There’s collabs and there’s collabs, and more often than not, it’s a blink and you’ll miss it affair. But the Nike SB Stefan Janoski silhouette is the result of what has got to be the greatest and most successful skate shoe partnerships ever.

If this isn’t enough – the latest exciting addition to the Nike S.B. collection is a Janoski Max. The new style stays true to the simplicity of the original but marries this with a hybrid Air Max 1 /Free sole. It’s lightweight, breathable and most importantly, you can wear it all day long. Words spoken by the man himself, who was heavily involved in the design, working with Nike S.B. to create the style.

Every skater owns (or wants) a pair. In fact, Janoskis are not only reserved for skaters, so you can cop a pair for on or off board wear. So for those asking the question – who is Stefan Janoski? Here’s a quick insight into the life of the kooky skater/artist/musician and cat lover.

Janoski was raised in a small town in California called Vacaville, where aged 13 he started skating the country roads. In his late teens he moved to San Francisco, the then capital of skateboarding, where he picked up a few random jobs, while skating with friends, most of whom were pro. He eventually turned pro himself, in his early twenties, claiming he made a ‘conscious decision to turn his hobby into a career’. Good decision.

He picked up a number of sponsors on the way. ‘Back then it was about the boards, but nowadays it’s more about the shoes’ – Janoski talks about sponsors and how the landscape has changed, moving the focus onto the all-important shoes.  He came very close to releasing a shoe with his then sponsor Etnies, but in his own words ‘got cold feet at the last minute’. Lucky for him, some might say.

He joined Nike SB and the rest is history – his signature shoe has been released in hundreds of colours and fabrics, and last year, Complex ranked it number 10 in their list of the best signature skate shoes. For Janoksi, when to comes to his shoes, function is more important than protection. He was heavily involved in the shoe’s development from start to finish and he comments that ‘Nike want to protect feet’, he wants to wearers to feel their board.

Not satisfied with skating alone, he’s also a talented artist and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he creates sculptures and paints. He holds quirky exhibitions and does a really god job fusing skateboarding and art together. He’s a likeable character, who sits just on the right side of weird.

One thing he’s always said, is that as long as Nike keep the original black and white colourway alive, he’s happy to experiment with all sorts of crazy prints and fabrics. Original and best has never been truer.

Janoski Black & White