Reebok and adidas drop their new collaborative effort tomorrow (Friday, 8/7) that celebrates Allen Iverson and James Hardens’ first signature shoes. This is the second time Reebok and adidas have partnered for a cross-brand release – the Instapump Furry BOOST being the first. The collab is insane, lets start there. They spectacularly blend the adidas Harden Vol. 1’s “Pioneer” colorway with AI’s iconic Reebok Question, but there’s so much more behind this story. If AI and Harden are known for anything, then they’re known for offensive outpourings and polarizing senses of style. Lets dive more into the fashion portion of this story.
Times change and en vogue fashions evolve, but the drip never ages. Since the advent of televised sports certain athletes have used the opportunity to express themselves through on-court play and off-court style. There was the Walt Frazier and Wilt Chamberlain drip of the ’60s & ’70s, and Mike Jordan swag of the ’80s, but no one in sports history changed player style like Allen Iverson in the 1990s and ’00s.
At the time, AI’s fits were deemed too hood, not suitable for TV, and/or disgraceful by the media, (and if we’re being honest, White America) but the black community saw someone that looked like them. They saw someone who represented passion and grit, they saw someone… relatable. Everything from his music choices to his shoes was contemporary to millions of adoring fans. The NBA changing their dress code rules in 2005 to combat players dressing like AI couldn’t stop the infectious drip – AI’s cultural impact had already been made. Kids like James Harden [and LeBron James, Robbie, Nick, Mike, and Rohit] that grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s saw Allen Iverson as a role model – no matter how contrary that might’ve been to others’ perspectives. The 76ers star was unapologetically authentic to himself, and that might be Allen’s greatest strength.
Fast forward twenty years and we have James Harden doing much of what Iverson did before him. Anything worn by James before or after the game can lead to thousands of unrequested suggestions on how he should be dressing. Delivering a troll comment in 1999 looks nothing like it does in 2020 (lol), but the hate is still the same.
Both NBA greats are incredible talents with unrelenting offensive games, and both share an acute sense of style; but like we said at the top, fashion changes but the drip never ages. You can’t directly compare their drips head-to-head, much like you can’t compare a ’67 Mustang and a 2020 Mustang. But their “what I eat don’t make you shit” bravado does translate.
Fashion in Allen’s era was all about ice (jewelry), tall tees, and jerseys – something that would be considered leisurewear by today’s standards. While James and the new school call for much more fitted garments that don’t adhere to many traditional rules of style. You can look like a million-dollar construction worker on Monday, and a Paris Fashion Week model on Tuesday… anything goes. But what shines through with Allen and James’ styles is the authenticity. Neither man particularly cares what haters think of their clothes, and that confidence makes any outfit infinitely better (that’s a good life tip, people, always do you). At the end of the day, style is completely subjective, so why care what someone else thinks? We’d be salty if we got lit up for 30+ too.
We hope you enjoyed this little trip down drip memory lane. The new Reebok “OG Meets OG” Question Mid drops 8/7 for $150 at Reebok.com and the Footlocker Family of retailers.