On April 29, 2022, Yellowbrick, Reebok, APB, and JFF will release a pair of sneakers designed by Isaac “Ikey” Reeves, a student from Yellowbrick’s Reebok x Sneakers Essentials. The exciting new student project results from an intensive 12-week online course featuring 36 learners between the ages of 17 and 20. For their capstone projects, students designed a sneaker. The winning design went into production for an online and nationwide APB release. Reeves, an aspiring creative director and artist based in Lafayette, Indiana, designed the winning sneaker dubbed “Duality.” In addition, Ashley Hamilton and Ben Gass were selected to be part of his marketing and creative team. The APB x Yellowbrick x Reebok Classic Leather Legacy “Duality” will be limited to 150 numbered pairs.
Yellowbrick’s Reebok x Sneaker Essentials is a revamped version of their Sneaker Essentials course with the Fashion Institute of Technology and Complex. The online course began in the Spring of 2021 and featured live mentorship from experts at Reebok and APB. This sneaker course took students through all facets of the sneaker industry, including development, design, sales, marketing, and the consumer-to-consumer retail market. After the program, all participants produced a final project that included a sneaker design, production, and retail and marketing strategies.
All of the projects were impressive, but Reeves’s design stood out. The low-cut runner features bright yellow hues accented by blue and a burnt orange ombre pattern. Reeves wanted the design to be multifunctional and drew inspiration from his own life. “When thinking about the project and how I wanted to go forward with the shoe design, I always went back to my experience living in New York,” he said. “The two things that always stood out to me [in the city] were the style and the nightlife. I knew that whatever I created for the project, I wanted it to have two sides. I went through the dictionary to find a word to fit the shoe and came up with ‘duality.’”
The up-and-coming designer has long held an interest in the sneaker industry and spent his time moonlighting as a customizer in college. “Customizing sneakers was an escape for me — I was a computer engineering major [in college], and I hated it. However, I loved art, and I’d been studying customizing sneakers for years. That developed into an appreciation for sneakers and sneaker history.”
Reeves found out about Reebok X Sneaker Essentials through Instagram. Despite some initial hesitation, he applied, and the process changed his life. “Over the past year, many friends and family have asked me, ‘how do you feel about your shoe being sold at a boutique,’ and it still really hasn’t hit me,” he said. “Being able to hold my shoe physically, and now it will be sold. It’s truly amazing. This is literally mind-blowing.”
I knew that whatever I created for the project, I wanted it to have two sides. I went through the dictionary to find a word to fit the shoe and came up with ‘duality.’
While the past year has been a whirlwind, Reeves is excited about his future. “I really want to thank the entire Reebok team and the entire Yellowbrick team for this opportunity and for believing in my vision and creation.” He has plans to release a film documenting his first product release and plans to keep working on establishing himself as a designer. “I’m super excited for what’s coming next. I get to see my shoe in the APB store. I got to work with such an amazing team to help my vision come to fruition.”
For more information on the Reebok x Sneaker Essentials course or about Reebok jobs in the sneaker industry, check out Yellowbrick’s Mini-Course: An Introduction To Sneaker Jobs.