Part of what I love about sneakers is that every pair has a story behind it – an origin story if you will. And not many tell one better than the Carpet Company x Nike SB Dunk High “Royal Pulse” which dropped today.
Founded by brothers Ayman and Osama Abdeldayem in 2015, Carpet Company is a Baltimore-based brand known for their whimsical collections of streetwear apparel, accessories and skateboarding goods.
While all sneaker collaborations have a theme or inspiration behind the design, what makes the Carpet SB Dunk High special is that there’s more to the pair than meets the eye. A lot more in fact, and as you peel off the layers, literally, a different chapter of their story is revealed.
On first glance you’ll notice a SB Dunk High silhouette with white as a base and translucent light blue on the overlaying elements, a cream color on the midsole and a muted orange on the sole. Aside from the inclusion of the Carpet Company logo, the notable features are the graphic on the light blues and the yellowed, dirtied look on the midsole.
On those aspects alone, the “Royal Pulse” is a great looking pair that’s cop worthy, but no one would call it one of the best sneakers of 2021 if this was it, and admittedly, I thought it was.
Earlier this morning, I waited for these to drop and took the L as expected. I just happened to come across the “Behind The Design” video (included in this post) shortly after, and my eyes were opened to exactly how dope these were.
PEELING BACK THE LAYERS
If you actually read the full description of the sneaker and pay closer attention to the images, you’ll learn that these SB Dunk Highs have some Easter eggs.
For starters, the graphics on the translucent outer blue sections are screen prints of Carpet’s older designs. Screen printing of course is a process that is essential in creating their products, and a process that the brothers learned from scratch through much trial and error.
Using that process on these sneakers not only makes each pair slightly different and unique, it infuses the essence and heart of the brand. It’s not just a cool design element, it’s meaningful and it tells a story.
Their Egyptian heritage is also represented with Arabic lettering embroidered on the inside of the shoe, as well as in the tear-away element on the back that reveal the words “BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE HABIBIS AT CARPET COMPANY.”
These may look pretty on the outside but let’s be clear, these are skater shoes through and through. The leather is high quality to withstand the constant friction between the board and the shoe. And as you skate, the blue areas scratches and rip, bit by bit to reveal a second layer which includes an embroidered cartoon illustration in a style that has become a signature of the brand.
Essentially, a new colorway appears. The Swoosh turns black and what was once blue becomes a weathered orange. Tear-aways, secret pockets, I’ve seen those before, but utilizing and embracing the natural scratching that happens on the side of a shoe when you skateboard as a design element? That’s just brilliant!
The brothers’ love for sneakers, their heritage, their love for skateboarding, using screen printing on the shoe, including illustrations and graphics that represent the brand’s visual aesthetic, representing the skate culture of Baltimore – All those stories are seamlessly told in a single pair of great looking sneakers that never forgets that they are made for skating.
I think for the Muslim people out there, the Baltimore people out there, for all these different sub-genres that are really underrepresented, this is a good shoe to represent people now.
– Osama Abdeldayem (Carpet Company)
It doesn’t get more authentic than that. Aesthetics, functionality, story, authenticity, originality and creativity, it’s all there. That’s why for me, the Carpet Company x Nike SB Dunk High “Royal Pulse” is one of the best sneakers of 2021.