words and images_Zac Dubasik
What Are Those?
Having been into sneakers since I was about 10 years old, I’ve acquired some pretty unique stuff over the years. And being someone that wears literally everything I own, I’ve had to answer the question “What are those?” more times than I could even begin to count. But no matter how many PEs, samples or vintage kicks I pull off my shelves, there is one pair that time and time again gets more questions than any other: the Nike Zvezdochka.
The Zvezdochka, designed by Marc Newson, retailed for $300(!!!) and was originally released in 2004 in five different colors, including neon green and orange. The shoe was comprised of four distinct “parts.” First was the perforated rubber shell that housed the rest of the components, and provided the signature design element. Next, an outsole was located inside the shell, and protruded through its large perforations. A bootie came next, and an insole with a Zoom Air heel insert finished off the package.
Marc Newson may not be one of the usual names we think about when it comes to sneaker designers, but he’s very well known in the industrial design community. From furniture, to watches, to even cookware, Newson has built an impressive resume, and his Zvezdochka design carries forth his signature style.
Only 140 pairs of the Zvezdochka were released when the shoe originally launched, although handfuls of samples and additional pairs have made their way to collectors over the past few years. Last year, a LIVESTRONG edition was created, however it was a limited friends and family only shoe, and never saw an actual release. This pair may be one of the most “subtle” colorways (2nd only to the black-on-black pair), but they have received no shortage of attention no matter how many times I wear them. What about you? Are there any shoes you have that seem to get questions every time you break them out?
A removable metal disc, with Newson’s initials/logo, could be placed in any of the upper’s large perforations.
“Zvezdochka” was the name of a Russian dog that made a flight to space and back in 1961.