Last year, Los Angeles native and jewelry designer Melody Ehsani teamed up with Reebok to create a set of spiked python sneakers for Reebok's BETWIXT program. Comprised of a python-inspired upper, spikes, and neon colors, the sneaker gives off a tough yet playful vibe and appeals to a wide variety of women. With the success of the initial collaboration between Melody and Reebok it was only natural that we would see another push of the "Love Shoe" sneaker. This time around Melody dressed the shoe in metallic gold and silver and added a touch of color to the collar with pink and black stripes.
To celebrate the fourth colorway of the "Love Shoe," Melody and Reebok Classic threw a launch party at Melody's Los Angeles retail store, Melody Ehsani, on July 26th. The event featured amazing cocktails, a nail shop for VIP guests, and a legendary performance by the king of beatbox, Mr. Doug E. Fresh. Check out a short interview with Melody in which she speaks on the "Love Shoe" and what it was like to work with Reebok Classic.
Interview by Jeffrey Jason (@iamjeffreyjason)
What was your inspiration behind the original design of the "Love Shoe" with Reebok Classic?
I have this mentor and one of the things she taught me is that "love is the only nutrient in the world that can be expressed." I found it very interesting because I think of nutrients as vitamins or things that you intake. It, to me, is a crazy concept of love as it is a vitamin that it is the only one that you can give. That idea was my main inspiration and my goal was to infuse the shoe with my sense of purpose and that is why I added all my favorite quotes, in my hand writing, to the lining of the shoe. I really connect with the python skin as I feel it is something that is really beautiful but can also be dangerous and strong. I just really appreciate things that have dimension and multiple sides.
Were there any limitations or boundaries set by Reebok during the design process?
They were very trusting of my style, which was really great. It was definitely a collaborative effort. I think that their motivation behind the collab was to give women more of a platform. They were really supportive of my design ideas and I didn't really have any road blocks. Occasionally, I would request a certain material and they would be like, "Awww, we can't find the material." or they would say there were certain time restrictions. When I work independently I am not restricted to work within seasons or deadlines so that was the only challenge. Aside from that, it was really easy.
Would you ever consider working on a men's sneaker?
Absolutely. Yeah, I think that right now my main inspiration is women's stuff because I was the one that grew up wearing all the men's stuff because there wasn't enough options for women. You would have to wear the Pumps and wait for the children's shoes to come out. They all seemed to be geared towards men or little boys. Because I see such a hole in the market for that right now my driving force is to make stuff that will connect to women but still have that edge. Not every women's sneaker has to be pink.
Is there a specific celebrity that you would love to see wearing your Reebok sneaker?
Yeah, absolutely. Lauryn Hill is like my favorite artist of all-time and her music is what I grew up on. She has them and she has been really supportive of the brand. That was really exciting. When people post pictures on Instagram and tag me I am like, "oh my god." I trip out.
Do you think what you are doing with Reebok will inspire other women designers to want to collaborate with major sneaker companies?
Absolutely, absolutely. That is the goal. I think up until now there has been a shift in style whereas women feel like they have to dress like boys and can't dress like women without being too "girly." I really want to encourage women to implement masculinity without dressing like boys.
Do you ever see yourself collaborating with another company or even working on another Reebok model?
Yeah, absolutely. I just signed a deal with Reebok and over the next two years we will be doing four shoes. They will all be Reebok Classics . The next one is going to be a Pump, I am really excited! The will be dropping on Valentine's Day 2014.
Now that you have an idea of what went on during the "Love Shoe" design process check out the video of the July 26th release party below.