A unique fusion of old-meets-new style with ink smears, bonsai, and family crest designs.

Footwear and clothing company Reebok has never been shy about collaborations. Thanks to their willingness, we’ve been blessed with all manner of sweet shoe-products from Hello Kitty and Gudetama sneakers to Godzilla ones.

This time, Reebok has partnered with Japanese men’s fashion brand Yoshiokubo for their first collaboration product in the form of two newly designed sneaker models.

The shoes, which received enthusiasm when initially unveiled at a runway show in Paris this past January, use Reebok’s iconic Instapump Fury and Club C (celebrating its 35th anniversary this year) model designs as the base but also incorporate aesthetics of traditional Japanese culture.

▼ A recent visual campaign for the sneakers draws on traditional cultural elements such as kabuki.

Designer Yoshio Kubo has expressed his desire to increase interest in Japan’s ancient culture over a wider audience in his inclusion of calligraphy, pine bonsai, and family crest (kamon) elements in the sneakers’ design.

Perhaps the most striking visual is the font for “Reebok” embroidered in Japanese katakana on the heel of the shoes. In fact, this lettering was actually drawn by Yoshio’s father using a real calligraphy brush for the sake of the collaboration.

▼ “Reebok” in katakana on the right.

Yoshio wanted to draw on the raw power and innovative presence of the Instapump Fury in the world of sneakers by featuring boldly smeared calligraphy ink over the whole shoe, to allow the various shades of ink to shine through for this particular model.

▼ Instapump Fury OG – YKGF model (22,000 yen, US$209)

In contrast, he took a slightly more pared-down approach with the versatile Club C model so that its basic charm would be highlighted. The splashes on the soles of the shoe appear as if the wearer has just stepped in a puddle of ink.

▼ Club C 85 – YKGF model (15,400 yen)

The new Reebok x Yoshiokubo collaborative models will be available for purchase on Reebok’s online store, Yoshiokubo’s online store, the Reebok Shibuya branch in Tokyo, as well as various other retailers selling Reebok shoes beginning on October 9.

While you’re waiting for those to go on sale, consider stocking up on your pandemic goods through a mask and mug collaboration between J-rocker Yoshiki and Hello Kitty.

Source, images: PR Times
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