Sneaker Sketch of the Week // Leo Chang’s Nike Hyperdunk 2015

Aug 17, 2015 | Nick DePaula |

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When Nike Basketball Design Director Leo Chang set out to design the latest Hyperdunk, there were a few big picture cues and concepts he had in mind from the outset.

The year would be 2015, and with Eric Avar’s original Hyperdunk taking some heavy inspiration from Tinker Hatfield’s iconic Air Mag, Leo was looking to blend some attributes from each as he progressed the look of the lineage.

“From an aesthetic standpoint, the idea was around, ‘What would I do to modernize the 2008 Hyperdunk?’ It’s kind of like in iconic cars like Porsches, you see the lineage of the gesture for models like the 911,” explains Chang. “You see how they evolve, and it’s really iconic and they just modernize it every time. It’s like an iPhone too.”

After looking at the product design of several other evolving lines in different genres, Chang had the foundation set for his Hyperdunk 2015 upper. “Each time, it’s more refined,” he notes. “I wanted to take that approach, and looking at the original Hyperdunk, you had the very iconic triangular shape in the lateral foam stockfit component that was a stability feature on the first one.”

With that evolution from the original in mind, Leo began with a sleekened but tall midsole graphic that carried over the 2008’s triangular wedge shape. While the original version’s main color story was in full color upper with a white foam wedge, or a white upper and color accent wedge, Chang wanted the 2015 edition to have some added versatility to it.

“I wanted to create options, since the Hyperdunk is such a universal shoe,” he reveals. “I think it needed to adapt. Sometimes, I love to see the whole triangle wedge plus the heel part blocked as one. And other times I think it’s cool when just the triangle alone is. Or you could also do the heel and triangle in colors separately. You could have those options and that can help to extend the life of it. It was always about keeping the toolbox open.”

Check out the process of Leo Chang’s Hyperdunk 2015 upper design below, in our latest edition of Sneaker Sketch of the Week. 

For more on the Hyperdunk 2015’s full design and development story, be sure to check out our exclusive in-depth interview with Leo.

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