What is Nikelab?

Recently I’ve been asked by friends and sneakerheads alike; what exactly is Nikelab? This is a fair question seeing that in the last year or so merchandise released has sold out almost immediately and with a slightly inflated price-point. So to help bring some insight to everyone, I thought I’d give a very quick rundown on the Nikelab initiative.

NikelabNikelab first opened its doors on June 12th 2014 and consists of 9 locations worldwide (with two locations in New York City, NY). Nikelab sells apparel and sneakers via their accompanying website as well. Their primary focus is to reuse current ideas & designs and reinvent them into something fresh, quality-driven and trendsetting.

Now that you know the brief history of Nikelab, I will answer the question I’ve been asked about many times and that is: why is there a price increase for kicks that are pretty much identical to those already out on the market? This can be answered with two simple words: quality and innovation.

Nikelab is an attempt to create high-end fashion from classic footwear and apparel (but in much more limited quantities). Similar with what Adidas has been successful in doing for several years with the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, Jeremy Scott and Rick Owens; Nikelab has worked with several designers of their own such as Fragment and Sacai to help incorporate fashion forward designs, premium materials, quality craftsmanship and performance upgrades on current and retro Nike models. All of these aspects play into the price increase of their releases.


Do you like the position taken by Nike to launch Nikelab? Are you ok with the price increase? What Nikelab pickups (if any) have you grabbed so far? As always, let us know your thoughts below.

The Smart Sneakerhead

The Smart Sneakerhead, a Buffalo NY native, is an avid sneaker enthusiast and Youtube personality, who has been entrenched in the world of sneakers for almost 20 years. His passion is embedded within the sneaker culture and lifestyle. In his spare time he enjoys photography, motorcycles, sports, and of course--collecting kicks!

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