35 Years of Reebok Club C - History of an Icon
There are silhouettes whose potential increases with time. One of these "late bloomers" is the Reebok Club C. Initially conceived as a high-performance tennis shoe, the Club C has since risen to become one of the most popular silhouettes in the sneaker game and has long been a fixture in the lifestyle sector.
Special Edition for the anniversary shines with many details
For the 35th anniversary of the Club C brings us Reebok two models of the popular Club C 85 Vintage version. Both shoes are true collector's items and feature a color patch on the side (Collegiate Navy and Glen Green, respectively). On the heel tabs there is a two-part embossing with the year of release ("19" on the left side, "85" on the right side).
The currently popular "Inside Out" idea is also taken up. A label with the model name (Club C 35th Anniversary, 1985 - 2020), colorway and model number is placed on the tongue and . The soft terrycloth lining ensures an extra high wearing comfort. The Reebok Club C 35th Anniversary is delivered with a special anniversary packaging and hang tag, whose motif is also applied to the insole. While the heel tabs and lining on the navy variant are color-matched, everything on the green colorway is kept in plain white with the exception of the color patch.
In its 35-year career, the Club C looks back on an impressive development. When the shoe was introduced in 1985, Reebok was just entering the lucrative tennis business. Fueled by the success the Boston-based brand was enjoying with models like the Freestyle in the booming fitness and aerobics scene of the early '80s - thanks to Jane Fonda - Reebok enthusiastically ventured into new territory. The year before, Reebok's first ever tennis shoe, the Phase I, hit the shelves and immediately garnered a 7.7% market share in the U.S. territory. The Phase I Pro and Phase 1 Nylon followed later.
Breakthrough without a sports ambassador
Based on the Revenge Plus model, the Club C was developed under the direction of Paul Brown with the goal of addressing the club player seeking a durable performance tennis shoe. This intent is reflected in the naming - the "C" in "Club C" stands for "Champion." While Reebok expanded its line of tennis shoes to include models like the Club Classic and Monterey, the drawing card remained the Club C. The amazing thing is that unlike competitors like adidas or Nikewho, with Stan Smith and John McEnroe, respectively, engaged a professional athlete as ambassador for their tennis shoe, Reebok refrained (wicked tongues would call it an omission) from using the advertising power of a tennis player.
1993 marked another milestone in the shoe's history: after the Club C also appeared in women's sizes for the first time in the middle of the year, Reebok carried the Club C and Club C Canvas in its in-house Classics category starting in the fall, finally paving the way from the court to the streets, catwalks and even skate parks. After a bit of a dry spell in the early 2000s, the Club C temporarily disappeared from the scene, only to make an impressive comeback in 2015 in the burgeoning white sneaker and tennis shoe trend. Collabs with Kendrick Lamar and Gigi Hadid did the rest to cement the shoe's cult status and give it a high profile in the sneaker community. With or without testimonials, the Club C has undoubtedly withstood the famous test of time.