"By fah, this is the dumbest, and weirdest, most off the wall thing we've done."
That's how Concepts creative director Deon Point describes the storied boutique's latest Nike SB collaboration, a Dunk High nicknamed the "Turdunken." But how is a sneaker, whose inception Point credits to a, "combination of Spungie's brain, Nike SB dinners, and Modelos," the most off the wall thing Concepts has ever done? After all, this is the same Concepts that made a Dunk High look like an ugly Christmas sweater and convinced the city of Boston that there were radioactive lobsters in the bay before. It's all in the details.
"It was something we've been thinking about for a few years now, and when a holiday window opened up we just knew it was the right time," Point says. "This has been in motion well over a year so we have had time to think out packaging and accessories. During Covid, the element of Friendsgiving became even more crucial to the overall theme."
The "Turdunken" takes direct inspiration from the Mallard duck. The look is achieved through materials that include hairy brown suede, a laser-cut quarter panel mimicking feathers, iridescent leather on the tongue and Swoosh as a nod to the Mallard's green head, and even an orange sole to represent the duck's webbed feet. It's about as literal as you can get when it comes to translating a duck into sneaker form. But Concepts didn't stop there. A leather liner covred in outdoorsy illustrations and cheeky flip of the tongue tag to read "Nike Duck High" act as some more intricate touches to complete the theme.
In typical Concepts fashion, the experience isn't just limited to what you see on the sneaker itself. Along with the duck-themed high-top, Point and the rest of the team have also constructed limited-edition packaging that plays to the theme of Thanksgiving and will only be available exclusively via the shop's release this Saturday for $249. A wider launch is set for the following week on Nov. 20 and 21 through various skate shops and Nike SNKRS for $120.
This special packaging is an homage to the turducken, a Thanksgiving dish popularized in the mainstream by legendary football coach and broadcaster John Madden that is a chicken stuffed inside a duck that is stuffed inside of a turkey before baking it in the oven. Unfortunately, Madden couldn't make a cameo for the collab's rollout.
Anyone lucky enough to score the entire package will be delivered a brown cardboard box that houses another box made to look like an oven set ablaze from overcooking turducken on Thanksgiving. Inside, you will find the shoe, complete with three sets of extra laces representing crucial Thanksgiving sides like corn, cranberry sauce, and gravy, along with a pair of socks covered in a chicken foot illustration. And Concepts didn't forget the leftovers either—a Nerf Vortex football designed to look like a turkey leg—a subtle nod to watching Thanksgiving football as you wait for the turkey to come out of the oven.
"Growing up, everyone has a Nerf football they played with. The vintage commercials for Vortex are amazing," says Point. "We knew this had to play a part and the idea for leftovers seemed fitting given what was missing from the actual shoe and packaging."
Concepts' "Turdunken" is just the latest installment in what has been an impressive resurgence for Nike SB throughout 2020 that includes highlights like the "Chunky Dunky," fuzzy pairs inspired by the Grateful Dead bears, and even a Travis Scott collab. As someone responsible for one of the most celebrated SB Dunks ever, Point is happy to see the silhouette have its moment again.
"It's definitely great to see this sneaker coming back around. It's such an iconic Nike shoe I always love to see it have the moment it deserves," he says. "In fairness, I don't think anyone expected it so soon and with such energy."
The current Dunk craze has led to some interesting antics on the internet. Some people have used their shoes as an ice cream bowl. Others have tossed them in the microwave. So, it begs asking, will someone be cooking their "Turdunken" in the oven?
"I definitely wouldn't encourage it…the fire on the turkey oven box should be viewed as what not to do," Deon says. "I recommend takeout if possible."