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Maison Margiela Brings Back Reebok Instapump for Runway Collab

The unlikely lovechild of two iconic footwear looks dreamed up in the late 80s came to Paris Couture Week this month, courtesy of a high-low mashup.

Maison Margiela, the French luxury fashion house known for its haute couture and ready-to-wear collections, debuted a sneaker made in collaboration with Adidas-owned Reebok, along with the rest of its Spring/Summer 2020 collection—again showcasing the versatility and ubiquity of the retro sneaker trend.

“The shoe builds on Maison Margiela’s analyses of the conversation between humanity and technology in the digital age,” the fashion house said in a statement. “Employing the technical inventions of Reebok, it is a statement shoe for the age of the cyber-industrial revolution.”

The new silhouette is a hybridization of both Reebok’s Instapump Fury and Maison Margiela’s signature Tabi footwear. In 1994, Reebok released the Instapump with an eponymous, “trailblazing” new technology that allowed athletes to manipulate an air pump embedded in the shoe to inflate or deflate the fit of the sneakers, although the technology was actually created five years earlier.

Tabi, Maison Margiela’s signature shoe released in 1988, is known for its split-toe calfskin construction. The Maison Margiela x Reebok sneaker keeps both the exaggerated heel and the split-toe from the Tabi, while incorporating Instapump technology in a wrap around the upper.

Maison Margiela and Reebok have teamed up for a unique runway collaboration that incorporates the sneaker brand's Instapump technology
The version of the Maison Margiela x Reebok sneaker without a heel copies the sole design of the Maison’s Retro Fit sneaker, launched in May 2018. Maison Margiela/Reebok

Just like in the early 90s, one button inflates the air sack rooted in the upper while the other deflates it.

“Like the original Reebok sneaker, the outer sole and midsole are constructed from rubber and expansive foam across different color variations,” Maison Margiela said. “For optimized flexibility and stability, a sheet of Hexalite is integrated in the sole. On the heeled shoe, a Graphlite carbon shank connects the plateau and the heel of the sole.”

The collaboration speaks to the “conscious grammar and science of today,” re-evaluating the values of high society and the dress codes that often accompany its membership, the fashion house said. Considering Maison Margiela creative director John Galliano has only been known to work with high fashion, haute-couture partners, the collection itself marks a departure from business as usual.

Both the heeled and unheeled styles will launch globally later in 2020 with additional colorways, according to Maison Margiela, including all-black and all-white variations with various materials incorporated into the Instapump patch.