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BAPE Rolls Out Nostalgia-Rich Reebok Collection

Redressing Reebok’s revered Instapump Fury and Club C, BAPE brings a 2000s hip-hop homage to running and tennis staples from the 80s and 90s.

A Bathing Ape and Reebok have teamed up again, unveiling their latest line of collaborative sneakers on Monday.

For those keeping track at home, the streetwear staple and athletic outfitter have come together on footwear before, breaking new ground with fresh updates on the acclaimed Allen Iverson signature series as well as mashups with the boutique, Mita.

However, with both brands changing hands in regard to ownership, the choice to lean into revered models and storied patterns speaks volumes as to where they’ve both been.

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Reebok, recently sold to Authentic Brand Groups in August 2021 for $2.5 billion, is no stranger to sportswear. Since its start in the United Kingdom in the 1950s, the Vector branded footwear and apparel manufacturer made noise in the US in the early 1980s as aerobics took off, eventually carving lanes in categories ranging from hoops to hip-hop.

BAPE, the Japanese brand born in 1993 by NIGO, rose from the streets of Harajuku to looks likened to everyone from The Notorious BIG to Robin Williams. Over the course of the 2000s, the brand’s popularity peaked in the hip-hop community thanks to early endorsements from Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and The Clipse.

Placement in Lil Wayne music videos and Soulja Boy lyrics launched the brand into a new era of youth with more retail availability reaching the States as the 2010s approached. After 20 years as serving as brand general, NIGO left BAPE in 2013, selling all shares to I.T Limited who have since brought the BAPE brand to more international doors and allowed for wider-reaching collaborations.

In 2022, Reebok is starting off the new year by telling tales of timeless models through the lens of BAPE’s most evocative motifs.

The star of the collection is the BAPE x Reebok Instapump Fury.

Hailing from 1994, the revolutionary running shoe designed by the legendary Steven Smith (famous for his current work at YEEZY and previous success at Nike and New Balance) sought to shelve laces and leverage the brand’s trademark Pump system for a futuristic take on fit.

At the time, the loud look was revered by not just performance runners but also by performers like Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

Throughout the years, the Instampump Fury has been the subject of collaboration with many noteworthy parties such as Maison Margiela and Jurassic Park, now electing to don BAPE’s coveted COLOR CAMO and 1ST CAMO patterns in mismatched fashion.

Less loud but still striking is the two-way take on the Club C 85, a tennis shoe served up by both parties twice before. The volley vaulting contrast stitching and signature sidewall branding provide a balanced blend of country club composure and hip-hop homage.

In press imagery from Reebok, both pairs are modeled by R&B star Bryson Tiller with label mates Nia Sultana and Ryan Trey aiding in the arrival. It’s all shot by photographer Ro.Lexx, with each shoe styled with signature BAPE pieces.

Look for the Instapump Fury to retail for $200 and the Club C 85 to be priced at $150.

Both pairs will release on Jan. 15 at BAPE locations and on the brand’s US website with the second wave of pairs launching worldwide online and in-store at Reebok on Jan. 21.

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About The Author
Ian Stonebrook
Ian Stonebrook
Ian Stonebrook is a Staff Writer covering culture, sports, and fashion for Boardroom. Prior to signing on, Ian spent a decade at Nice Kicks as a writer and editor. Over the course of his career, he's been published by the likes of Complex, Jordan Brand, GOAT, Cali BBQ Media, SoleSavy, and 19Nine. Ian spends all his free time hooping and he's heard on multiple occasions that Drake and Nas have read his work, so that's pretty tight.