For Fall/Winter 2012, footwear label Ellesse has passed the ball to Milanese skate hub Special for a new iteration of The Assist. The prime purveyor of basketball sneakers in Italy, Ellesse originally conceived The Assist as a basketball sneaker. The shoe, however, was later appropriated by the skateboarding world — the West Coast scene in particular — and by ’80s skateboarding pro Natas Kaupas in the cult classic “Streets On Fire.” It was the style and looseness of this era that Special decided to pay tribute to, bringing back the original navy, white and red colorway that once graced the pages of Transworld skate magazine. The model was then updated with patent and ostrich leather, a deft nod to the sartorial flair and heritage of Italy. Part of Ellesse’s Fab Five initiative — a collaboration with five of the world’s most revered stores to rework five archival Ellesse sneaker styles from the late ’70s and ’80s — only 150 pairs of the shoe will be released. Look for the Special x Ellesse The Assist to drop at Milan’s Special on October 18.