Louisiana isn’t a state short on swagger, but until Sneaker Politics opened its doors in Lafayette nine years ago, it was severely lacking a quality shoe spot. SP founder Derek Curry has since blessed the Pelican state with two more stores, and has crafted a stack of colab releases with Reebok. The latest is a double pack of Reebok Ventilators that searched beyond his swampy home for inspiration. We caught up with Derek to get the word on how some watering holes in Australia and Indonesia became connected to this latest project.
You guys aren’t greenhorns in the sneaker colab game, have you developed a particular method when starting to work on new projects?
We always go for local, man, to bring out Louisiana culture and show the world that we're not just wrestling alligators in our front yard. We actually have other things too! We tend to use local inspirations to tell stories about our home, and I think that's cool, to educate people on what we actually have here. So this is the first time I’ve worked on a colab and looked outside of the state for inspiration.
Looking at the Ventilator pack for the first time with no background info, it’s tough to work out the muses. What inspired these designs? Let’s start with the pink ones…
Okay, cool. In Western Australia, there's a lake that's totally pink. It's like the algae, or whatever in the lake, turns the whole lake pink. As the waves flip, it goes light pink to dark pink. We went off for an aerial photo of it, and the surrounding grass looks like this emerald green colour. Those are all the colours used on the shoe. One of my kids designed the shoe, actually. He takes an outrageous vacation once a year and he was looking for a spot to go and he found this, thought it was amazing, and came up with the shoe overnight on it.
Is it a challenge making a sneaker that doesn’t just have an interesting story but looks really fresh as well?
That's tough, man. A lot of times, anyone could throw cool colours on a shoe. That’s just colour blocking. But to have a story that ties back to it that you could tell the public and educate them in something else, or tell them a cool story like this, is just fun for us. People are gonna be like, ‘Whoa! There's a pink lake in Australia? That's nuts.’
True! Well, let's move on to shoe number two.
Yeah, man, we stuck with the lakes on this one too. My son was still looking for those vacation destinations. He came up on Indonesia and saw on top of a particular volcano, there are three lakes. One of them is like this emerald green colour, one's like this teal and then there's a navy-ish one. And looking from an aerial photo, they're all touching each other and each has a totally different colour that makes it look crazy. So we went with that, placed the colours of the each lake together on a shoe. It’s another cool story about travelling.
Are you personally gravitating towards one? Which one is your favourite right now?
Oh, it's tough. But I showed my parents both the shoes and my dad’s reaction made me totally trip out. He said this Green Lake would be the first shoe I’ve made that he will actually wear. Usually he's like a white-on-white New Balance guy and this was the first time he was like, ‘Man, I would love to wear those.’ So it was cool, so I like these a lot. Those will actually be more limited, so we'll do less pairs of those and more of the Pink Lake.
The Sneaker Politics x Reebok Ventilator '3 Lakes' collection will be dropping at select Reebok Certified Network retailers in-store and online on the 11th of July.