Diamond x Undftd – 05′ vs 14′

Diamond Supply Co has had quite a meek history, for many years the brand made little to no money. The brand didn’t make $1 million til 2011. Since then Diamond has flourished financially, while maintaining its skating roots. One of its most memorable years was 2005. During this time Nick Tershay, the founder of Diamond, was living in LA and was prepping for the release of Diamond’s Nike SB shoe. Needless to say the Tiffany was a great success, not only for Nike SB, but also for Diamond Supply Co. Both brands increased their presence in skating and streetwear. In order to make 2005 a bigger year for Diamond, the brand had set up a collab drop with Undftd in order to commemorate the release of The Tiffany.

Arguably the biggest tee that Diamond dropped that year was their collab tee with Undftd. The tee itself took many cues from Diamond’s much admired “Tiffany” Dunk. The most striking aspect of the tee is the Undftd logo done in a croc style. While the Diamond script logo is layered in the Undftd logo, but within the confines of the logo itself. Unlike newer Diamond tees this tee has a neck tag, it lists Diamond’s website. Which is odd because most blog sites will cite that Diamond opened their site in 2006. The neck tag also stats that the tee was made in the USA. Furthermore the fit seems to be the same as regular Diamond tees of today. Likewise the side tag can still be found on the 05 tee, its classic red embroidered “Diamond Supply Co” text was still used. An extra tag on the left sleeve was included, Undftd’s logo is displayed.

In 2014 Nike SB sought to recapture the excitement that used to regularly follow every SB release. In doing so they once again came to Diamond Supply Co and thus the Diamond High was birthed.  Nick Tershay said in a 2014 interview that he originally wanted the first Dunk to be a high top. Unsurprisingly the drop was everything both brands wanted it to be. The Diamond Hi sold out quickly, many SB veterans reminisced about the 05 release. While newer SB fans were able to get their own experience that echoed the original Nike SB drops. So all in all the release met everyone’s expectations.

It was only appropriate that Diamond should ride the wave made by the release of their second Tiffany inspired kicks under Nike SB. As such there were many Diamond Dunk Hi inspired tees that came out this year. The most interesting one was the Undftd tee. By itself the tee was one of Diamond’s best tees of 2014, like the 05′ version it takes many cues from the Nike SB x Diamond Dunk. However thats not to say that they are very alike.

For one, the front graphic on the 14′ tee is overall slightly smaller. This is also true for the Undftd sleeve tag. Oddly enough the longsleeve tee actually fits a bit longer than its short sleeve predecessor. It should be assumed that since Undftd sold these tees on their site, that they probably used their own blanks and printed the tees with their own connections. Unlike modern Diamond tees this longsleeve has a neck tag, which stated the tee was made (probably printed) in Mexico. The color on the Diamond text is a slightly different shade of teal, it looks like theres more blue than green. As a result the 2014 tee is closer to the color Tiffany than the 2005 tee. Lastly theres the Diamond side tags. Both have the same embroidered text of Diamond Supply Co, yet they are still, surprisingly different. The differences are very small though.

Nonetheless both tees are executed fairly well. However comparing the two, the collab tee from 2005 looks and feels better. The print looks and feels nice. While the crocodile print may seem over the top, it really isn’t. Of course the graphic mimics the skin of a crocodile, it chooses a more subdued pattern. A design thats good, but isn’t trying to be loud and grab people’s attention. This is even clearer from a distance. As the finish on the Undftd print looks like its closer to having a matte or possibly semi-gloss finish. Whereas the Undftd croc logo on the 2014 shirt is slightly smaller, and the design looks more boisterous. Its possible that the designers were aiming to draw a closer link to the Diamond Dunk Hi, as it looks like the patterns are somewhat similar. Theres also the fact that the graphic seems to have a glossy finish, so you know you will probably be noticed wearing this shirt. On the left sleeves of both shirts, each has an embroidered Undftd tag. However the tag on the 05 tee is a decent size and would be easily visible. For some reason the tag on the 2014 shirt is only half the size and would probably go unnoticed by most people. This is strange considering the 2014 collab is visibly louder. Though on the inside of the left cuff an embroidered “UNDEFEATED” can be read. On the right forearm of the 14 longsleeve theres another graphic, a combination of both Undftd’s and Diamond’s logos. While the logo is ok, its not as dynamic as the frontal graphic, both logos are rendered in white so they kind of just blend together. Then theres the neck tags, the tag on the 05 version has no embroidering, but instead is a printed graphic. It doesn’t feel irritating at all. The neck tag on the 2014 version has embroidering, which isn’t bad. However the material of the tag feels flimsy, and while it isn’t annoying, you may feel it rubbing against your neck, so in the long run it may get annoying to feel the tag.

Lastly theres the availability of both tees to consider. Both are equally good tees to have, if you’re a fan of either brand. However its obvious that more tees of the 2014 Diamond x Undftd longsleeve were made vs the 2005 Diamond x Undftd tee. If you’re wondering why, you only need to look at both releases in their context. In 2005 Diamond was a small brand, with ambitions that were not within reach. Nick has gone on to say in various interviews that he didn’t have much money, and couldn’t afford to have his tees printed in mass quantities. As a result he probably made the tees himself, if thats the case there may have been 50 or maybe 100 tees made. This is reflected by the fact that there are so few tees left. At this moment I can only recall seeing 4 tees on sale over roughly the last decade. Compared to the 2015 reissue, theres way more available. Given most they were released last year, they are still much easier to find and buy in any size most people could want. There was way more hype for the 2014 release, as this time around the legend of “The Tiffany” had swelled to great proportions. So much so that the collab tee had gained its own following. As a result both Diamond and Undftd were prepared for this drop. Indeed both brands made a pretty penny that day. Regardless people will still remember the kicks as well as the tee for years to come.

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