKRS day in particular is a chance to be close to the action and the hype.
Finally, SNKRS day is also a celebration of success for the brand and its history. This year’s event included Stevey Ryder, a well-known Air Max 1 collector and advocate for the sneaker community. A veteran in the trainer world, he is known for being the master of ‘Air’ – the well-known Nike model. He’s been collecting trainers for over 10+ years and has influenced artists, musicians, and fashion designers who make up the Nike brand community online and ‘irl’. SNKRS Day excels as a platform for these artists to showcase their own achievements world-wide, and to highlight the reach of Nike as a whole.
SNKRS Day carefully balances the values of emerging generations of shoppers and influencers, like benevolence and power, alongside the more toned-down aspects of the brand and its impressive history of achievement. Maybe next year Nike can go bigger and better by making SNKRS day accessible worldwide, to connect sneaker loving communities across the globe, but it’s worth considering if this would be too much a departure from fashion events as we know them to be.
Thanks for reading
From human to human,