GO GLOBAL WITH MAISON MARGIELA: AUSTRALIA
Across four continents, Maison Margiela x Reebok’s latest collaboration is essential for exploring roads less traveled
Maison Margiela joins forces with American sportswear brand Reebok for a sneaker collaboration you never thought you needed. Using the concept of decortiqué that is so integral to the luxury haute couture’s brand identity, Maison Margiela reinterprets Reebok’s 1985 Classic Leather runner into the Classic Leather Tabi High, a new high-top leather trainer. Decortiqué is a technical process pioneered by the French fashion house, whereby a garment is deconstructed to its core structural elements.
By employing this technique, Creative Director John Galliano exposes the shoe’s innermost architecture to dig at the brand’s true authenticity. Available in four different color schemes, each iteration of the Classic Leather Tabi High embodies a different personality, yet simultaneously exhibits the innate, adventurous nature of both brands. Photographed in four separate cities by—Sydney, Tokyo, Cape Town and Turkey—the shoe morphs into the attitude of each city. V is jet setting to New South Wales’ Emu Plains where ingenious footwear is in order for both off-trail hiking and unexpected romance.
VMAGAZINE spoke with Sydney’s location photographer, Levon Baird about his process, see below for the full interview
VMAGAZINE: How did you interpret this collection, and what did you set out to capture besides the collection itself?
Levon Baird: Reebok is famous for sneakers, and what I notice with this collaboration with Maison Margiela is that the sneakers are elevated and have these sculptural lines. Form and function are equally prominent. I wanted to juxtapose these facets of the brands. To capture a midpoint between messy, uncontrolled nature and rough urbanism.
V: What resonates with you about the specific location you chose to shoot? Can you describe it?
LB: We were shooting in the aftermath of a once-in-a-generation storm that had flooded many areas of New South Wales, and caused the Nepean River to overspill its banks. We shot amid the debris and toppled trees from the storm. The idea was to contrast the raw wildness with the sleeker aesthetic of the urban clothing.
V: If you had to summarize the collection in a few words, how would you describe it?
LB: Textural, Raw, Modern
V: What was your creative process like? What was inspiring to you or challenging?
LB: It was inspiring to seize the opportunity to shoot while the damage from the storm had yet to be cleaned up, the changed landscape was an interesting space to photograph in. Chaos is interesting, but it’s also difficult; it’s easy to hit a point where it’s too messy and the image no longer has any composition. You have to ride a fine line.