It’s 1999, there’s no Twitter giving you instant notificaions about sneaker drops. No youtuber or unboxing videos. No instagram to give you a glimpse into sneaker head’s closet. Mr. Nelson Carbal in Montreal, Canada saw this gap and had a vision and so Niketalk was born with an intent to bring together a community of like minded people who could discuss drops, trade information, share knowledge, and even transact.
Niketalk slowly grew to become the mecca for sneaker heads, a portal where they got access to rare sneak peeks of wear- test samples, information around release dates, regional releases and even vintage heat. While Niketalk specialised in Nike sneakers and products, what gave it centre stage in sneaker culture was the fertile space that it gifted to future creators. It wasn’t seen as another forum, it was a melting pot that had the right conditions to deliver greatness to creators that were a part of it.
Niketalk’s hall of fame includes celbrated musicians such as J. Cole, Tyga, Wale, and soon to be streetwear icons like Jeff Staple, Nick Tershay aka Nicky Diamonds, Bobby Hundreds, Neek Lurk, Ben Baller and even fame customiser Mr. Sabotage.
Niketalk contribution to sneaker culture didn’t end there, it only got better. It gave us the term “Hypebeast” along with popular #trend “What Did You Wear Today” (WDYWT) which bacame OOTD later. But the biggest contribution Niketalk made to the street culture is the fact that it bought people together. It created an intimate sense within the community at a time before social media, a community that continues to thrive to date.
It was the first time that street culture went truly global with members from Japan, Australia, Europe and America. One got a clear sense of varied styles and trends from the comfort of their homes. Most sneaker forums today are a result of Niketalk’s groundbreaking success. Niketalk was a true pioneer and the very catalyst for the boom of sneaker culture we see today. While the culture has taken it’s time to brew in India, we see Niketalk’s influence even in the content we consume from Indian bloggers.
Niketalk has left an indelible mark on street culture, and will forever be known as the place that gave birth to the sneaker community as we know it.