This Is How to Get That Elusive Nike SNKRS Exclusive Access

Nike SNKRS has undoubtedly given us all our fair share of L’s over the years, and to be quite honest, that’s putting it mildly. The Swoosh is looking to help you enhance your chances of landing those must-have kicks moving forward, however, and bring you personalized drops in the process with an updated Exclusive Access release model.

According to the brand, the new and improved Exclusive Access platform is designed to give Nike members, and the SNKRS community, better access to the hottest releases. With Exclusive Access invitations, members of the SNKRS community are awarded personalized purchase offers based on their engagement in the SNKRS app. In short, the more active you are, the more personal these invitations become. Customers can help their case by engaging with the SNKRS content series and given releases. More specifically, Nike suggests viewing “Behind the Design” videos, participating in polls, entering launches, and engaging during SNKRS Live sessions. Sounds simple enough, but beware, these Exclusive Access invitations are only good for a limited time, so to keep receiving, you’ll want to continue engaging.

Nike announces the Exclusive Access revamp as it is currently prepping for a summer filled with highly anticipated releases, led by Virgil Abloh’s Off-White™ x Nike “Dear Summer” collection, which consists of 50 — yes, 50 — colorways of the Dunk Low. Those hoping to secure a pair can cross their fingers and look forward to invitations for Exclusive Access being sent out to Nike members beginning August 9.

To take advantage of the Exclusive Access platform, make sure you become a Nike member and download the SNKRS app if you haven’t yet.

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No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of Gucci’s New Basketball Sneaker

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Gucci can’t just launch a campaign for its new sneakers, it’s gotta create a brand new textile. Coinciding with the debut of its new Basket sneaker, the Italian luxury house is introducing Demetra, a proprietary textile that Gucci’s touting as an eco-friendly substitute for animal byproducts.

Demetra, named in homage to Greek agricultural goddess Demeter, is comprised of “upwards to 77 percent plant-based raw materials,” Gucci explains. Two years in the making, it’s produced in Italy like the rest of the house’s goods and will soon be incorporated into Gucci’s shoes, bags, accessories, and apparel as an alternative to — not replacement for — leather. For now, it’s a Gucci exclusive, but by 2022, the label expects to share Demetra with the wider fashion industry in a bid to provide new, scaleable uses for pre-fab materials.

It’s hard to say from outside observation alone that the material is properly “sustainable” given the nuances around the term, but any proactivity in uncovering alternate production methods is hardly unwelcome. Indeed, Gucci is working hard to own the sustainable conversation, announcing Demetra’s rollout mere days after premiering the first-ever Equilibrium Impact Report.

“Demetra is a new category of material that encapsulates Gucci’s quality and aesthetic standards with our desire to innovate, leveraging our traditional skills and know-how to create for an evolving future,” said Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci, in a statement. “Demetra offers our industry an easily scalable, alternative choice and a more sustainable material that also answers the needs of animal-free solutions.”

Oh, and that new Basket sneaker? It’s a chunky high-top steeped in retro basketball sneaker design cues like a thick, logo-laden tongue and stitched overlays atop a mixed-material upper. Offered in three gently distressed colorways, the Basket, Rhyton, and New Ace are Gucci’s first shoes to be partially crafted from Demetra, demonstrating the textile’s leather-like properties.

The Demtra Rhyton is already available on Gucci’s website, shortly arriving in-store alongside the New Ace. The Basket, meanwhile, will be available from June 18 with a Shoe Surgeon partnership on the way. Coinciding with all this, Gucci will launch new Pins in Atlanta, Aventura, Troy, Beverly Hills, Houston, Dallas, Orlando, and Las Vegas, inspired by basketball courts, appropriately enough.

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Banana Republic Has Revived Hemingway’s Wardrobe

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Back in the ’80s, Banana Republic was a quirky adventure outfitter, proffering pith helmets and photographer vests for intrepid explorers. The brand has obviously gone in a much different direction in the years since, but devotees haven’t forgotten that legacy of expedition. Ana Andjelic, Banana Republic’s new Chief Brand Officer, is one such die-hard, and she’s bringing back the past by way of the retailer’s inaugural “BR Vintage” line.

Deeply inspired by Banana Republic’s timelessly out-of-time catalogues, Andjelic and a team of “purveyors” went through the archives to select 225 unique vintage pieces from the ’80s, ’90s, and early ’00s. Ranging from classic hunting jackets to graphic tees and caps, the BR Vintage selection is indicative of the worldly ethos that inspired Banana Republic’s founding.

“Banana Republic was created as an imaginary territory on par with Narnia, Middle Earth, or Wakanda,” Andjelic said. “Our archives are this chest of curiosities that takes us to another imaginary world … a caravan route in a desert, an abandoned campsite, a forgotten forest. We wanted to deliver the modern customer this imaginary world that started it all with a resolutely modern vibe. Some stuff in our vintage store is so camp that it’s cool and other is timeless streetwear.”

Inspired by old school travel-wear and Ernest Hemingway’s Abercrombie & Fitch wardrobe, Mel and Patricia Ziegler launched two “Banana Republic Travel & Safari Clothing Company” surplus stores in 1978. Their snappy success inspired GAP to acquire and expand it five years later, sparking a widespread ’80s explorer fad. Interestingly, Hemingway — who never wore GAP or BR — left such an indelible influence that an old photo of him appeared in a ’90s GAP ad long after both companies moved past the safari trend.

The debut of BR Vintage comes at a turning point for GAP. The parent company is moving out of malls in favor of digital distribution, driving customer growth with projects like YEEZY GAP. BR Vintage is one of Banana Republic’s first major pushes to lure in new shoppers following a challenging year. “Banana certainly had challenges unique to Covid, between occasion wear and workwear,” GAP CEO Sonia Syngal said recently.

150 of BR Vintage pieces are available on Banana Republic’s website, and an additional 50 are exclusive to its store in New York’s Flatiron district. These items are mostly seasonal (lightweight poplin and linen), and BR has plans for additional cold weather BR Vintage drops later in the year. Considering that many of the one-of-one items are already sold out online, the taste for safari clothes clearly hasn’t waned.