The Hi-Tec sneaker brand is launching the “Freedom 67s” – in honor of former President Nelson Mandela this Sunday, July 18.
The sneakers are a re-adaptation of Hi-Tec Wimbledon, then known as Wimbledon’s, in which white shoes with a low tennis silhouette were worn by Mandela in the 1990s.
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THE STORY OF WIMBLEDON’S AND MANDELA
According to the publication of a sneaker online, The sneaker monster, Hi-Tec founder Frank van Wezel bought the original pair from Mandela at an auction in 1996. The famous pair is now on display in the window of the brand’s store in Stellenbosch.
Freedom 67s: more than just a sneaker
The article also noted that Hi-Tec product designer Gordon Stokes understood that developing the Freedom 67 was not as straightforward as designing any other shoe, as the Hi-Tec team knew that a project of this magnitude had to be treated with the utmost thought and dignity.
“The challenge was not just to recreate his sneaker, but to create an object that paid homage to an incredible human being, a man who dedicated his life to freedom for all,” says Stokes. Freaker sneakers.
“Mandela not only fought against apartheid, but he also fought for a better world, in which the freedom, justice and dignity of all were respected. The shoe had to be more than just a sneaker, but had to tell a story, from an authentic message to meaningful symbolism, ”he added.
MAKE A CLASSIC
Not having the original pair of Mandelas to physically refer to, Hi-Tec’s design team faced an uphill battle to design the Freedom 67s as close to Mandela’s Wimbledon as possible.
“From the graphics, the materials, the sole and midsole, the colorblock to the waist, everything had to be perfect. [Even] packaging, we had to treat with the same attention to detail as the sneaker, conveying a consistent message throughout this project. Mandela’s legacy was to be respected in the body of this development, as much as to honor what he stood for, ”Stokes said.
The sneakers have been well modernized. The sole is now a light blue color, synonymous with freedom and transparency. The logo is now predominantly white, with touches of blue throughout the logo. It has a leisure feel to it as well, whereas the original version looked like a real 1990s squash or tennis performance shoe.
KWESTA AND OTHER “SHARED FREEDOM” AMBASSADORS
Hi-Tec enlisted creatives Karabo Poppy, Trevor Stuurman, rapper Kwesta, actor Atandwa Kani and others to help them with the Shared freedom countryside.
PRODUCTS AUCTION FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN’S FUND
There will be 67 units of sneakers and the 67th pair will be auctioned on Mandela Day and will be live for 67 hours as a symbol of Mandela’s 67-year struggle for social justice in South Africa. The proceeds of this auction will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.