Entry-level pieces present a conundrum for the menswear compulsive. On the one hand they’re an affordable way of adding some freshness to your rotation. On the other, you risk bumping into someone else wearing the same thing, which as we know is medically proven to lead to deep vein thrombosis.
Case in point: the recently dropped Reebok x Needles Beatnik Moc Shoes. At just £110 they cost less than a Needles bucket hat. And look, they’re covered in logos. Hooray! Late-comers to the altar of Keizo Shimizu now have an affordable way to get butterflied-up. Isn’t that great. So fucking great.
It’s just what you want really. To spend years amassing a collection of pricey rarified streetwear, only to have the same brand stamped all over a pair of cheap sneakers for everyone to enjoy. Don’t you just love everyone?
Skip back a few years (when Needles was less well known) and I’d be wearing these already. And you know what, I don’t hate them. I bet they’re comfortable. They’d pair well with jeans and chinos or add some eccentric punctuation to a casual suit. But, wear them now… today, I’m not so sure?
Recently we’ve seen Story MFG go vegan with the Beatnik and don’t forget standard issue (non-Needles) Beatnik Mocs are readily available (here’s a pair in tan, in the Mr Porter sale for £30!) I haven’t seen Beatniks rinsed on the street, but there’s a mass availableness to the style that’s difficult to ignore. I mean, it’s cool to see the Reebok x Needles range at London retailer Goodhood, but they’re also available in every size at Reebok. Not typically a direct route to individual style.
For me the bulbous silhouette does chime with the Needles’ aesthetic. But it’s not like they’ve done much other than logo them up. Lots and lots of logos for a demographic still chasing the A$AP Rocky look circa 2018. They sort of feel like Needles, but also kind of not. A bit like being in a club and witnessing a performative girl-on-girl kiss — there’s no heart, but you still can’t look away.
Actually, maybe I’ll get a pair after all.