Dezeen Magazine

Eames Elephant trainer by Reebok

Reebok recreates Eames Elephant as trainer

Sportswear brand Reebok has collaborated with Eames Office to release a collection of trainers that reimagines furniture and toys designed by Charles and Ray Eames.

Named Eames Office x Reebok Classic Leather, the collection reimagines three classic designs items created by the Eameses – the Eames Elephant, rosewood material and Eames Coloring Toy – as trainers.

Eames Elephant trainer by Reebok
Reebok has turned the Eames Elephant into a trainer

It is the second collaboration between Reebok and Eames Office that aims to celebrate the legacy of the celebrated 20th-century designers.

"The partnership aims to preserve and spotlight the Eameses, educating both old and new about their history and legacy," said Reebok footwear designer Nathan Chang. "With our previous collection, we highlighted Charles and Ray themselves — for this second season we wanted to speak to Charles and Ray Eames' work in furniture design."

Eames Elephant trainer by Reebok
It has a removable elephant head

Each of the trainers takes the Reebok Classic Leather as a base and incorporates elements from one of the Eameses' original designers.

The Classic Leather Elephant trainer was informed by the Eames Elephant children's toy, which was developed by the designers in the 1940s.

The distinctive shape of the toy has been added to the trainer as a removable elephant face that covers the laces.

The trainers have been made in bright lime and red colours, as well as a more traditional Elephant grey.

Red Reebok trainer
The design is based on a Reebok Classic Leather trainer

"We had actually started with a full range down to infant sizing, intended to mirror the way the Elephant functions as both a children's toy and display sculpture," added Chang.

"Within our collection, the Elephants stand as the brightest design and speak to the Eameses' playful nature."

Eames Coloring Toy trainer
Classic Leather The Coloring Toy is based on a toy designed by the Eameses

The other two trainers in the collection take their decoration from the Eames Coloring Toy and the rosewood material that was often used by the Eameses for furniture.

The Classic Leather The Coloring Toy is covered in geometric outlines, which people can colour in to create their own unique shoes. Its insole features the original Eames Coloring Toy logo.

For the Classic Leather Rosewood, Reebok mimicked the woodgrain appearance of rosewood, which forms part of several chairs and ottomans designed by the couple.

The Classic Leather Rosewood
The Classic Leather Rosewood mimics the pattern of rosewood

With the collection, Reebok was aiming to balance wearability with collectibility.

"When it comes to footwear, you're trying to play in a range between a wearable piece for everyday and a display piece for collectors.

"The Eameses also played within this balance, from efficient systems like their Tandem Sling seating to playful toys like the Elephant. This season we've leaned into more expressive colors and materials that contrast the essentials from last season."

A shoebox with the Ray Eames house patten
The shoebox is informed by the Eames house

As with the previous collection, all of the shoes will be packaged in a shoebox informed Eames house — also known as Case Study House No. 8 in Los Angeles.

The work of Charles and Ray Eames, who are considered to be two of the most influential designers of the 20th century, was recently highlighted in an exhibition to mark the 80th anniversary of Eames Office being established. Their grandson, Eames Demetrios, shared his highlights from the show with Dezeen.

More images

Classic Leather The Coloring Toy trainer
Classic Leather The Coloring Toy trainer
Classic Leather The Coloring Toy trainer
Classic Leather The Coloring Toy trainer
Eames Elephant trainer
Eames Elephant trainer
Eames Elephant trainer
Eames Elephant trainer
Eames Elephant trainer
Eames Elephant trainer