Words by Richard “Treats” Dryden
Photos by Matt Miggz
Jamaican culture, it seems, is contagious right now. Following on the heels of dancehall’s latest crossover wave via Drake and Rihanna, this collaboration between FiLA and Alumni of NY, inspired by the classic Jamaican beef patty, is the latest example of West Indian influence in the United States.
The collaboration is the first between Alumni, a sneaker and lifestyle shop with two stores in Brooklyn, and the Italian-born, South Korea-based brand FiLA. The Caribbean connection comes by way of Alumni’s locations in Crown Heights and Flatbush, heavily West Indian neighborhoods where you’re never far from a fresh beef patty, at the local pizza parlor or Caribbean bakery. “With this collaboration, our mission was to capture the spirit of the neighborhoods we call home,” Alumni’s Jaeki Cho says.
Using FiLA’s Overpass runner as the silhouette, Alumni filled in visual cues from the classic Jamaican street-food staple. The pigskin suede upper has the yellow-ish glow of a beef patty crust, while the toe-box is embossed with impressions that resemble those that traditionally border the crust of a patty, locking in the filling as it bakes. The sole is a crisp white, a nod to the fluffy white coco bread typically used to sandwich a beef patty. And the brown-leather insole features the brand names and their beef patty logo.