Once a year, runners descend upon the Sahara desert for a chance to compete in what is hailed as “The Toughtest Footrace in the World,” the Marathon des Sables. Runners are challenged with pushing their bodies to the absolute limit, running 156 miles across the desert in six days.
Self-sufficiency is key: all runners must carry their own rations on their back, and exceeding one’s water rations results in a stiff time penalty. The goat-hair tents that runners sleep in every night are also considered necessary luggage.
Conceptual designers Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, otherwise known as Cottweiler, kept all of these elemental considerations in mind when designing their latest spring/summer apparel collection.This presentation also marks the second time that the Woolmark-prize winning designers have worked with Reebok on a line of sportswear. This time around, the sneakers and sportswear obviously hopes to protect the athlete from the harshest elements on Earth. UV protection is a consistent focus throughout, as is lightweight, wearable and packable gear: caps come with neck-capes, light-weight track pants and hoodies inspired by the hues of sand and lava are cropped to allow for more breathability. Berber-styled outerwear mimicks the texture of the tents carried by MdS competitors. Models accessorized these looks by hauling bottles of water over their shoulder, while decorative geckos adorn both pieces and models’ bodies. The sneakers feature utility straps and lightweight materials for comfort and ease of wear. Blisters are an inevitability in the desert, so many models carried their shoes in their hands.
Check the collection out above and be sure to find out more about Cottweiler’s relationship with Reebok here.