Reebok is teaming up with global designers to explore the potential of Flexweave, its latest footwear innovation set to debut for spring.
The footwear giant teamed up with Joe Doucet x Partners, Modla and Odd Matter to develop a custom collection of fitness prototypes with Flexweave footwear technology. What makes Flexweave appealing to multiple industries is its open figure-8 construction, which bonds unlimited fiber strands to create a single service construction that’s durable and lightweight. Appealing to multiple industries, Flexweave will enable designers to deliver on consumers’ expectations for functional products and performance.
“Flexweave is going to a major part of the Reebok DNA moving forward,” said Reebok Running global marketing director James Woolard. “With this creative and imaginative project, we’ve achieved exactly what we set out to do—demonstrate through collaborations in other fields what Flexweave can truly achieve when put to the ultimate test.”
The Flexweave collection features three key workout products—running gloves, an altitude training mask and an ‘active sitting’ chair—that are made with the chenille yarn used in the first generation of Reebok’s Flexweave footwear.
New York-based Joe Doucet x Partners developed a pair of Reebok Flexweave running gloves that are lightweight for maximum comfort, absorb sweat during exercise activity and conform to the wearer’s hand. What’s more, the prototype can be upgraded to include a new GPS feature that would use flashing LED lights to guide wearers to their destinations.
“My inspiration was to capture the unique qualities of the Flexweave technology through something advantageous to an active lifestyle. The strength, flexibility and multi surface durability of Flexweave led me to the idea of a ‘smart’ running glove with a sleek, stylish silhouette,” said creative director Joe Doucet. “With the form crafted by Flexweave, the next stage of development would be GPS integration paving the way to a new frontier in wearable technology.”
[Read more about footwear technology: Carbon Announces $200M in Funding to Accelerate Digital 3-D Manufacturing]
Modla, a London-based artistic design house, leveraged 3-D technology and Flexweave to create an altitude training mask. Co-founders Jon Fidler and Richard Goddard 3-D printed Flexweave across the mask’s nose and mouth, and used Flexweave in the mask’s facial strap for optimal comfort during intense training workouts.
“As it happens, the Flexweave material provided even more benefit than just the aesthetic and was amazing to work with,” said Fidler. “It’s strong and durable, so perfect for a product that will get a lot of wear and tear, while also incredibly lightweight, making it breathable on the face for athletes when training.”
Rotterdam-based design house Odd Matter also incorporated Flexweave material to create non-wearable objects. Combining Flexweave and malleable EVA foam, the design duo’s new series of ‘active sitting’ chairs allow users to comfortably exercises—including crunches and stretches—to prevent muscle tension.
“Working with the Flexweave was very interesting, for instance when cutting it in different directions you straight away notice the differences between the fibers and the technical properties of the Flexweave,” said Odd Matter co-founder Els Woldhek. “This in turn has made us really curious about everything else that is possible with the technology.”
Flexweave was created by the Reebok Innovation Collective, a company division that works with other industry leaders to advance apparel and footwear innovation. Reebok Innovation Collective aims to disrupt the current apparel and footwear sectors with new developments, including Flexweave that are functional for multiple products and consumers’ lifestyles.
“The Reebok Innovation Collection champions the pursuit of partnerships and innovations that will continue propelling the brand forward in spaces like fitness, fashion and footwear,” Woolard added. “Flexweave represents a huge step forward in footwear upper technology and brings with it a wave of anticipation and excitement for what the future holds for this brand.”
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