Freebandz Creative Director Fred Foster Talks Future & Reebok Collaboration at NYC Pop-Up Shop

Billboard

Although Drake postponed the remaining stops of his Summer Sixteen tour due to an ankle injury, fans of the Toronto rapper's co-headliner Future can still get a taste of his style courtesy of the Reebok Fury pop-up shop.

The two-day event is nestled in a dark bilevel space in Midtown Manhattan lit by white spotlights and smoke machines that housed an archive of 20 different Instapump Fury sneakers. These included the original 1994 design, a pair from the Chanel partnership, alongside a set of red and blue kicks in association with 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man. 


As you walk toward the center of the space, pairs of the 2016 interpretation line the middle table. The black-and-white "Overbrand" silhouette carries a '90s-inspired logo and a "futuristic" vibe that the current generation can rock, according to Reebok vice president Todd Krinsky. "In the U.S., kids may not know how to really wear those shoes because it's different -- there's no laces, it's kind of a chunky mid-sole. So a guy like Future really styles it up and younger kids see how you can rock it," said Krinsky.


Reebok's partnership with Future is no new phenomenon, as the Boston-based company has hip-hop roots like its 2001 campaign with rapper Jay Z. "Early on, we realized young consumers looked to both athletes and musicians for inspiration, but the industry really didn't accept it nor acknowledge it, and we said, let's change the game a little bit and see what happens," Krindsky added. "Now you have athletes and musicians that can sell product [with Reebok]."


When the Atlanta rapper was announced as the latest performer to join the Reebok team this July, he debuted the sneaker to his Instagram followers. Now, his fans have the chance to purchase pieces from his capsule collection at the New York pop-up shop -- which will take place Tuesday (Oct. 11) and Wednesday -- or at Reebok.com. Additional items for purchase include a black windbreaker with white detailing on the front and right sleeve, a white and black long-sleeve T-shirt, and a black tee that combines the Freebandz and Reebok logos.

According to Freebandz creative director Fred Foster (who met the rapper on the set of a music video), the black and white color palette was to offer sporty yet stylish everyday pieces. "Since this is the beginning of our relationship with Reebok, we wanted to keep it as minimal as possible while keeping the [individual brand] identities, and go from there. We plan on building a lot more in the future," said Foster.


Future's right-hand creative director helped organize two other pop-up shops this year and believes they are beneficial to connecting artists with the customers and fans. "Getting to know their names and faces while on tour tightens that bond between the [Freebandz] family," he added. 

As for what's next for the Reebok and Freebandz collaboration, Krinsky teases more merch. "We have another shoe coming out in the spring that he's going to be involved in and he has a Freebandz version of it," he said. "Talking to Future on tour about his personal style, he was super collaborative and into the process." He noted that "a lot was coming from him" by 2017. 

To hold the Futurehive over until the next Freebandz collaboration, watch the 47-second campaign video below.