Following up on their red-hot Premier Road Modern Mid that could be pre-ordered in unlimited quantities, Reebok and Korean brand Kanghyuk are collaborating on a sneaker that’ll be much rarer.
Scarcity is a byproduct of the materials, as the two parties have constructed just 25 pairs of the Reebok Classic Leather using recycled airbags and industrial polyamide. The upcycled textiles make for an ultra-thin, logo-less upper in the familiar shape of the nearly 40-year-old sneaker. How the sneakers will stand up to daily wear remains to be seen, but they’re probably better viewed as sustainably oriented artworks.
Thick stitching gives the Classic Leathers a DIY aesthetic, as do impurities born out of the repurposed materials cobbled together as a sort of patchwork approach to the silhouette’s original lines. Loose threads are everywhere, while the laces and soles are the only components to appear untarnished. The all-red color scheme will naturally draw comparisons to the Nike Air Yeezy “Red October” that was once all the rage, but Reebok and Kanghyuk have been firmly committed to red as the defining color of their partnership.
Only one place to get them — Reebok and Kanghyuk made the rare kicks for Dover Street Market London, which previously commissioned the two brands last year to make the Premier Road Modern out of similar materials. Their latest sustainable link-up will debut at the store on August 6, when it reopens for its biannual change-over for collections and installations.
Each of the 25 pairs will sell for $340 a pop, which only goes to reinforce the idea of sneakers as art. It’s the same mentality that defines the work of Nicole McLaughlin, who’s become probably the most well-known designer / artist with a laser focus on upcycling. Technically, yes, her items can be worn — but doing so could seriously jeopardize their lifespan.