Hoops culture hits the ice in Brooklyn with Islanders sneaker
New York’s Extra Butter boutique has brought a bit of basketball culture to the NHL with a Reebok sneaker that celebrates the Islanders.
“A lot of members in the Extra Butter team are die-hard New York Islanders fans and I think we carry the pride as fans of the team,” Jason Faustino, the boutique's creative director and co-owner, tells SI.com.
Reebok, the official partner of the NHL, makes team uniforms, so Faustino feels that his company's collaboration with the athletic apparel manufacturer was a natural fit.
“I think this is different for the NHL in that it crosses over to a world typically dominated more with basketball product,” he says. “The project stands on it’s own in that it’s emphasizing the infectious passion of hockey fans and how their love for the sport spills into other areas of their life.”
For the “Dynasty” edition Reebok Ventilator Supreme, Faustino says his designers, who have worked with some of the world’s best-known footwear brands, kept the sneaker as hockey-specific—and Islanders-centric—as possible. Extra Butter used hockey-style laces, ballistic nylon and a clear bottom outsole to resemble the ice.
“We also made sure the details showcased Islanders heritage, boasting colors featured in all their jerseys through the years, and the championships in the dynasty era from 1980 to 1983, which we called boldly on the heel and also through the four silver reflective stripe pieces we chose to represent Lord Stanley’s cups,” Faustino says.
Inside the tongue, a “740” label signifies legendary Islanders coach Al Arbour’s career wins total with the franchise. The team is wearing an “AL” shoulder patch on its jerseys this season in memory of the Hall of Fame bench boss who passed away last August, so Extra Butter wanted to embrace the sentiment.
The Dynasty collaboration, which combines suede and perforated leather, also bears the official team and NHL logos.
The Extra Butter x NY Islanders x Reebok Ventilator Supreme will be released on March 19 at both Extra Butter locations for $135, complete with plenty of Islanders pride.
“We’ve shared a lot of amazing experiences together following the team,” Faustino says, “and feel very proud and nostalgic for the decorated history that this team has, especially as the only major league sports team from Long Island.”
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, sneakers and design for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.