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NEW YORK The amazing return of 80’s aesthetics couldn’t have been timed better for shoe company Reebok, which just celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Freestyle sneaker. In honor of the occasion, Reebok mounted “Freestyle Forever,” a celebration of the shoe’s past, and the present- day limited- edition anniversary collection.
Cecelia Paglia, Reebok’s director of global event marketing, selected an 80’s theme for the event, a nod to the decade in which the sneaker achieved iconic status. Culture Club, the retro club with a neon Pac Man- and dangling Rubik’s Cubes-graced interior, seemed like the perfect venue. “My eyes lit up when we saw it,” Paglia said. “It was the venue that really spoke to the early 80’s the best.” Paglia considered raw spaces as well, but Culture Club came equipped with much of the decor built in.
Paglia enlisted plenty of totally rad elements for the event. Period-appropriate MTV VJ “Downtown” Julie Brown worked as a “mock reporter” on the red carpet, Salt N Pepa’s Spinderella DJed, and 80’s band the English Beat performed. A central elevated stage showcased a break-dancing performance as well as women zipping around in Freestyles fashioned into roller skates. Guests including Cybill Shepherd (who wore Reeboks to the 1985 Emmys), Brooke Shields, and Tara Reid snacked on corn dogs, Pop Rocks, and Pixy Stix.
Paglia said that Adidas’s acquisition of Reebok last year has resulted in additional resources for her company. But, she added, “We are still Reebok, with our own personality and place in the market, and we continue to produce events from that positioning.” From working out to going out, “Reebok has always been [about] celebrating 24 hours a day,” she said. Paglia wanted the bash to pay homage to the shoe’s legacy in both the athletic and the fashion worlds.
Photos: Chris Trotman/Getty Images (sneaker display, shoe balloons)