by Anmol AhujaDec 18, 2021
Developed in conjunction with the Eames Office, the recently unveiled Reebok x Eames Club C Monotone Pack (Black & White) and the Reebok x Eames Club C – Ray Eames Signature Pack sneaker collections celebrate the enduring legacy of two of the most influential American designers of the 20th century. Ray and Charles Eames were renowned for their commitment to forging meaningful relationships between the objects that they designed and their end users, operating with an unpretentious deference to the needs of the individual, encapsulated in Charles' famous adage that “the job of the designer is basically that of a good host - anticipating the needs of the guest”. As an extension of their ideals, multinational clothing and footwear manufacturer Reebok has reinvented its classic Club C sneaker - originally released in 1985 - pairing the subtlety, accessibility, and versatility seen in the Eames Offices' extensive body of work, with bold references to their most revered projects, in custom-designed packaging. The Club C Monotone Pack (Black & White) will be available exclusively on the Eames Office and Reebok websites from October 15 onward, with a wider global release scheduled for October 21.
Over a nearly four-decade-long partnership that commenced with their move to Los Angeles, California in 1941, Ray and Charles Eames redefined the landscape of post-war design in the United States, with a playful yet timeless sensibility that placed the user experience at the heart of each of their endeavours. Currently run by the third generation of the Eames family, the Eames Office is continuing its associations with reputed organisations such as Herman Miller Inc. and Vitra International on their now legendary furniture designs.
Balancing the inseparable concerns of form and function, the Eames Office's work transcended pure utilitarian functionality to chart a path towards a more enjoyable way of life. Eames' designs have retained their relevance till the present day for this very reason. Hence, Reebok's redesign of the Club C alongside the Eames Office is an attempt to capture this exact quality - reimagining an iconic sneaker design for a new era. Over the course of the collaboration, Reebok, and the Eames Office attempted to stay true to the spirit of the original Club C, while incorporating their own innovations through the materials and processes they employed to bring the design to life.
From this conflict emerged the Club C Monotone Pack (Black & White) - a sneaker that inherently reflects the evergreen nature of Reebok’s original design, while pairing neatly with virtually any wardrobe. Original size tongue tags, squared-off window boxes, die-cut tooling, classic logos, and a restored internal arch bandage are among the heritage accents carried over from the older sneaker, with a custom Reebok x Eames print integrating the partnership into the very fabric of the design. True to its name, the collection offers two colour options - black and white, with woven ‘Eames’ tags and grey soles that artfully highlight the industrial imperatives which defined the products created by the Eames Office. As a contrast to the otherwise muted aesthetic of the shoe’s design, the insole is enlivened by a burst of bright colour in triangle prints, as an homage to Ray and Charles’ immaculate eye for detail.
Supplementing this collection, a second release - the Reebok x Eames Club C – Ray Eames Signature Pack will illustrate Ray Eames' penchant for visual art. The collection will integrate an assortment of Ray's works into the Club C's upper, including her Composition painting from 1939 and the Eames Dot Pattern textile print of 1947. The official announcement with details of the release is anticipated later this year.
In a similar vein, the packaging for both collections draws from the landmark Eames House (also known as Case Study House No. 8), which served as the couple's private residence from 1949 onwards. The structure is now emblematic of Ray and Charles’ embrace of industrial innovation and egalitarian architecture. As a fitting tribute, the home’s De Stijl-inspired façade design is recreated on the collection’s accompanying shoe box, as a mark of the Eameses’ pragmatic optimism, which defined much of the pair’s design exploits. Marrying Reebok’s sensibility for designing timeless streetwear with the innovation and artfully playful philosophy of the Eames Office, the re-engineered Club C sneaker is a reflection of the couple’s oft-quoted saying: "Take your pleasure seriously".