The “Chunky Dunky” Ben & Jerry’s x Nike SB Dunk is the most hyped sneaker of the year so far. Its grazing-land upper, tie-dye liner, and dripping Swoosh have captivated the attention and wallets of sneaker connoisseurs and those with a sweet tooth. The sneakers have also been extremely hard to get, thanks to the limited number of pairs and most of them only being available through raffles. More people are missing out on them than those that will receive a pair, and it has people in their feelings. Coupled with the high resale value on them (the retail edition pairs are selling for over $1,500 on StockX, while the friends-and-family ones are going for more than $4,000), and it’s become a touchy subject shoe for some. We all joked that someone would eat ice cream out of them. The first person to do it was Hikmet Sugoer, a man from Berlin who started a vintage sneaker store in 1999, opened seminal sneaker boutique Solebox in 2002, sold the business and left in 2015, and has since been running his own sneaker brand, Sonra.
He posted a simple clip of himself scooping Ben & Jerry’s into one of the sneakers, then eating a bite with a smile. The post went viral. People were enraged. Some thought he was rubbing it in their faces that he had the shoes and they didn’t. Others thought he was an asshole who didn’t respect the shoes. Some were mad that a pair that could have been sold on the resale market was being used as an Instagram stunt. But what was the real purpose behind this clip? Sugoer has since taken the shoes for a walk into his backyard pool. We talked to him to find out his history with Nike Dunks, Nike SB, and why he decided to post the controversial video of himself.
When did you first get into Dunks?
For me, it was the Black/Goldenrod ones, like many people know as the “Wu-Tang” Dunks. For me, it was without the Wu-Tang, sadly. It was 1999, but I was in Jordan 1s in 1985, the Chicago. I didn’t have money for Dunks back then.
Did you start wearing Nike SB when it came out in 2002?
In 2002, we didn’t have the SBs in Germany. I started in 2003 with the Bisons, the Futuras, the Takashis, the Silver Box era. This was my first introduction to Nike SB. I always wanted to have the Supremes with the cement print, the Denims, the Alphanumerics, but they weren’t available in the German market.
How did you get the Ben & Jerry "Chunky Dunkys" and what are your thoughts on them as a sneaker?
I’m a big fan of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, to be honest. Sounds stupid, but this shoe means a lot to me. That’s why I love the shoes. And they’re looking amazing. It’s back to the SBs when it was popular. I got them from a skateboard shop where I know the owners for over 30 years. I joined the raffle, and I won. Probably because I knew the owners. Some people would call it backdoor, I wouldn’t call it backdoor. I call it loyalty. Backdoor is someone who’s paying more money and getting them before release.
Why did you eat the ice cream out of the shoes?
I don’t know why I ate ice cream out of the shoes. Some people know me, it’s my humor. It’s only a pair of shoes. Nothing more, nothing less. Some people, it’s a hype shoe. It’s big in resale value. I paid 100 euros. I paid retail. It’s a pair of shoes. I didn’t copy anyone. The first I saw eating ice cream out of a shoe was for the Ice Cream shoes from Pharrell. Ice Cream and ice cream. Respect to the founders, the ones who did it first. It wasn’t genius. It was an ice cream-inspired theme. So it was pretty obvious to eat ice cream out of a ice cream shoe.
Did you do it to prove a point?
The purpose was, of course, that these are only shoes. They are made for having fun, wearing them. Getting dirty. Doing a party in them. Not putting them on a desk or internet platform to resell. People are only buying shoes to put them on Instagram and then resell them on StockX.
What do you say to the people who think your post was cringe or corny?
I understand them at some point. I would never invest my energy and comment on someone else’s post and be rude. Maybe I was educated different. Maybe I’m a different generation. I always respect people. This is respectless. For someone who doesn’t know me, this may be cringe or corny, but you don’t have to look at it. I think people should calm down, it’s only a pair of shoes. I can do with my shoes what I like to do. And mostly I’m wearing my shoes.
Did you spray the shoes with protective spray first? Were you worried about eating chemicals?
This might sound boomer-ish. As a kid, we did a lot of stupid things and we never cared about any health issues. It may have shortened my life a little bit, but I’m OK. I sprayed the shoes with protecting spray. They’re looking like new. If you let them dry, you didn’t eat any chemicals. And they’re clean. Especially after the pool.