There is a charm in Reebokâ€™s footwear heritage, a mystique that can be attributed to their re-releases of classic models. This FW08 collection exemplifies Reebokâ€™s insight into consumer demand and has released conceptualized versions of classic models, adding a modern twist to the nostalgia that has sustained them over the years.
â€œIâ€™m seeing a lot of brands that are taking the boys shoes and doing them in womens colors, or in fun prints, weâ€™re trying to amp up [our female models] and give them a fun and interesting personality.â€
Ben Kuchler is Reebokâ€™s Lifestyle Design Director and has been for the past nine years. Kuchler is responsible for the large majority of Reebokâ€™s limited-edition projects (including ALIFE), collaborations (with Married to the Mob), and special projects (such as the â€˜Freestyleâ€™ relaunch package).
In a recent webcast, Kuchler introduced the brandâ€™s FW08 line, and addressed various questions that us sneakerheads have been dying to inquire. He described the evolution of classic as â€œtaking what we love as original models and breathing new life into them,â€ a non-complex answer that is indicative of where Reebok has headed — modernized nostalgia. â€œI think overall, typically what we do is try to have products that are a little bit more commercial and mainstream to give retailers something core and basic. We need those [commercial models] as well as the other models that youâ€™d be more inclined to editorialize.â€
On the womenâ€™s side, Kuchler unveiled a new, metallic look for the Vollee and Courtee models — the Vollee bearing striking similarities to the Freestyle model, and the Courtee being more basketball influenced, but with a fashionable twist. â€œIâ€™m seeing a lot of brands that are taking the boys shoes and doing them in womenâ€™s colors, or in fun prints, weâ€™re trying to amp up [our female models] and give them a fun and interesting personality.â€
For men, Reebok has taken the success of the Reverse Jam and will segue its cousin, the Sir Jam Mid (probably the most â€˜90s model on their roster); the iconic splatter paint is true to its original archived colorway. Their marquee model, Pump Omni Lite, makes an interesting return this season with a concept pack, titled â€˜Elementsâ€™. With four styles, the collection is named after the four essential elements to survival: water, fire, earth, and wind. â€˜Fireâ€™ will be introduced in Q3, and â€˜Waterâ€™ in Q4/holiday. Each color and texture is inspired by an element. According to Mr. Kuchler, these are all part of the Pumpâ€™s â€˜Bring Backâ€™ series and will be available to women in 2009.
With these conceptualized remakes of classics, itâ€™s safe to say that Reebok is closing out 2008 with strides of cool.