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Sneakers January, 23 2013

Highsnobiety Takes a Closer Look at the Reebok x Keith Haring Foundation Collection

Reebok Classics is a brand that is always pushing the boundaries when it comes to high profile collaborations. From their on-going partnership with Jean-Michel Basquiat to their work with Ryan McGinness, Reebok Classic’s work with icons in the world of art and design shows their commitment to creativity and results in some pretty standout product.

As we reported last week, Reebok Classic’s latest collaboration is with the legendary Keith Haring. Partnering with the Keith Haring Foundation, Reebok Classic are introducing a range of signature styles embellished with Haring’s instantly recognisable icons, such as the Antic Everyman, Barking Dog and Radiant Baby as well as a range of interpretations of Haring’s unique paintings and drawings. The collection fuses fashion and art and embodies the individuality that is synonymous with Haring and the creative thinking and slick product executions that Reebok are known for.

There will be two product drops, the first in February and the second in April. February’s drop sees Reebok favourites the Classic leather Lux, Classic leather Strap Mid, NPC II and Classic Leather Clean. Fabrication and detail such as chenille applique, flow molded icons, jacquard underlays, removable die-cut components and the use of high-density screen printing and direct embroidery give the product executions a textured, luxury feel and bring the designs to life in a fresh, bold way that is consistent with Haring’s characteristically daring and energetic designs.

The use of bold primary colours and a range of textures gives the range a graphic feel and a nod to the early 80’s, which was the time that both Haring and Reebok Classic came to prominence- some of Reebok Classic’s most loved silhouettes were first introduced around the same time as some of Haring’s most acclaimed work, which gives a nice link between the artists and the brand.

Haring established his foundation in 1989, its mission being to assist non-profit organizations which provide educational opportunities to underprivileged children, as well as organizations involved in research and care related to AIDS and HIV. Reebok’s collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation will help support another equally important function of the Foundation–keeping Keith’s visual legacy thriving for today’s young and increasingly diverse audiences.

Both Reebok and the Keith Haring Foundation have commented on the collabo. Todd Krinsky, VP of Reebok Classic, said “Celebrating creativity is a central goal of our brand, and you see that through our collaborations and partnerships with people who represent innovation in the worlds of art, music and fashion. This collection, and our partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation, allows us to re-imagine the artwork of this ground-breaking genius through a new medium that will appeal not only to his greatest fans but also introduce Haring to a new audience.”

Julia Gruen, Executive Director of the Keith Haring Foundation said, “ Reebok Classic came to prominence at about the same time that Keith’s most iconic imagery was becoming popular around the world. This synchronicity creates a natural affinity between us – a collaboration founded on a passion for accessibility, design, and creativity. With Reebok, we have been able to present some of Keith’s most beloved images in an entirely new, yet authentic, manner, as well as some new designs interpretations of unique paintings and drawings. We firmly believe Keith would be excited to see how his artwork continues to attract attention and resonate with today’s young audiences.”

For the first drop, the Classic Leather Lux has a blue/black/white/pink colourway and features a rich premium upper with Haring’s iconic Radiant Baby as die cut chenille applique on the heel counter. The Classic Leather Mid Strap features bold blue and yellow colourway, Haring’s Barking Dogs icons which have been die cut and are removable and interchangeable. The NPC II has a yellow/black/red/white colourway and features signature artwork and a bold colour combination. The artwork has been applied via a mix of high density screen printing and direct embroidery, giving the shoe a richness and depth that has never been seen in previous seasons. Classic Leather also gets an exciting update via Haring’s artwork. The coluor is a bold combination of black/red/white. The artwork has been applied via a mix of high density screen printing and direct embroidery. The underlays are a custom jacquard of Haring’s art.

The Reebok x Haring range will preview with an exclusive event with Bodega on January 31st and will then be available in the best boutiques around the world from February 10th

Check back for a look at the event and for full details of the second product drop.

Photography: Park National for Highsnobiety.com

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