2013 has been a solid year for REEBOK so far, and now we’re leading into the third quarter we’re eager to see what other goodness is ahead from the rejuvenated brand. Fair enough, it’s early days for talk of a resurrection to the dizzy heights of their decade or so of glory, which kicked off around ’83, but if the REEBOK CLASSIC LEATHER (CL) and NEWPORT CLASSIC (NPC) from the VINTAGE Pack are anything to go by, we’re as stoked as a chav at the foot of his local, forever ‘closing down’ Sports Direct staircase.
We jest with the hands-down-trackies street kids and their favourite sportswear haunt, but at the same time we appreciate that both silhouettes are regularly found on the shelves, and kicked around on the floors of such stores, and to shake off that relationship is unfortunately now a forgone impossibility for the brand. By going for the money, they were able to build a very lucrative business around their prized asset, whilst also killing it dead at the same time, but things are slowly but surely starting to change in our favour now. We’ve seen some stupid good collaborations on the CL of late, with SNS, MITA and SOLEBOX to name but a few, joining in with the 30th anniversary celebrations of a shoe that really is a Classic, whether you like it or not.
1983 was the year that the Classic Leather took to the stage, and taking from the shape of a nylon runner for inspiration, the design team put to work and accidentally propelled it to casualwear status when a production error saw the upper return with a yet untried and very supple kangaroo leather makeover, which they subsequently released straight away. It brought something different to the scene, and took to the feet of a whole generation, from the standing only terraces of our grounds, to the vinyl mats outside community shopping centres up and down the country.
The NPC, a tennis shoe originally released in 1989 and recently brought back onto the radar by HANON in an excellently executed collab on the NPC II – the highlight being the semi translucent sole units, is a lesser known shoe but it’s clean lines, one colour uppers and straight forward branding have a certain appeal that cannot be ignored. A brave choice for the retailer to take on, but it worked perfectly, and that’s how we feel about the Carbon colourway of the Vintage range, along with the Green, Navy, Black and Red options too, for that matter. The NPC only drops in the Carbon featured, Red and Black options and one or two are still proving to be hard to find at the moment, although they’re scheduled to starting dropping with a handful of other UK stockists shortly.
Both the CL and NPC are kept simple here, with a one colour nubuck upper finished with subtle white accent detailing, and a white leather side stripe on the CL. The lining is towelled round the collar which gives both shoes a really comfortable fit, as does the adequately padded nylon tongues, and there’s a lace flip for you, if you fancy the off-white option to really set them off. The gum outsole on the CL is the deal breaker, and the NPC’s solid white unit keeps with tradition. With both sporting the original woven label branding, and an undeniable appeal after their premium fix up, we’re sold on these and with the colour-ups we mentioned, there’s plenty of options to choose from.
By taking both shoes, giving them the premium lick and keeping distribution tight, Reebok have been able to give us back a couple of our favourite teenage beaters, and we doff our cap in the general direction of the UK team, as they’re doing pretty well after embarked on a big task to bring the brand back from an uncertain time, and having some excellent product to get out there has gone a long way to getting things back on track.
The REEBOK CLASSIC LEATHER (CL) and NEWPORT CLASSIC (NPC) VINTAGE in the Carbon colourway along with some of the others mentioned, are available now and can be found via the click-throughs at the end of the images, which show both the top draw make-ups in all their bad boy glory.