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For the next step in the shapeshifting success of their ongoing collaboration, Maison Margiela and Reebok come together once again for the launch of the Club C Maison Margiela. Fresh from reimagining the Classic as part of Project 0, the worlds of the Paris-based fashion house and Bolton-born, Boston-based sportswear behemoth collide once more to reinvent another classic sneaker. Uniting Reebok’s Club C heritage court sneaker with Maison Margiela’s 1996 trompe-l’oeil trickery, the signature codes of both brands are hacked in one trailblazing shoe.
First launched in 1985, the Club C tennis shoe – the ‘C’ short for ‘Champion’ – has quietly and confidently tread the lines of sports and fashion and is one of Reebok’s most iconic silhouettes.
In the mid 80s, the dress codes of Tennis demanded a level of minimalism and Reebok answered. After the likes of New York-based fashion label AWAKE, infinite scroll mood board JJJJound, and conscious-driven STORY mfg. have recently repositioned a true sneaker classic, Maison Margiela applies a signature house technique, the trompe l’oeil, to create the Club C Maison Margiela. Constructed from a single piece of flat leather, the sneaker’s one-cut upper is printed with a scanned image of Reebok’s original Club C shoe.
Available in black and white, the trompe l’oeil – a deception of the eye – mimics every stitch, curve and shadow of the original 3D surface, achieving a 2D optical illusion key to the visual language of Maison Margiela, whose work has historically blurred the lines between truth and artifice. Following its imagination igniting and sensory shaking debut in the house’s spring/summer 1996 collection, the deceptive effect was central among Martin Margiela’s witty signatures as the Genk-born visionary continued to turn the fashion world upside down and, somehow, set it right. It’s a technique that John Galliano has used throughout some of his most iconic collections too. Just before he joined Maison Margiela in 2014, its elusive founder shared a simple instruction: “Take what you will from the DNA of the house, protect yourself, and make it your own.” From the moment he stepped into the house that Martin built, Galliano has followed those words of encouragement, confidently cutting, pasting and manipulating pre-existing codes and introducing a growing number of his own. A future classic, the Club C Maison Margiela encapsulates all of this and more.