When it comes to sneaker and streetwear culture, there are very few places that have their finger on the pulse like Japan does. Simply put, it's one of the most influential locales worldwide, and according to NikeLab Global Product Director Fraser Cooke, the country is also responsible for one of the biggest trends in sneakers.
"I believe the Japanese also drove the heritage retro trend more than many other places due to their fascination with authenticity and their sharp eye on subculture," Cooke told Hypebeast. In other words, you can think Japanese sneakerheads for turning retros into the biggest thing in sneakers. "For example, the first retro Nike Dunks in special colors was a Japan thing. The Nike Woven was embraced here enthusiastically as well," Cooke said.
Cooke, who was formerly the founder of Foot Patrol and something of a legend in UK's streetwear scene, also credits Japan for being able to turn just about anything into a limited edition commodity, an area where NikeLab also excels. "People like to have special limited editions of everything, from chocolate bars to cars to hamburgers, so there's a fast turnaround of ideas to keep things exciting," he said.
To read the full interview, which includes Cooke's thoughts on collaborating with names like Hiroshi Fujiwara, Jun Takahasi, and Riccardo Tisci, click over to Hypebeast.