London skate brand Palace has a mystique about it, and its recent collaborations with Reebok Classics, which started last year, have been able to blend English street culture and skateboarding for anyone who likes a dope pair of sneakers.
Last year, Reebok and Palace worked on a collection of Workout Lows and Classic Leathers, and this year they released a newer version of the Workout Low with a vulcanized sole—making the sneakers even better for skateboarding. The U.S. drop already took place at Supreme a few weeks ago, but for those who missed out, they release at End in the U.K. today.
A lot of people know that the Palace x Reebok Classics sneakers have a special place within the sneaker world, but not too many know the story behind the sneakers. To get a better understanding of the collaboration, we talked to Lev Tanju, the founder of Palace, and here's what he had to say.
How important was it for you to work with Reebok, given the brand's history in England?
It was very important. Reebok is special to us. We all grew up around it and wearing it.
How did you come up with the idea of putting a vulcanized sole on the Workout Low, and did it have any challenges?
It seemed like a great thing to do. It made it more affordable and better to skateboard in. It wasn't a massive technical thing to do, so Reebok had no problem doing it.
How did you decide to partner with Supreme as the only U.S. shop that sells the collection?
There was loads of the team work between the stores, and they are just safe geezers with lovely shops. I want these shoes to be in a nice shop that knows about skateboarding. We didn't make a huge amount of the shoes so for the U.S. so we decided to just have Supreme (New York and Los Angeles) be the two shops you can get them from. Nice and simple.
What Reebok sneaker would you design that you haven't worked on yet?
Maybe some kind of mid top. But there are so many good silhouettes that would be tight to skate in.
What role, if any, did it play designing the sneakers so you can skate and "chill" in them?
We just wanted to work with the Workout because it's one of our favorite shoes of all time. I think the reason we like it is the fact that it wasn't made to be skated in but, it is so good to skate in.
What role do you think "athletic" sneakers have in skateboarding?
I don't think they play any particular role, but I think they have always been around in skateboarding. I have been a fan of a few like the Jason Dill Vita shoe and the first Lakai Mike Carroll shoe, even though they were both copies of some adidas and Timberland trainer silhouettes. They just offer a different look, but I don't think they sell as much as simple, flat-sole shoes.
Blondey and Torey love skating in the shoes. So we are just happy doing cool stuff here and there together.