Omnipresent And Absolutely Essential
The contributions of women and the LGBTQ+ community have shaped skateboarding’s history from the start. Through product development, video projects, and bolstering the SB squad, Nike’s sought to support those who shape the past, present, and future of skateboarding. In 2019, Nike SB released its first all-women’s skate video, filmed over a year and named “Gizmo,” after team rider Elissa Steamer’s childhood nickname. Using insights and input from the team, the Verona Slip has emerged as a go-to silhouette and collaborative space to create and celebrate.
The Verona Slip
Clean lines, direct design, and subtle performance enhancements for skateboarding, the Nike SB Verona Slip has not only become a go-to shoe but a platform for expression. SB has worked with several team riders to release personalized colorways reflecting each individual’s passions, messages, and perspectives.
Starting with the Leo Baker Verona Slip in 2021, followed by colorways inspired by Leticia Bufoni, and Rayssa Leal, and a colorway with Elissa Steamer in the works, the Verona continues to make a statement for skateboarding’s progression and diversity.
Nike SB Bruin High Leo Baker
Activist, icon, and absolute ripper, Leo Baker’s always pushing skateboarding’s progression. In 2020 Nike SB worked with Leo on an Orange Label capsule inspired by workwear classics with a modern twist. Striking a tone and a color palette that mixed earthly hues and vibrant pops of color, the capsule included two Nike SB silhouettes, personalized by Leo, including a red SB Bruin High—who Leo originally helped design and introduce to the SB line—and a classed-up, monochrome leather Janoski Slip with debossed Swooshes. Additionally, extremely limited versions of both silhouettes were released, featuring laser-etched drawings by Lea Schairer.
Gnarhunters Blazer Mid
In the mid-’90s Elissa Steamer made her presence known with high-profile sponsors and top-shelf footage. She also completely ripped up any preconceived notions of what women could do on a skateboard and she continues to do it with a loose style and an extra push.
Her brand Gnarhunters has pumped out surf accessories and collabs with artists such as Nat Russell and Thomas Campbell and in 2019, SB worked with Elissa and Gnarhunters on a Blazer Mid for their first official collaboration. Featuring a unique “G” rendering repeated on the Swoosh and Gnarhunters-inspired heel branding, the shoe was also offered in a unisex sizing.
Brian Anderson Antihero Dunk
In 2016 Brian Anderson spoke with authority in a video documentary directed by Giovanni Reda, telling the skateboarding community he was gay. It was a watershed moment in skateboarding that opened up difficult conversations and one that quickly turned BA into a cultural icon.
In 2018, Anderson and SB collaborated with his sponsor Antihero for a footwear and apparel capsule that featured a Zoom Blazer Low and Zoom Dunk High Pro. Known for his bold takes on Nike classics, the AntiHero Dunk High chose a different lane, using an all-black upper, gum sole, and embroidered “BA” and “18” branding, the latter being a nod to AntiHero’s colloquial nickname.
Amidst a whirlwind tour of release events, skate jams, and hometown catch-ups, we spoke to Leo about the React Leo’s design and everything that went into his new part.
Leo Baker's "Post-Op" Spitfire Part