Vintage(y) Yet Forward

Nike’s look-back silhouette, the Vapor Street PEG SP, is decidedly modern looking. That it’s inspired by Japanese graphics only upped its fashionable appeal


Nike Vapor Street PEG

Nike is such a master at hybrid silhouettes—marrying the old to the new—that we can never predict what they’d think of next. Who’d imagine an Air Max 270 React (Air Max 270 + React Element) for example? This time, rather that bringing together two relatively new styles, Nike has opted to re-imagine the Air Pegasus with elements of the Vapor Street Flynit. The stunning result is the vaguely futuristic Vapor Street PEG SP.

In the latest iteration, the sleek sneak sports a rather striking (and unusual) colour story. They’re rather muted, if put side by side the above said shoe. Although no less colourful, they don’t really blare for attention, yet they would appeal to fashion folk with an off-beat colour sense. As a fabric technologist friend of ours was quick to point out: “how very Marni”.

Nike Vapor Street PEG P2

For us, the colours are only half the appeal. The silhouette has a (fashion) forward-zoom urgency that we associate with Gyakusou, the Nike collab with Jun Takahashi (think Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo—yes, ‘Turbo’ is the operative word), the man behind Undercover and the latest, highly-hyped pairing with Valentino. This isn’t just a running shoe, and not one for those who go ga-ga over the decidedly old-school Nike Cortez ’72 S.D., with the warped Swoosh, or the falcon—or the ‘Dimension Six’ circle—replacing it, but sneaks for fashion folks who imagine running in the likes of Sapporo Dome, and then, later, off to dancing in Contact, Tokyo.

The Japanese reference is intentional: the Vapor Street PEG SP has an only-the-wearer-knows detail: Kanji graphics on the cork insole, obscured by the equally striking upper that looks like what you’d find in Japanese graphic design website Gurafiku. What we, too, admire is the strange-looking mid-sole. It could pass off as some space vehicle out of old Star Trek! The aerodynamic leanness aside, the shoe has a very pronounced heel, a pointed protuberance that looks somewhat caudal. Those who have a tendency to attract heel steppers, do beware. Unless you can use the rear defensively, like a scorpion!

Nike Vapor Street PEG SP (in Cargo Khaki/Alligator/Sequoia/Spruce Aura), SGD239, is available at select Nike stores. Photos: Zhao Xiangji