Nike UNDERCOVER - the collaboration with designer Jun Takahashi

Nike UNDERCOVER belongs to those cooperations of the sports giant Nike with selected designers who have triggered a real hype among fashion victims and sneaker heads. The exclusive shoes are designed by Japanese designer Jun Takahashi for Nike. The sneakers were often sold out shortly after their release, but with a little luck you can still get hold of a pair of the coveted designer shoes.

Jun Takahashi and the brand UNDERCOVER

UNDERCOVER is the fashion label of the Japanese designer Jun Takahashi. The label was founded in 1993. Fashion can best be described as innovative, Japanese streetwear with clear punk influences. In the fashion world UNDERCOVER is regarded as one of the most creative high fashion labels in the world.


Already in 2010 the cooperation between Jun Takahashi, the founder of UNDERCOVER, and Nike started. Together they developed the brand Gyakusou, the name literally means "walking backwards". The name was inspired by Takahashi himself, who as a runner had a preference for running against the given running direction on public running tracks. So the collaboration started with the designer and not with his label UNDERCOVER.

The first Gyakusou collection consisted of running clothes. The heart of the collection was a lightweight stretch jacket tested in practice by Takashi's Running Club. During development, the designer placed great emphasis on maximum mobility and an almost seamless construction. The sleeves of the jacket are removable so that the runner can adapt the garment to changing climatic conditions on the way.

In the next collection, some multifunctional garments were created, which went stylistically in different directions. But the main theme always remained the same: the combination of functionality and design.

The cooperation therefore began with the clothing line under the label Gyakusou. In 2014 the first running shoe followed, a revised LunarSpeed AXL Runner. The shoe was optically characterized by contrasting colors and a dominant swoosh on the toe cap.

In 2016 the NikeLab Gyakusou LunarEpic Flyknit was released, a shoe with the cuddly and airy upper material Flyknit. In 2018 the running shoe Nike Gyakusou Zoom Fly SP was released.


While only running wear and running shoes have been developed so far, the collaboration between Takahashi and Nike was expanded in 2017. Nike announced cooperation with the UNDERCOVER brand. Thus the spades remained separate, the running clothes continued to run under the label Gyakusou, while the new sports and streetwear line was created under the name Nike UNDERCOVER.

The NikeLab x UNDERCOVER SFB Jungle Dunk was the first sneaker of the collaboration and was released in 2017. The shoe is a fusion of the outsole of the SFB Jungle Boot and the upper of the SB Dunk High. This combination is topped by a Hurrache cage.

In 2018, the Nike React Element 87 Undercover appeared in four eye-catching colors. The combination of cool Japanese streetwear and Nike's innovative shoe technology React, a damping system made of active reactive foam, was exactly what the fans of the Nike UNDERCOVER collaboration were excited about.

Undercover x Nike Daybreak

The latest Nike UNDERCOVER sneaker was presented at the UNDERCOVER Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2019. The shoe is the reinterpretation of the 1979 Nike Tailwind. The design of the updated 80's sneaker is a game of texture and proportions. The upper shoe combines suede and nylon. The branding is printed on the speckled EVA midsole. Nike branding, on the other hand, adorns the tongue of the shoe. A spoiler-like plastic element sets an accent on the heel.