Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reebok & Nelly

Nelly is now doing press to promote his Reebok Derrty One sneakers. Here's a little clip from a recent People magazine interview with him, which, if you read closely, you'll realize that for most of his life he's basically been a Nike man--this is the dude that penned a song about Air Force Ones, after all! But Nelly's a very smart cat, note that he lands back on his feet when he big-ups Reebok Pumps later in the interview.

What kinds of shoes did you wear when you were a kid?
Chuck Taylors at that time were like $15, so those were like the best things that I could get. And then he came out--Michael Jordan--and it was a wrap from there. It was like you're buggin' your mom and she can't afford it. At that time I think the shoes were like 50 bucks and that was unheard of. Now you hope to get a pair for 55 bucks!

Any inspiration from the past?
I was definitely more of an athlete when I was a kid, but I think it's changed so much because those were the days when athletes set the trends. It's totally different now. The athletes look to the entertainers and what we're wearing, what we have on.

Any thoughts on the NBA’s ban of some hip-hop styles?
It's a business. You work for the NBA. The NBA says there's a dress code, there's a dress code. It's just that simple. If I own a business and I come in and say, "Yo, I want everybody to wear this," then that's what you have to do.

As a kid, anything exciting happen on the basketball court in shoes that you loved?
I remember when the pumps first came out, and I remember the first time I put those on, I grabbed the rim! I don't know if it was the shoes...I think I was a sophomore maybe in high school. I was like whoa!

What makes a great sneaker?
The toe. It's all in the toe.

And now here are the shoes themselves:

They're not bad at all. Like the Derrty "One" name implies, they're Air Force One knock-offs, but the bigger issue is that first, classics are on a downtrend right now and even Nike's Air Force One isn't selling it like it used to, and second, the Reebok brand is like poison right now. I chat with a lot of buyers and I can't tell you with confidence that I have no idea who is going to be buying this shoe. I imagine Reebok will finagle some deal with Foot Locker, but even Nelly with his winning personality and upbeat ways is going to have a hard time overcoming the brand's lack of credibility.

Shout out to Young, Black & Fabulous, where I first spotted the interview

No comments: