Collaboration has always been central to the Nike Dunk story. From its birth into college basketball in 1985 to its adoption by skate culture, the silhouette has forever been at the heart and soul of the crew. To mark the drop of the Nike Dunk Disrupt at size?, we united three creators challenging the status quo between London and Paris, assembling a new community of disruptive artists to collaborate and celebrate the shoe’s launch.
“I feel like I’ve been part of a disruptive journey for the whole of my career,” says London-based stylist Alizé. “A lot of us in this industry now wouldn’t have been in it ten years ago. Even if you think of streetwear or sneaker culture, in the UK it’s just exploded, particularly for women – and the same has been true of a lot of the UK rap/hip hop/black artists I work with.”
Disruption is key too for twenty-three-year-old 3D motion graphics designer Dayna Murphy. “I’m always trying something new to disrupt my own process,” she says. “At the moment I’m applying a disruptive analogue approach to a digital process, treating images by printing them out, ripping them up, collaging them.”
Renata Kats, a Siberian-born photographer and director based in Paris, isn’t fazed by mixing her approach up either: “I take an initial image and then I tear it, cut it, put it back together, mix it with paint, mix it with moving visuals – I’m always trying to push boundaries – my own boundaries, the industry’s boundaries, the boundaries of my team.”
“Meeting people who teach you how to push these boundaries is important,” Renata continues, musing on collaborative creation. “It disrupts your creative process in ways you might not even realise.”
Dayna concurs – “I think collaboration allows you to push the work further,” she says. “Together you can achieve something you never could have individually.”
“My job is nothing without collaboration,” Alizé confirms. “When you bounce ideas off each other your ideas collectively get better. It’s exciting.”
It might seem like collaboration could’ve suffered this year – but instead, creators have adapted, finding new ways of working to suit the nature of the times we live in. “You have to be innovative and disruptive to find new ways to pivot what you do,” Alizé explains. “We’ve all sourced new ways to communicate.”
Renata feels similarly, saying that despite limitations on travel and meeting in person, everyone still has that urge to create. “It’s been about disrupting your comfort zone and adapting to a new way of collaborating,” she says, telling of cross-continent, mixed-media photoshoots taking place over video calls. “There’s been a LOT of video calls,” laughs Dayna.
When it comes to styling up the Dunk Disrupt, Alizé and Dayna opt for sweat-shorts or baggy trousers paired with a little top – “maybe a scrunchie too to keep it a tiny bit ‘femme’,” Alizé says. Renata initially considers the same, but also suggests a silky, feminine dress: “I guess it’s a disruptive contradiction isn’t it! Originally this sneaker was for skaters and the underground streetwear community. But now it’s about feeling confident and empowered as a woman in sneakers.”
Each creator is emphatic about empowering the people around them. “I want to encourage people to be disruptive,” Dayna says. “People should have more confidence to shake things up!” Alizé agrees: “The world can be a status quo in itself, but you’ve got to keep pushing and not let it break your spirit.”
“Don’t stay in your safe zone – always risk it,” says Renata. “Even if it’s a bad lesson, it’s still a lesson. Even if it’s a bad experience, it’s still an experience. Even if you feel like you’re going into something blindly, just go for it. It might be the opportunity of your life.”
The Nike Dunk Low Disrupt will be available in selected size? stores on Friday 4th September. Keep an eye on the size? blog and our social channels for more information on the Dunk Low Disrupt raffle.
Guest written by Breaks Agency