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Behind The Design of the Weartesters x Brandblack Rare Metal Collab

Behind The Design of the Weartesters x Brandblack Rare Metal Collab

Weartesters Brandblack Rare Metal Black Blue 1

Ready to drop this weekend is the collaboration between renowned sneaker performance review site WearTesters and Brandblack for a special colorway of the Rare Metal. A collaboration between the diehard basketball performance reviewers and Brandblack seems like a no-brainer, and after talking to WearTesters founder and head-honcho Chris Chase AKA Nightwing, it’s easy to see that the partnership was indeed a seamless, natural move between the two hoops-driven brands.

Check out the full story of the WearTesters x Brandblack Rare Metal colorway below in our exclusive interview, and expect the shoe to release this Saturday, May 13th at select retailers including Finish Line, BAIT, Blends, Major DC and Extra Butter.

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What is it that first attracted you to Brandblack?
Originally, I knew very little about the brand. It was pretty new and people there had reached out to see if I was interested in testing and reviewing their products. That’s usually the best way for performance brands to gain some exposure if they believe in the products they’ve built and don’t mind critical analysis.

Can you talk about how you first connected with the brand and how the relationship evolved from there?
Once Brandblack had reached out, they sent three pairs of shoes. The J Crossover 1, Raptor, and Raptor Low. I fell in love with the low tops and in my performance review I had compared the fit to that of a past favorite, the Kobe 5. After the review was published, the owner David reached out to me personally and asked how I knew the things I did about the product when the brand never gave me any information on them. He then asked if I’d like to wear-test for them prior to final production on their upcoming footwear. That’s pretty much where it all started—just a couple of shoe nerds that love basketball geeking out over some kicks.

As you built the relationship, how did the footwear collaboration come about?
That was something I never thought about while testing for the brand, but this first happened after I gave my feedback on the Ether and J Crossover 3. The JC3 I had tested was heavily critiqued while the Ether was a fantastic shoe. Both utilized the same tooling so the differences between the two were all in the upper construction. For whatever reason, my enthusiasm about the Ether wound up with the people at Brandblack asking if I wanted to design a pair. I thought it’d be a one of one thing at first but then they mentioned they’d want to take it to retail. Talk about geeking out! That was an official shoe nerd moment.

Weartesters Brandblack Rare Metal Black Blue 5

We saw you sent them rough sketches and they came back with a really nice cad. What was your reaction when you first saw it?
My first words were “Oh, shit!” They were so beautiful. The rendering was more than what I imagined in my head.

What are a few key things people should know about the latest collab?
It’s all about passion for performance footwear and love for the game of basketball. That’s what Brandblack is all about and that is what we at WearTesters are all about.

What has the feedback from your followers and community for the shoe been like?
They’ve been very supportive about it. I’m just ready to see people wearing them on and off the court. That’s one of those moments that you could never have dreamed of as a kid—seeing someone wearing a shoe you had a hand in creating. The best part is playing against someone wearing them. Nothing better than that.

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