While Nike and adidas still reign supreme over today’s dominion of athletic footwear, we’ve seen the resurgences of Reebok, Puma, and even Ewing during the last few years. All have made the leap back to our collective consciousness except for one – British Knights.
Hailed from New York City originally, British Knights first established itself among consumers with the British Knights Kings model back in 1985-86. Commonly known as BK, interests in the brand rose soon after due to its spirited designs, counterpoints to the run-of-the-mill models put out by Nike and adidas back then.
At the height of its popularity, BK even turned out its own cushion technology known as the Dymacel, a silicon filled cell in the form of a diamond. The advantage was obvious when you compared it to air-based cushioning by rivals Nike Air and Reebok Hexalite, which were prone to punctures and leakages.
Because of their durability in construct and flashiness in design, BK became the favorites of B-Boy crews around the streets of New York City. This soon translated to appearances with Kool Moe Dee and M.C. Hammer, who taunt the competitions with “How You Like Me Now?” and “You Ain’t Nothin’ Without You BK Button” tag lines. Those on the sideline weren’t going let that go.
By the 1990s, nearly all of the major athletic footwear brands had some kind of entertainment marketing division that catered specifically to the hip-hop industry. In a world where money talks and design is at a whimper, British Knights’ fresh styles got push aside. Thanks to some creative individuals, however, the Age of Chivalry is coming back.
Headed by Dr. Romanelli of the DRx Romanelli fame and Scooter Braun, best known for his association with Usher, Justin Bieber, Asher Roth, and Psy, British Knights will be embarking on a new quest starting this year. Notoriously known for turning their respective industries upside down, Romanelli and Braun are looking to resurrect the BK brand. “Back in the day British Knights was on top of the world, redefining the shoe game and hip hop culture,” explains Braun, “We’re bringing BK back for all the people that fell in love with them in the 80s and 90s, and exposing them to a whole new generation of tastemakers and artists.”
“My job is to take a sneaker brand that has a solid fan base already and inject it with a fresh, youthful take,” adds Dr. Romanelli, “My love for art and Scooter’s background in music will be key in our approach to BK. For us, artists are the new athletes.” So onto the operating table as the In-house Doctor for British Knights added distinctive details and colors traditionally linked with brand, like its BK button and Dymacel cushioning. Still, these designs are thoroughly modern with newest materials and premium construct.
In all, there will be two separate packs – the Union and the Mono, each comes in either a high or low silhouettes. To fit the ever changing taste of consumers, Dr. Romanelli made this initial collection contrast to one another. So you can be as loud as you want or stay low key, all according to your styles. In his ending remark, Braun adds, “The return of British Knights is about much more than a sneaker brand. It represents the movement of artists back to the forefront of our culture.”