How Brain Dead Helped Revive Oakley's Cult Favourite, The Flesh

HOW BRAIN DEAD HELPED REVIVE OAKLEY'S CULT FAVOURITE, THE FLESH

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Sneaker revivals have been an ongoing trend over the last few years. As sneaker companies keep digging through their archives we slowly see the hits and misses of the process. While some re-issues have been just what sneakerheads everywhere have been waiting for, others have come and gone acting as a replay of their original fate. Bringing back a retro model isn’t always the easiest task, from getting their hands on the OG shoe to sourcing materials, the last thing a shoe brand wants is for their resurrection to wind right back in its own grave.

It’s hard enough for brands whose main focus is footwear, now imagine how it is for a brand who focus on eyewear. Enter Oakley, the eyewear giants who’ve been made famous for many of the iconic sports sunglasses they’ve created over the last few decades. From Ato Boldon’s OVERTHETOP shades at the 2000 Sydney Olympics to Michael Jordan and the Eye Jackets in the ‘90s, Oakley has created quite a name for itself in the glasses game, but sneakers?

While the majority won’t quite recognize the Oakley Flesh, the likely reasoning behind that is you either weren’t born or simply weren’t in the sneaker game. Back in 2000, Oakley released the slip-on which quickly faded into obscurity as its production was quickly halted two years later. Fast forward 20 years later and the Flesh seems to be making a comeback, but not for no reason.

As the public's love for the unknown and obscure retros they’ve never seen continues to rage on, Oakley’s OG slip-on shoes made their way onto social media where they’d show up as inspo pics and all over curated IG pages. While that may seem like reason enough for some people to bring back the cult classic, it wasn’t until a partnership you wouldn't necessarily expect for it to happen.

In 2020 when Brain Dead co-founder Kyle Ng visited the Oakley headquarters, he was there to discuss an eyewear collab, but that quickly spiraled into something different. Wearing his own original pair of Flesh’s at that time, it was then that Brain Dead would begin working with Oakley on a much bigger project, the Oakley Factory Team. OFTs goal would be to spearhead new ideas the Brain Dead Team and Oakley’s VP of product creative catalyst, Brian Takumi.

The Flesh is the first result of this partnership and while the shoe is a past release from Y2K, the team made sure it was more than just a simple re-issue. With the Oakley Factory Team’s goal of elevating the shoe which had been ahead of its time, the full rubber bottom was redone with a EVA Foam midsole and rubber outsole for a much lighter weight.

As the Oakley Flesh makes its return under the development of the Oakley Factory Team, fans of the OG slip-on will be happy to hear it’s coming back in an array of colours. From some of the original colourways like Sand/Blue to new Brain Dead collabs inspired by the early 2000s walkman era. Right now at Off The Hook you can join the raffle for the “Milk/Black” and “Black Ostrich” colourways, both ending Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE OAKLEY FACTORY TEAM FLESH