AKA takes us on the journey of creating his exclusive collaboration with Reebok Classic
In case you missed it, AKA is set to drop a highly exclusive sneaker collaboration with Reebok dubbed the SneAKA. This is the first deal of its kind with any South African artist and is believed to be worth 7 figures. The limited edition product where 600 pairs are made is set to arrive on the 26th of October.
Just last week, Reebok South Africa dropped a series of videos documenting how and when the process to work with AKA began. From bringing Supa Mega on to work with the brand to flying him to the Reebok Head Quarters in Boston and get him involved with the design process of the actual sneaker.
“We agreed from both sides that if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right. We needed to get AKA out to Reebok HQ in the States to dig in with the designers first hand, and really do this properly and push the envelope”, PJ Morilly, Brand Director of Reebok explains.
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Long before any deal was struck or any champagne was flowing, AKA had his sights set on designing a sneaker of his own. PJ Morilly, Brand Director of Reebok explains “We agreed from both sides that if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right. We needed to get AKA out to Reebok HQ in the States to dig in with the designers first hand, and really do this properly and push the envelope”. • AKA said ”The last couple of years with Reebok have been amazing, in terms of us making strides in doing things that have never been done before in South Africa. When I started with Reebok, one of my main goals was to really embed myself in the brand to the point that we’re making product together”. He went on to say, “The whole [sneaker designing] process was opened up to me, so I could really see and understand what goes into it”. • Over the next few weeks, we’re giving you unprecedented access into the design of #TheSneAKA • AKA concluded, “I think what we’re doing right now is something that a lot of other brands will look at us and think ‘Why didn’t we do that?’ That’s what Reebok and AKA is all about. It’s about being cutting-edge. It’s about being ahead of the pack. That’s why we’re here. This is only the start.” • TheSneAKA is a highly exclusive limited edition product. Only 600 pairs are being made. Each box is individually numbered and signed by AKA. Each pair comes with a certificate of authenticity. The SneAKA will be available for purchase on October 26th at Reebok.co.za. A limited number will also be available for purchase in Reebok stores.
AKA will be re-imagining the Reebok Classic and adding personalized touches to the classic silhouette. In what sounded like a masterclass, AKA spent time with James Hardaway, Head of Product/Brand Marketing at Reebok who imparted as much knowledge as he could with regrds to the Reebok Classic Leather.
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As part of the design process, AKA spent some time with James Hardaway, Head of Product/Brand Marketing at Reebok. • Hardaway introduces himself, “I’m in my 27th year with the brand. I’m affectionately known around the building as the O.G. People look to me as something of a reference to the history of the brand. I feel humbled and privileged about that. I love this brand. It runs in my veins”. “To me, the Classic Leather is one of the greatest shoes ever created. I was fortunate enough to work directly with Paul Smith the designer of the original Classic Leather sneaker back in 1983. It’s great to be working with AKA on his interpretation of it. He’s certainly writing a page in the history of the Reebok brand, which is something very few people get to do”. • Hardaway cradles a Classic Leather sneaker in his hands, and runs his fingers over the stitching and seams of the shoe – “The Classic Leather was created to be worn as a casual, fashionable, running silhouette. Made entirely of garment leather, which was a first for the industry at the time. Most certainly a benchmark product, that’s still very special to this day”. • Hardaway continues “I’ve taken AKA through the history, and the various elements of the shoe itself – the overlays and the various signature details unique to the Classic Leather. It’s over to him now. I’m very excited to see how it comes out. I’m confident that it’s going to work”. • TheSneAKA is a highly exclusive limited edition product. Only 600 pairs are being made. Each box is individually numbered and signed by AKA. Each pair comes with a certificate of authenticity. • The SneAKA will be available for purchase on October 26th at Reebok.co.za. A limited number will also be available for purchase in Reebok stores.
In the third installment of the episode, Chris Hill, Design Manager, Colabs and Statement Footwear, takes AKA through a dozen of sneakers from the corridors of Reebok’s history- guiding AKA on the design process and putting into perspective the gravity of this collaboration.
“It’s got to be clean, easy to wear, but still have enough pop to make it unique. I think the colour combination is going to be really important too.”
This shoe promises to be both trendy and timeless. We are certainly looking out for it, are you? Let us know what you think