After dropping a hot pink sneaker with Cardi B, Reebok is going minimal. The sportswear brand announced a partnership with apparel company STORY mfg. to reimagine its Club C and Beatnik silhouettes. Designed with the outdoors in mind, the new shoes are entirely vegan.
As a label struggling throughout — and perhaps, before — the pandemic, Reebok has been overhauling its image. Despite rumors the brand might be sold off, its newest designs are piquing consumers’ interest, and not in an ironic way. Reebok offered gorp-lovers a retrofied DMX Trail Shadow, while also appealing to high-fashion lovers with a Tabi-esque Margiela sneaker. We might be witnessing the sportswear brand’s renaissance — but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Peace out, maximalism — Reebok’s latest drop marks the first sneaker collaboration STORY mfg. has pursued since the brand’s inception in 2013. The apparel company focuses on slow fashion, and is run by a husband and wife team that works with a large group of dyers, weavers, embroiderers, and tailors. As such, its sneakers were crafted to be casual, yet mindful.
“This project was focused on our love of walking, nature and the outdoors. We came up with the brand on a walk together and whenever we need to think creatively, we go on a walk and hash things out,” said Saeed Al-Rubeyi, co-founder of STORY mfg. “These versions of the Club C and Beatnik are slubby-gummy-peacey and friendly, without being foolish – like us.”
The Club C and Beatnik silhouettes aligned with STORY’s aesthetic the most, thanks to their clean, classic looks and minimal construction. Their new “slubby-gummy-peacey and friendly” iterations feature an undyed, woven linen blend upper and an embroidered, chunky peace sign on the lateral side of each shoe. They’re a little short of plain, but you have to admit this footwear is clean.
While the Club C is meant for going places, the Beatnik is meant for lazy comfort. Made to resemble a puffy shoe you might wear camping, the padded walking sandal features a pared-down upper strap to remove excess plastic. Its back strap was also adjusted to be made entirely removable, allowing the shoe to be transformed into a mule.
Naturally simple — There aren’t many features or specialties when it comes to these shoes; they’re more about appreciating what you already have. STORY mfg. was created as a more authentic, fulfilling, and kind approach to fashion — one that doesn't involve a trade-off between aesthetics and consciousness.
You will have to make a small sacrifice though. With prices starting at $120, the Reebok x STORY mfg. collection proves even the most minimal of designs can cost a lot. Similar vegan shoes, like Adidas’ Stan Smith, only retail for $85. It’s important to note, however, that you’re also paying for a limited edition drop.
Beginning February 4, the collaborative footwear will drop on STORY’s website, followed by a global release on February 6 at 1 p.m. E.T. Cop for peace of mind.