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If the Shoe Fits!

This past Friday, I had the awesome experience of touring both the Reebok archives and America's Test Kitchen. Check out next week's blog for ATK!

At Reebok I was given a fun looking ID badge that identified me as a guest of Stephanie Schaff, Archive Coordinator, who graduated from Simmons in 2015. She showed us around Reebok's new digs in the Innovative and Design Building on Drydock Ave. The work area was entirely encased in glass, and we were told that desks are first come, first served.

After touring the general building, we entered the actual archive. The space was decked out in white, with sketches displayed across the tables, cases of brightly colored shoes, and a fair amount of moveable stacks. I was very excited to be able to hold the oldest shoe in the collection (forgive me, Stephanie, but I forgot the exact date) which featured spikes that were caked with century old dirt -- which is a testament to how well the archive treats its items! I ALSO was able to hold one of Shaq's massive shoes.

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We learned extensively about Reebok's Aztrek line, which originally appeared in the 90s but is being rebooted for modern tastes. I highly recommend you check out their ad campaign -- I was sold!  The sheer amount of knowledge Stephanie possesses about Reebok and its history was breathtaking, as she referenced specific shoe designs from a niche collection in the 60s off the top of her head. We also were able to speak extensively with Allison Johnson, the Archive Director. One thing that I loved and found striking about this visit was both Stephanie and Allison's assertion that archival work -- especially corporate archival work -- is focused largely on maintaining and creating stories. As I'm currently enrolled in LIS 423: Storytelling, this felt extra relevant.

 

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