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Fashion week may be over, but we’re still mentally processing all of the anticipated releases that we have to look forward to — and Botter and Reebok’s SS24 collection is definitely up there. The brands may seem like they belong to two different worlds, nevertheless they have pulled off a successful symbiosis between Botter’s ‘Caribbean couture’ and Reebok’s sportswear aesthetic.

Vintage Reebok brought smart casual into the mix, whilst Botter’s signature aquatic and nature-filled references added a colorful touch to the collection. The culmination of their collaboration however, came in the latest iteration of their famously outlandish and mesmerizing footwear.

Front, right and center, models walked the show wearing the Murex Shell Slides. Chunky, dynamic and covered with rippling folds in all the colors of the ocean, I wouldn’t blame you if you mistook them for a deep sea creature, latching onto models’ feet for a nibble. But whilst inspired by the wonders of the sea, the slides are the work of computational design and 3D printing. A joint effort between Reebok Europe, Botter and the HP printing team, over four countries, video calls and whatsapp chats, the making of  the slides was a pretty big feat. We scooped up some insider info from members of the team to delve into the mystery of the playful design.

Patrick Kenawy, Patrick Kenawy

For a lot of you, this shoe is probably more wearable than its predecessor, the Murex Shell, which merged the same intricate design with vintage Reebok football sneakers. This version however presented a whole new set of technical challenges. The undulating form, previously only on the bottom half of the shoe, had to be transported all over the outer while flowing seamlessly from every angle. As well as achieving the desired look, the team had to make sure the shoe would be wearable, balancing the springiness of the lattice cushioning underfoot, the weight and form of the whole design. Initially inspired by the internal structure of the Murex seashell, we were told:

‘the original design language was just too good to throw out.’  Nate Jobe, Head of Footwear for Reebok Europe/NGGH++

This time they brought it back but made it even more relevant to both brands by transforming it into a slide, synonymous with football culture and the sea.

Not only are the Murex Shell range special for their conceptual design, the innovative materials and technology used to produce them show high potential in the future of footwear. Complex structures were extremely hard to realize with traditional footwear methods and usually only feasible as prototypes, but now thanks to new technological advancements, they can now be easily developed into ready to wear items. In this case, it was possible thanks to computational design, which used algorithms and parameters to generate the layering and twisting form with advanced computer processing (hang in there, more tech talk ahead). The other game changer is the HP MJF process, a powder-based 3D printing method that expands design capabilities: ‘as you have a self supporting print process, one of the goals as the designer was to really push the machines capabilities’. HP designer Earl Sweart explains that basically, without these technologies, achieving both the visual design and the practical aspects of the slide would be very difficult.

Patrick Kenawy, Patrick Kenawy

The Murex Shell Slide is the brainchild of Reebok and Botter and they wanted it to be equally evocative of each brand’s heritage. Reebok’s exemplary sportswear pieces provided the foundation for Botter to apply their bold creative energy and bring new forms and concepts to the table— remember none of it would have been possible without HP’s unifying technology.

“It was amazing to work as a design collective, across 3 time zones, collaborate, and come up with this unique design. From the initial raw sketches of Rushemy to the complex design algorithms of Earl (HP) and the Reebok Europe design team curating the conversation something unexpected happened.” Nate Jobe, Head of Footwear Reebok Europe / NGGH++

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As the footwear industry evolves with ever more sophisticated projects, we can expect many more exciting creations in the future. Stay tuned for what's next and check out the Reebok x Botter collaboration here.

  • Photographer & DoPPatrick Kenawy @pkenawy
  • Photo AssistantLisa Aileen @lisebae
  • ACDSamir Matanda @sambuusam
  • PMIole Gravina @killhbill
  • ProducerSimone Dautel @simidau
  • Post ProductionSplash Studios @splashstudios_ams
  • EditorRigel Kilston @rigelkilston
  • Assistant EditorDex Kerr @dexkerr
  • Assistant EditorAmerigo Brini @amerigoblin
  • ColoristLuke Osborne @lkosbrn
  • Editorial ProducerPeach Rizzo
  • Music curated by@rozalyyyyy
  • Song by@flyingparkfellow
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