3 Questions for Reebok’s Todd Krinsky

Todd Krinsky is looking to invigorate one of Reebok’s most iconic styles. As the Classic Leather sneaker celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, Canton, Mass.-based Reebok is looking to introduce the style to a whole new generation.

“There’s always a place for those timeless silhouettes,” said Krinsky, global VP of lifestyle and entertainment marketing for Reebok. “We all know what they are and every brand has one or two of them.”

Back in 2010, the athletic brand dried up distribution of the Classic Leather to create more demand in the market. It was a move that Krinsky said was necessary for preserving the silhouette’s “cool factor.”

“At some point, every brand has to monitor the consumption of this type of product and make sure it stays relevant and cool to the next generation,” he said.

Now with a stronger Reebok Classic division, the brand is ready to roll out the shoes to the masses once again, this time with new storytellers.

This week, Reebok launched the City Pack, a collection of Classic Leathers that were remixed by streetwear legend Stash and other graffiti artists. The brand also tapped hip-hop newcomers Kirko Bangs, Travi$ Scott and Ace Hood for the shoe’s marketing campaign.

Here, Krinsky talks about bringing back an iconic style and what’s in store for the future.

1. The Classic Leather was off the market for almost three years. Why was now the right time to bring it back?
TK:
Three years was a good time for us to keep it out of the market, and with this year being the 30th anniversary, we felt it was a good time. We started last year by seeding the product and talking about the collaborations we wanted to do. It’s been a process for the last 18 months to get to this point. Over the last few years, we’ve worked really hard to elevate Reebok Classic, and it’s the right time to release the most-statement shoe we have.

2. What steps did you take over the last year to rebuild the buzz around the Classic Leather?
TK:
We got ourselves involved with some of the biggest influencers in sneaker culture, and we allowed them to do their own versions. We also have our certified network of retailers, which are some of the best sneaker shops across the world, like Packer Shoes in Teaneck, N.J.; Burn Rubber in Detroit; and Sneakers N Stuff in Sweden. We got with these guys and got them to do their own versions. Then we moved into the Stash pack, releasing this month. It was kind of this slow build, starting with the sneaker shops and influencers, and now it’s building up to be with some of the bigger names we’re working with, like Stash. The idea is to keep doing a lot of collaborations as we move forward.

3. What consumer group are you targeting with the latest Classic Leather?
TK:
The potential is huge for this younger generation. There are 16- and 17-year-old kids who haven’t worn them yet, but their older siblings had them. What we’re hoping is that this younger generation buys a pair. It’s been about mid-cut basketball for a long time, and we’re seeing a lot of consumers moving toward styles like the Classic Leather in Europe and pockets of Asia. And it’s definitely starting to swing in the U.S.