Polo Silk is a venerated photographer whose work has been invaluable in capturing moments in New Orleans hip-hop, club, street and second-line cultures. The Uptown native recently released a book of his signature Polaroid snapshots, each of which is a keystone in history. When POP THAT THANG!!! was first published, he shared with us some major news on the horizon: that he had some things in the work with Reebok and Foot Locker. Months later, those plans have come to fruition with a monumental footwear capsule collection inspired by his work in documenting throwback culture in the city. Along with Chase N. Cashe, a producer and performer whose work is present on such works as Drake’s Grammy Award-winning album Take Care, Polo Silk is releasing the New Orleans installment of the “3:AM” line of sneakers this week.
The sneakers will come in three different forms and are part of the Reebok Classic line. According to the company, Polo Silk and Chase’s signature shoes are part of the 3:AM series which focuses on the “nocturnal spirit” of the country’s “urban environments” in an effort to “explore how each local culture fuels inspiration and sparks creativity in the early morning.” Naturally, New Orleans is an obvious choice, as are Polo and Chase. For decades, Polo has been on site to take snapshots of the city’s Black nightlife, a key component of which is fashion. Ballys and Reeboks are mainstays in streetwear history here but the shoes are just one part of the story.
“The Reebok Classics was a staple down here in New Orleans,” Polo tells us. “You’d have your Rees on with your tees on. It was affordable and made it easier for everybody to bond. Most of us was wearin’ ’em because we saw the big timers wearing them. Most of the rappers talked about ’em in their songs, so it kind of made you feel like you could put on them Reeboks and stick your chest out.”
When asked to share his thoughts on his collaboration with Reebok and Polo, Chase N. Cashe told us “it’s all about Polo.” It was a moment of humility which speaks to the importance of Polo’s work, who is himself a humble giant. “I’m really a quiet person. My camera does the talking for me,” he tells us in our exclusive interview.
Below, check out the full story starring Polo Silk, produced by Noé Cugny.
For more information on Polo Silk and Chase N. Cashe’s Reebok Classic collab, click here.