Dime Q&A: Mike Packer Discusses The Re-Release Of Reebok’s Iconic Shawn Kemp Kamikaze II

08.19.13 4 years ago
Kamikaze II

Kamikaze II “Remember the Alamo” colorway (photo. Packershoes.com)

In early August, Packer Shoes announced a limited offering of a special “Remember The Alamo” time capsule highlighting Shawn Kemp‘s trip to the Alamodome in San Antonio for the 1996 NBA All-Star Game. We spoke with owner Mike Packer about the Kamikaze II, and why it’s a unique taste of the 1990s basketball so many of us are nostalgic for all these years later.

The time capsule and re-release of the gear tells the story of Shawn Kemp’s visit to the Alamodome for the 1996 All-Star game. That game, and the weekend as a whole, can rightfully be called a collage of the very best ballers from the 90’s. Kemp also happened to rock the Kamikaze kicks for which he’s become almost as well known as his moniker, The Reign Man.

Featured in the special pack were a re-release of Kemp’s Rebook Classic Kamikaze II’s with the ’96 all-star game’s colorway. You’d also find a Mitchell & Ness 1996 Hardwood Classics Shawn Kemp jersey from the game, a Shawn Kemp 1996 ASG Caricature t-shirt (which is free in-store with a purchase of the Kamikaze II’s while supplies last), and a Mitchell & Ness “Remember the Alamo” Snapback.

While the entire package set is no longer an option, the limited release was a reminder of just how dope Reebok Classic re-releases have become. We chatted with Mike Packer about the project, his memories of Kemp from that heralded year, and what makes a significant colorway and re-release unique and creative enough to drive customer interest.

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Dime: So tell us how the whole thing came together?
Mike Packer: We have been fortunate enough to do a bunch of releases with Reebok in the past. So when the Kamikazes came out last year, it was a shoe that we were interested in doing stuff with years ago, and now we had a chance to do something with it. You always want to do something where, at least to us, doing something that sort of has a backstory that’s connected with the player, but at the same time, you can make it a good color and use materials that really stands alone. So that was the take; the All-Star Game take of the colorway of the shoe is what came first.

With all of that in motion, we started talking to Mitchell & Ness. It started with the hat, then it graduated to the t-shirt, and then it’s like, “Maybe we can do something to bring back the jersey.” The only time they’ve ever brought back that jersey before is when they brought it back with Jordan’s number on it a couple years back. So, it all just came together.

I think what got us going on it was that we saw that jerseys were having a little bit of a resurgence. We do business with Mitchell & Ness and you get to see things. If something is special enough, obviously people will buy it. But at the same time, I think it’s something where the timing all aligns with the time of year, colorways, and everything else that went into it that made for one nice little package to come out.

Click to read Mike’s favorite Reebok re-releases and what about ’96 all-star weekend, made the ensuing colorway, so special.

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