In 2003, sneaker culture was maturing along with the growth of sneaker websites. Information and news on the latest in sneakers were hard to come by, with just a small handful of sources. Among them were Being Hunted, Crooked Tongues, RTHQ, Fatlace, Fixins and Niketalk. Sneaker boutiques didn’t have blogs and most didn’t even have a website, so most sneakerheads turned to Niketalk to find and share news. LeBron James was set to play his first game in November of that year, sneaker releases were generally unannounced, collaborations were rare, Mark Smith started lasering images onto sneakers, and a little known site called Freshness slowly infiltrated New York and the rest of the world covering sneakers, toys and streetwear.
That same year, A Bathing Ape and adidas did a surprising collaboration together and released two styles in three colorways each and limited them to 500 pairs each. The most sought after release is the above Bape Camo adidas x A Bathing Aple Super Ape Star, the other style being the Super Ape Skate. We say surprising because, at the time, Bape, who was already well known for ripping off the Air Force 1 now started to rip off the adidas classic Super Star silhouette as well. This collaboration helped jumpstart the collaboration craze of the past few years and the project itself is now legendary. The Freshness crew, who officially started their website in August of 2003, lucked out while on a market trip to San Francisco. They got word one night on Niketalk that the collaboration would release at HUF SF the next day and were able to pick up their pairs with just a 15 minute wait before the store opened. When they released at the adidas Originals New York store a week later, 15 pairs were available and 15 people waited on line for 72 hours straight for a chance to own one of those pairs.