Reebok is to make an appearance on the runway at New York Fashion Week thanks to a new collaboration with Jonathan Simkhai.

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner has reimagined the classic Freestyle Hi sneaker in eight colourways, which will make its debut during Simkhai’s Spring/Summer 2018 show at New York Fashion Week.

Based in New York, Jonathan Simkhai launched his label in 2010 after years of experience as a buyer and merchandiser. He honed his technical skills at Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Simkhai is continuously inspired by the built environment, which motivates his creative process and desire to push conventional design boundaries. His work often explores the confluence of technology and hand-made artistry.

The designer has incorporated fabrics typically used in his collections, including crochet and seersucker. “We wanted to revamp the style, so we did a new technique using the macrame and crochet fabrics from our collections and made them into a shoe which was really exciting,” Simkhai tells. “The combination of colours and fabrics definitely aren’t something that Reebok would typically do on their own.”

There is a special significance in using the Freestyle Hi, which was the first sneaker designed especially for women, introduced by Reebok in 1983. “The empowerment of women is so important to me, I wanted to do something that continues that legacy,” says Simkhai. “I reached out to them and said that we really wanted to do a collection together, inspired by these old photographs of athletics and a really beautiful colour palette. They were really supportive.”

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