Based in Boston’s Innovation District, Artists For Humanity (AFH) is a nonprofit providing creative jobs for creative youth. Artists For Humanity’s mission is to bridge economic, racial, and social divisions by providing under-resourced teens with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. AFH’s mission is built on twin philosophies: engagement in the creative process is a powerful force for social change, and creative entrepreneurship is a productive and life-changing opportunity for young people and their communities.
The Reebok Classics collaboration with Artists for Humanity allows us to deliver a unique product experience to consumers around the world by tapping into the mindset and culture of today’s youth. It also presents an opportunity for our brand to help mentor young adults in the local community while allowing them to provide their perspective of the brand’s history through the product they build.
JONATHAN ‘PINEAPPLE’ TEJEDA+ KATHLEEN ‘KAT’ CANOLA
The Club C design was inspired by William The Conqueror’s coat of arms, one of England’s most influential kings. The red from the shield itself, the yellow from the two lions and blue from the claws were all incorporated into the shoe’s design. The 1066 on the heel of both shoes represents the year the Battle of Hastings started, fought between Duke William I of Normandy and Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson, which launched the Norman conquest of England. Lastly, the Tudor Rose was added because it is one of the most famous royal symbols of England, originating from the Tudor dynasty. To tie it all together, the Tudor Rose was hand-painted using watercolor mimicking the style of English bone china.
The Reebok Classic Leather designed by Artists For Humanity was inspired by the geographical landscape surrounding Reebok’s founding city, Bolton, in Northwest England and Reebok’s current headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts. The subtle contours on the front and back of the sneaker are an interpretation of the geography of both regions. While the gold lettering on the heels of the sneakers represents the tallest peak in New England, Mount Washington at 6,289 feet, the gold lettering on the medial side of the shoe represents the tallest peak in Bolton, Winter Hill at 1,405 feet. The quarter panel was hand-painted to represent the Atlantic Ocean, which resides between both locations.
THORNTON 'SPARTICUS' NGUYEN
The Reebok Workout Plus was designed to represent a young person’s journey in life, so rocket ships and astronauts were my inspiration. Like a rocket’s journey – whose end is uncertain – we, as teens, do not know for sure where we will end up. A mixture of red, orange, pink and ivory symbolically represent a transitional mood of difficulty and uncertainty. Symbolically, this is where the rocket ship lifts off causing a large fiery dust cloud in its wake. I named the design “The Struggle Clouds” as a result. The navy on the soles and insoles of the shoes are grounding and provide comfort (both literally and metaphorically) reminding us that there are supportive individuals here for us, inspiring us to stay true to one path. That path starts with curiosity and exploration.
Source: Artist For Humanity