Nike's CO.JP imprint basically lay dormant until about a year ago, when previously Japan-only sneaker colorways — like the Jordan 1 "Midnight Navy" and "Tokyo" — were reissued with wider releases. Now, only Nike knows if the project is gonna see a greater revival, but pioneering sneaker boutique atmos is giving sneakerheads reason to hope with its new CO.JP-centric exhibit.
In 1999, Hommyo Hidefumi was already a sneaker insider. The boutique he opened before atmos, Chapter, collected so many rare sneakers from across America that Nike employees would visit just to add to the American company's internal archive. Eventually, Hidefumi got connected with Nike Japan and developed the CO.JP ("Concept Japan") project alongside the likes of atmos creative director Hirofumi "Koji" Kojima (who joined the company in 2000) and some guy named Hiroshi Fujiwara (ever heard of him?).
CO.JP saw a series of wildly distinct sneaker colorways and makeups drop exclusively in Japan, sometimes in editions of a mere couple dozen, and they've all been collected by Hidefumi in a new exhibit hosted within atmos Sendagaya.
Boasting what Highsnobiety readers are calling the "most innovative entrance in sportswear," the entire exterior of the atmos boutique has been redone to resemble a Nike box, complete with exhibit info in place of the shoe size and production details. Inside, viewers can behold an exhaustive selection of CO.JP kicks, ranging from unique Air Force 1s and Dunks to quirky takes on the Air Rift and Footscape.
Interesting times for atmos. As it moves into an entirely new era following its acquisition by Footlocker, it makes sense that it'd want to celebrate its past wins, retreading the path that its founder blazed over two decades ago.
CO.JP ARCHIVES at atmos Sendagaya
August 19 to 25 3 Chome-16-9 Sendagaya, Shibuya City Tokyo 151-0051, Japan