Recently a TikTok surfaced that appeared to show rollerskaters careening through the night sky. Set to M83’s anthemic (and aptly titled) song, Midnight City, the skaters weave across an empty highway with the lights of an urban center splayed in front of them. The forced perspective of the video is such that it seems almost surreal. And in a way, it is. Because come to think of it, how are these skaters able to control this entire expanse of the highway? Where are all the cars?
This night ride took place in Medellín, Colombia and while that doesn’t explain the absence of cars, it does in some ways allow the mind to wander. The impossible beauty of humans speeding down structures made for machines is desperately romantic. What if we lived in a world where highways were no longer meant for cars? Where humans roamed free across the concrete expanses that run like arteries through our cities? What if instead of clogging our air with exhaust we could just exhale? What would that world look like?
For the release of its newest model, Oakley sought answers to questions like this—even if only for a moment. The Re:SubZero reimagines and reintroduces an iconic ‘90s silhouette but dials down the frames to a barely-there weight. We’re talking 24 grams, almost .05 lbs. They’re made such that the wearer can practically forget they’re even wearing glasses, all while reaping the benefits of protection and security that the Re:SubZero provides.
Plus, they’re made with Oakley’s signature PhysioMorphic Geometry in mind. According to the brand: “Taking inspiration from the human experience as well as the laws of nature, PhysioMorphic Geometry unlocks eyewear to be designed and developed without limitations, and lenses that are built without any shape constraints.” It’s hard to look at them and not see the future. If Oakley was able to imagine the impossible with the creation of these glasses, then it seemed only fitting that the corresponding campaign should do the same.
Enter Lacuna Studios, a creative outfit based in Antwerp that specializes in digitally rendered and impossibly imagined situations. The studio’s founder, Lars Moeerels worked with Oakley to position the Re:SubZero model in the future it deserved to inhabit.
As a jumping-off point, they looked to places where the world of mass transit seemed to deteriorate. Take, perhaps, the Foreshore Freeway Bridge in Cape Town, South Africa, an unfinished stretch of highway that juts into the sky, or The Great Highway in San Francisco which once corralled traffic but now hosts bikers, skaters, and all sorts of athletes who lay claim to the thoroughfare.
Athletes clad in colorful sportswear and the Re:SubZero take to the streets of an imagined city. They skate and sprint across highways in one of the four color options—sapphire, black, ruby, and dark golf—without seemingly a care in the world. Is this what the future looks like? Maybe, maybe not. But at least Oakley Re:SubZero allows us to entertain the idea. When we ask Moeerels of Lacuna to envision his idea of the future, he simply points to these photos: “Hopefully we all get to be free like that one day. That’s a goal… ultimate freedom for all human beings.”
The Oakley Re:SubZero are available to shop online here.