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Cottweiler x Reebok Shop on LN-CC
Cottweiler x Reebok Shop on LN-CC

Collectively known as Cottweiler, Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty are a Dalston-based concept-led design duo who respond instinctively to their social environment. Keen to develop a tech-infused performance wear range, they found a natural partner in Reebok back in autumn/winter 19. From the moment they presented their debut capsule, the collaboration has looked beyond sportswear, combining technology with the natural world and holistic therapies. That first presentation at Pitti Uomo which saw them create a salt therapy spa in the crypt of a church in Florence set the scene. Fast-forward to spring/summer 21 and the next instalment of their ongoing collaboration is New Age Traveller; a head-to-toe collection blending ancient-world inspiration and natural materials with new-age technologies and contemporary cut lines.

From underground cave networks in Slovenia to Salt Quarries in Portugal and unexplainable rock formations in the Australian Outback, Cottweiler regularly explore geological sites to inspire previous collection. Here, they return to the brand’s birthplace, the south west of England. Revisiting the neolithic sites of the UK, the collection explores Solstice gatherings and location-specific stone formations to create technical sportswear in its most natural form; Solstice sportswear

This blurring of worlds is encapsulated by Cottweiler’s take on Reebok’s all-new Zig 3D Storm Hydro. Offered in both alabaster, grey, and yellow alongside black, beige and orchid, the New Age Traveller Zig 3D Storm Hydro, balances the old-world inspiration of natural materials and the silhouette’s modern technological prowess, while the ShelterShield shroud and TPU components are infused with sawdust. Paired with the footwear is a 9-piece apparel and accessories collection split between a linen based set and a natural pigment dyed cotton. As the collection launches at LN-CC, Ben talks us through theese relics of the future and shares the Daniel Swann and Nile Hoo-Quartey-shot campaign,

Cottweiler x Reebok Shop on LN-CC

Firstly, how are you, where are you and what have we interrupted you from?
I’m in London, while Matthew is in Europe as we’re working on another project that I can’t talk about right now. There are lots of exciting changes happening at Cottweiler. Personally, I’ve taken on some teaching at LCF and am training to be a Forest School teacher.

As someone who remembers your debut collaborative presentation back at Pitti for AW19, It’s great to look back and see how you’ve developed the concepts and narratives that you built back then. For anyone who is new to Reebok x Cottweiler, how would you introduce the wardrobe and world you’re creating?
We’ve always tried to push the boundaries of what’s considered technical sportswear and sportswear purpose. As a brand, we;ve always challenged the purpose and formality of sportswear. With Reebok, we’ve always been keen on moving away from the synthetic world of sportswear and push it in to more natural and sustainable approach. For this collection, we’ve done away with all man-made fibres, it’s all completely natural and we’ve stripped much of back to the bare minimum of trims and details, while retaining performance and adaptability.

Quite a few seasons deep, what would you say has been the biggest lesson learned during the collaboration?
To fully engage, stepping back and listening so that we can use their knowledge, teams and archives.

What was the catalyst and driving force behind New Age Traveller?
We’ve always been fascinated by the natural world and how it can inform our design. We were deep in the pandemic and unable to travel for research, which has historically seen us explore places across the globe. From underground cave networks in Slovenia to Salt Quarries in Portugal and rock formations in the Australian Outback, we’ve been all over. This time we looked closer to home, Cottweiler’s birthplace – the West country.. We met in Bristol. So we looked at neolithic sites and visited some stone circles in the previous summer. We were looking at Solstice and we joked about calling it Soltice Sportswear, which informed the campaign visuals.

Cottweiler x Reebok Shop on LN-CC

Can you talk us through some of the elements that particularly excite you?
The combination of natural materials and sportswear. From natural fabrics and natural dyes, some of which were dyed by earth and stones to create the colours. It’s about getting back to basics, removing all of the unnecessary hardware and plastics because there’s already far too much of them in the world.

You mentioned it in your previous answer but what can you tell us about the campaign, shot by long-term collaborator and friend of the brand Daniel Swan?
Daniel has always, and always will be, a long-tern collaborator and friend. We’ve worked together since the early days of the brand, he’s a master of what he does and we completely trust him. He came in and worked his magic on the studio shoot, transporting the boys into this solstice universe.

Beyond product, if people can take one thing away from New Age Traveller, what would you like it to be and why?
A connection to nature, the outdoors and a reminder of time’s gone by, that civilisations have come and gone long before us. If you go to these sites and spend a little time there, you feel something. Hopefully it inspires people to spend more time outdoors and reconnect, encourage people to look forward to future gatherings.

Credits
Creative Direction Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty
Photograpgraphy Daniel Swann and Nile Hoo-Quartey
Styling Ai Kamoshita
Casting Isabel Bush

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