He has left behind a massive legacy, and he will live on in the hearts of the people he engaged with and inspired.
Gary Warnett was undoubtedly one of the most respected voices in footwear. His knowledge was unrivalled, yet as the man behind-the-scenes of countless genius projects, always remained humble — always happy to dive into deep conversations with anyone that shared the same interests. He was revered by many, and most importantly, was loved by his family and friends.
On September 27th, 2017 Gary passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.
Each of Gary’s closest friends at a major brand have created a series of commemorative shoes.
The Gary Warnett Reebok Ripple OG was designed by Simone Smyth – a very close friend of Warnett’s who drew from her daily interactions with Gary over the course of 9 years. These gave Smyth a deep insight into his obscure and obsessional interests as well as what he loathed.
Smyth shares the story of her design:
Creating the shoe, along with the grieving process was exhausting, and towards the mid stages of the process I wanted to give-up.
Mubi Ali advised on the leather and the tonal changes of the ice sole. They were close friends and worked together side by side for years. My insight of Gary’s thought process, coupled with Mubi’s knowledge of what Gary liked made for a smooth transition of ideas.
In the end, I used Gary’s own 2013 Reebok Classic CL Leather as a reference point and decided to flip it.
“The Reebok Classic CL Leather had one of the footprints most commonly found at crime scenes, so why not go crazy with the idea? I took the elephant in the room, shot it in the head and took the ivory for display” – Gary Warnett on his 2013 Reebok Classics collab.
The 2013 original, drew inspiration from the criminal subcultures of the CL Leather. Gary’s colour palette was inspired by the Supermalt drink and hues of Chicken Korma curries. He then added the prison arrows embroidered around the upper of the toe box, and printed under the ice outer sole.
Further prison arrows were added into the smaller detail of the Starcrest logo on the tongue, and hidden in the British flag on the side logo on the original 2013 edition Gary designed. There is also one black eyelet to represent the ‘Borstal dot’ Prison tattoo – typically tattooed on the hands of young male offenders, between the thumb and forefinger. The tattoo tends to have different meanings amongst inmates.
For the commemorative friends and family Ripple, I decided to switch the silhouette. The reasoning behind choosing a workout ripple is due to Gary’s appreciation and interest in the UK House and Garage scene – in London, the Ripple was a staple. I flipped the shoe to white leather, with white embroidered arrows, while paying homage to the black arrows under the ice outer sole – an ode to Gary’s 2013 edition.
The borstal dot remains, but I switched the tongue to honour Gary’s Moomin website Logo [the Moomin website logo was designed by Gary’s dear friend Charlie Morgan]. The Sock liner is white leather and pays homage to Gary’s home town of Bedford.
Lastly, I was adamant I wanted to bring back the OG metal with plastic overlay Reebok side logo. This is an OG feature that hasn’t been seen since the original release of the Reebok Ripple nearly 20 years ago.
It was important to capture images of the shoe in the most authentic, organic setting. I chose to shoot in the back garden of Gary’s mum’s home in Bedford, with the stars of the shoot being Gary’s 4-year-old nephew Sam, and his Brothers dog, Molly.
It was important that the shoot was eccentric and funny – much like Gary himself. The creative direction was my brain child, but was bought to life by another one of Gary’s closest friends – consultant and photographer, Magdi Fernandes. Everything I had in my head, Magdi managed to capture.
Gary Warnett was unequalled. He has left behind a massive legacy, and he will live on in the hearts of the people he engaged with and inspired. Through them, his principles, philosophies and achievements will become immortal.
The Gary Warnett Reebok Ripple OG is an exclusive gift to friends & family on the one-year anniversary of Warnett’s passing and will not be on sale or available as a general release.
Thank you for everything Gary.
You were the first to support us.
You are dearly missed.
Shoe Design: Simone Smyth, with assistance from Mubi Ali
Creative Image Direction: Simone Smyth
Photography: Magdi Fernandes
Product Management: Leo Gamboa