Anyone who knows me can honestly say reality television is not really my thing. I have been that person who has had his favorite series cancelled because a network felt a scripted series isn’t really the way to go anymore. Reality television is littered with the obvious scripted scenes and steered antics the shows possess and that makes them hard to enjoy. With all of that said, YouTube Red has done something new as it pertains to a series about sneaker culture. They have collaborated with Adidas and Pensole, to create an all-new series that is spun in a familiar direction, but definitely, something we have not seen before from sneakers. The series is called “Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge”, and approaches sneakers in a manner that resonates with all shoe enthusiast in our opinion. The product of sneaker designer D’wayne Edwards and ANTM producer Ken Mok, Lace Up is a refreshing viewpoint that has definitely caught our attention. We felt the need with some talk about the series already to take a deeper more in depth dive into this for you.
When you think about anything highlighting sneakers, it takes us to one of two places always. Either we get a segment about a collection/overall dope sneakers, or we get a piece on the history of sneakers and how we got here today. That’s not what’s happening here. Lace Up approaches the culture from the design aspect of things. The series revolves around giving a group of twelve designers from all over the world an opportunity to redesign classic silhouettes create and brand new models Adidas. I find this to be a brilliant take on a series. The twelve designers work in small groups to complete the tasks laid out for the said week, and between the concepts, deadlines, personalities, and other road blocks things don’t always go as planned. Contestants are eliminated from the series based upon performance, which is normally rated by celebrity guest judges. This is a weekly occurrence until the final team is left being offered not only positions at Adidas, but also the winning shoe design will be released as a limited edition James Harden model.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this concept. Ken Mok’s involvement is transparent and truly perfect to fully depict the premise of the series. From the gate, the show gives you a feel of series’ like Top Model, Top Chef, Chopped, and The Biggest Loser which is nearly uncharted for sneakers. Another piece that sticks out to us is the world of fashion and design has always been and will always be a tougher industry to break into. This type of opportunity is brilliant on so many levels. One, it is the first of its kind. Two, it gives people a greater personal connection to the creation process. Three, mainly for Adidas it’s an opportunity to bring in fresh faces with different perspectives to design which can be catalyst for the brand in the future. We see these concepts often with music searching for the next big act, or a network searching for their next television star, but not so much with the world of fashion design. With sneakers being so dependent on the people outside of the industry, who better to take a cue from than those that are between being the buyer and breaking into the industry?
Lace Up: The Ultimate sneaker challenge is currently six episodes in with the seventh premiering this Wednesday. Episodes are available on YouTube RED only, which happens to have a three-month free trial right now, so this is definitely a no brainer. And as mentioned, we completely agree this is one to watch, and will have anyone from sneakerheads to designers to reality television lovers hooked. It is a refreshing look on the culture many of us have come to love, and it will not disappoint. In addition, a few familiar faces like Macklemore, Anthony Anderson, Eddie Huang, Damian Lillard, Jamie Chang, and Ashley Graham make some appearances and give their unfiltered takes on the designs. So check out Lace Up: The ultimate sneaker challenge here weekly on Wednesday’s and let us now your take on it. Check out the first two episodes below.
And see the entire series here.