Bringing again a shoe from years previous isn’t any straightforward feat. On the designer stage, duties like sourcing hard-to-find archive fashions, re-creating molds, and discovering comparable supplies can halt a retro mission earlier than it will get off the bottom. By the point the shoe winds up within the palms of a nostalgic client, they’re prepared to select it aside with a magnifying glass to see the way it matches as much as the unique. It may be a frightening course of—there are a number of tales within the sneaker trade of retros being deserted or considerably altered resulting from these limitations—however when manufacturers are capable of nail it, the juice is greater than definitely worth the squeeze.
For Oakley, which is understood extra for its eyewear than its footwear, there’s much less of a precedent in the case of bringing footwear again. Reissuing its Eye Jacket glasses (made well-known by Michael Jordan) or the fan-favorite Frogskins is one factor. Re-creating a shoe that’s over twenty years previous is a distinct beast solely. Would a model that’s not a serious participant within the sneaker house have the ability to get it proper?
Enter Brain Dead, the Los Angeles-based clothes model that founder Kyle Ng says features as extra of an thought firm than a product pusher. A longtime fan of the eyewear firm, Ng had a specific affinity for the obscure Oakley Flesh, a slip-on shoe launched by the model in 2000. Regardless of being off of cabinets for 20-plus years, the Flesh has managed to seek out relevance with right this moment’s moodboard-driven social media consumption, recurrently showing on curated Instagram accounts.
Mind Useless and Oakley’s preliminary talks revolved round engaged on glasses, however plans modified after Francesco Milleri, CEO of Oakley mum or dad firm Luxottica, instructed that Ng’s crew work on footwear. Then, when Ng and Brian Takumi, vice chairman of product inventive catalyst at Oakley, started plotting a Mind Useless x Oakley collaboration, they noticed the potential for one thing larger. Fairly than a one-off collab, the 2 entities have come collectively to launch the Oakley Manufacturing unit Staff, a reimagining of experimental Oakley tasks from the previous seen via a futuristic lens.
The primary launch from the Mind Useless-assisted Oakley Manufacturing unit Staff is the Flesh, which releases right this moment in two colorways with up to date design particulars for $165 apiece from wearebraindead.com. A 3rd non-collaboration colorway launches Might 3 for $155. Forward of the drop, we caught up with Ng and Takumi to seek out out precisely what the Oakley Manufacturing unit Staff is, what the method of reissuing the Flesh was like, and what we are able to anticipate down the street. The interview, calmly edited for readability, seems under.