Even if you grimace at defaced buildings bordering train tracks and highways, you might approve — even applaud — Reebok's project with 13 pre-eminent graffiti artists.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the iconic Reebok Classic Leather style, the brand has collaborated with graffiti pioneer Stash to recruit 12 other pre-eminent graffiti artists from around the world to design exteriors for the limited edition Reebok City Classics capsule collection. Participating artists include Wane (New York City), Eklips (Los Angeles), Pose (Chicago), Mad (Philadelphia), Tati (Miami), Totem (Atlanta), Da Flow (Mexico City), Sick Systems (Moscow), Rae Martini (Milan), Rimo (Tokyo), Monster (Paris) and Swifty (London).
Each has a unique pedigree. The paintings of Totem, from Atlanta, have been displayed in galleries across the globe. His signature is a robotic armored typeface, called the Mechanical Battle serif.
Pose founded the Chicago-based design and art firm We Are Supervision and works in commercial and fine art as a member of the West Coast artist collective The Seventh Letter.
The only woman in the bunch, Tatiana "Tati" Suarez is a Miami native, based in Brooklyn. Her colorful interpretation for Reebok, contrasted with gray suede uppers, is one of my favorites.
Other classics, re-imagined
If the graffiti motif is too radical for your tastes, other classic sneaker styles are being re-imagined with slightly subtler twists.
•New Balance Classics Camo 501 ($64.99; newbalance.com) for women comes in an olive camouflage print — but with diva-pink laces — or in diva pink camo all over.
•Two Liberty of London prints can now be applied to Nike men's and women's customizable styles including the Nike Air Max 1, Nike Dunk Hi and Lo, Nike Blazer Mid and Lo, and Nike Roshe Run ($90-$150; nikeid.com). The Liberty Capel print features a looser, larger floral, while the Liberty Pepper is a tighter multicolor option.Copyright © 2015, RedEye