Reebok missed an opportunity with its recent Reebok x Basquiat release.

These projects work best when an outside artist is contracted to design a shoe or a series of shoes. Think: KAWS x NIKE

KANYE X NIKE

JEFF STAPLE X NIKE

Other examples of great collaborative work between artists and companies include these skatedecks by Supreme: JEFF KOONS X SUPREME

DAMIEN HIRST X SUPREME

Given Basquiat's death, a direct collabo is out of the question, but why not do something more interesting than just have an internal design department create the line? Do something with Julian Schnabel or Fab 5 Freddy, artists who knew and worked with Jean-Michel.  The uniqueness of the story and the collaboration that underlies the creation of these products is a big part of what makes them art, or not, in my mind. I first discovered Basquiat's work when I was in high school and have been enamored ever since, traveling to several museums inside and out of the U.S. to see his work.  Moreover, I think the juncture where artists collaborate with companies on original renditions of classic or new products enriches our popular culture.  This particular project posed a unique opportunity for Reebok. Regardless of its success or not, I'm turned off to the brand and the product.   If only they would have followed through with something more interesting or subtle than a series of shoes with Basquiat paintings imposed on them.  

 

JNOMICS

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