Sneaker News Top 30 of 2012
8 | REEBOK QUESTION
“Reebok back.” That slogan has been thrown around for a couple of years now as a mantra that promised the brand’s return to former glory, a return to the days when there was far more parity with other sportswear giants like adidas and Nike. The phrase has never held truer than in 2012, wherein the Vector Brand made a huge statement in the retro scene with the re-introduction of the Reebok Question, renegade baller Allen Iverson’s first signature sneaker. AI remains probably the closest thing any other brand has to a Michael Jordan figure, having amassed a loyal fan following during his prime for his on and off court flair, and there’s no reason why his story and the surrounding sneakers can’t reclaim their relevance in a market so thirsty for reissues.
The story began with the return of two important original colorways, the white/red and the white/navy, both utilizing a clean white base and slapping on their bits of color with a pearlized tint on the toe and back tab. The navy among that duo had a particular significance for Iverson fans, being the same colorway he donned during that immortal highlight reel moment wherein AI put an ankle breaking crossover on His Airness. From then on Reebok handed the reins over to a few outside partners, partnering with a couple of US sneaker retail institutions to further spread the Reebok Question message.
Detroit’s Burn Rubber was first up, rechristening the model as the Reebok Inquiry and whipping up a backstory featuring the fictional tragic bad boy superstar, Apollos Young. Adding some ample hometown flavor, the “Inquiry” version featured a throwback color combo based on the Pistons’ infamous 90′s uniforms. Later it was the mighty Packer Shoes of Teaneck, New Jersey, who kept things locked
on Iverson with two separate editions. The first came with inspiration from one of Iverson’s most memorable off court moments – the legendary “Practice” press conference. The sneaker pushed a bit more color onto the model than the inline styles, with gold embroidery, a translucent cherry red sole, and a deep blue base helping to capture the Philly feel along with 7/6 heel stitching replacing the standard 3 from the originals. The second Packer Shoes x Reebok Question release came with a sharp red nubuck covering the entire upper, again throwing in hits of blue and white to bring the Sixers theme to life and giving the classic model a taste of the gum sole treatment as the finishing touch.
With respect to this year’s Reebok Question retro comeback campaign, Reebok did just about everything right with this one. They recognized the importance of slapping a definite release date on the return of the 1996 classic and positioning it in the right places to help boost street cred. They also had a powerful cultural arbiter on their side in the form of Swizz Beatz, who took to social media spheres to promote these, and plenty of other releases, with a real passion that seemed to extend beyond whatever contract he’s got in place. They even brought back some other pieces from the AI line to similar fanfare, with the Reebok Answer IV picking up quite a few more followers this year in the process. And this is only the beginning for Reebok Classics as the success of the Question this year gives them all the momentum they need to re-introduce folks to their gigantic catalog of worthy throwbacks. With retros from the Shaq and Shawn Kemp lines apparently on their way, Reebok is indeed back, and it’s safe to say they’ve got a few more welcome blasts from the past still on the way.