CPFM Unveil Their Second 'Dunk'

August 16, 2022 by Joey Birch

CPFM Unveil Their Second 'Dunk'

Started in 2015 by Cynthia Lu, Cactus Plant Flea Market (CPFM) has kept a surprisingly low profile despite receiving co-signs from the likes of Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi and Frank Ocean as well as being commissioned to create pieces for Kanye West, Stüssy and others. You’ll be hard pressed to find out much about the brand from the source with the founders Instagram being private as well as their official website keeping a minimal approach.

Pharrell Williams wearing the CPFM x YEEZY hoodie

Yet to do an interview to this day, Lu has managed to do what by today's standards may seem impossible - creating a successful brand with little to no marketing or social media presence while supposedly working out of a small Brooklyn apartment. 

Nevertheless, the brand and its founder have been going from strength to strength, continuing to drop sellout releases with their latest just around the corner. 

Following images of their first new iteration of the Nike Dunk, a project yet to be released, House of Heat have released official images of a second, more intriguing edition. 

CPFM x Nike Vapormax, 2019

The latest images of the CPFM x Nike Dunk Low ‘Grinch’ is part of the third project the duo have worked on together after they initially partnered in 2019 to work on the Nike Vapormax which, at the time of its release, played perfectly into the deconstructed movement that OFF-White had instigated with its first collaboration with the Swoosh just a year prior. 

At the time Lu and Nike began their first discussions regarding the Vapormax, the designer walked into the design office with a duffle bag full of homemade prototypes of the sneaker utilising pairs she’d gotten off the shelf and adding on various details that later inspired the final product. 

Following their initial collaboration, the duo turned to the hottest silhouette of the moment, the Nike Dunk; or to be more precise the Nike Dunk Low. 

Arriving a year after the Vapormax, CPFM took a completely left-field approach with their second release which saw the Nike Dunk Low covered in Swarovski crystals. Released in two colourways, a bright white and a more sought-after green pair, the sneakers immediately split opinion with many questioning whether the Dunk strayed too far from its origin as a basketball turned skate sneaker, while others praised the design, with the Dunk usually being the canvas for some Nike’s more farfetched designs. 

Moving into the start of 2022, images began to emerge of the next project that Flea Market had been working on, continuing to focus on the classic Dunk silhouette as a base but arguably creating an entirely new product. 

The first feature that stands out on the new silhouette is a platform-style midsole with a moss effect surrounding it. A rough quilted suede upper is included with a tonal green overlay. Sitting on the lateral side of the left sneaker, an enlarged Nike Swoosh is found with a small Yin Yang emblem on the opposite pair. In addition, a small backwards Swoosh can be found on the medial sides of both sneakers, taken from Dennis Rodman’s 1996 ‘Air Darwin’ and later seen on a slue of releases from Travis Scott’s Air Jordan 1 to Stüssy’s Air Max 2013. 

While the first pair to be revealed brings the Nike Dunk ever further from what its original purpose was, the newly announced design is closer to a piece of art than it is a functioning sneaker. 

Somewhat reminiscent of the long-haired multicoloured Air Force 1 seen within Louis Vuitton’s 47-pair lineup (#17) created by Virgil Abloh, the second pair of CPFM Dunks, titled ‘Grinch’, features long green fur across the entire upper. 

Continuing to feature the same midsole as the previous pair, all the intricate detailing from the initial design is lost under what appears to be a matted jungle of green hair in varying tones. While the ‘CPFM’ and ‘Nike’ stitching can still be seen on the tongues, the stock liner, pull tab on the heel and laces are all green. 

When looking at the two silhouettes together, in addition to the shoebox, a theory could be chalked up as to what the sneakers are trying to connote. On the lid of the box, a line reads ‘add sunshine’, a mantra that has been used in several of Flea Markets’ projects. When looking that the initial pair of Dunks, it almost looks as if you could plant them and they’ll sprout like a usual plant, with the midsole possibly being the soil. Using this theory, the second pair could be assumed to be what comes after ‘adding sunshine’ to the first pair. 

Whether the Grinch-inspired Cactus Plant Flea Market x Nike Dunk Low has a deeper meaning, or whether it’s simply inspired by, as the name suggests, The Grinch created by Dr. Seuss, the outlandish take on the Nike Dunk Low is set to release around December 2022. 

For the latest on CPFM x Nike, stay tuned with Kick Game.