After putting a spotlight on black inventors and creatives for his Pyer Moss Fall 2021 couture collection, Kerby Jean-Raymond has shifted his focus back over to his Reebok initiatives for the unveiling of his newest short film Cratemaster. The clip is a love letter to the youth and inner-city basketball culture, and serves as a taste of Reebok’s new brand direction of storytelling through highlighting activities and sports that more people have access to.
“For inner city areas like Brooklyn, where this particular story is told, access to play is a big issue – you have so many people with so little resources and even less space,” said Kerby Jean-Raymond, VP of Creative Direction for Reebok. “While CrateMaster shines a light on that, it more so defines the power of community and play that motivates these youth to create their own access, to be with one another and to compete.”
The captivating eight and a half minute clip was shot in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood — not too far from Jean-Raymond’s hometown of Flatbush — and follows a day-in-the-life of the area’s youth. Playground basketball and access to sport are at the forefront of this piece as the kids whom which star in the film are seen constantly putting up crates to use as hoops despite constantly being taken down from its local city official.
“When you see kids having to play on crates because they don’t have the proper resources to play on actual courts, that’s a symptom of a greater problem”, Jide Osifeso, Reebok‘s Artistic Marketing Director tells HYPEBEAST. “The greater problem isn’t just the actual court, but it’s not having the ability to have what should be a democratic right to go to a park and play sports. If the park isn’t in proper shape, it makes you ask yourself what school systems, its nutrition programs, its after-school programs etc. look like as well.”
It’s become clear that with Jean-Raymond’s new appointment at the brand, the brand is making great strides in speaking to this newer generation of sneaker consumers in a refreshing way. Allen Iverson and Shawn Kemp have the lead the way for so many years, but now the brand has a powerful voice and perspective that speaks to both basketball heritage and streetwear culture. “Having partners of the brand that represent other points of view and not what you would typically see is exactly what Kerby brings”, Inga Stenta, the head of Reebok US Marketing, expressed to HYPEBEAST. “He infuses energy into the brand in a new and different way from marketing to storytelling to new product ideas and that’s what I’ve found to be so motivating and rewarding when working with him.”
Peep the full CrateMaster video here above.
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