Reebok + Modla Flexweave Altitude Training Mask

Applying the sneaker brand's innovative, forthcoming material to a fitness prototype

As a demonstration of the dynamic nature of their forthcoming Flexweave material, Reebok invited three global design firms each to imagine a new collaborative product—and produce a prototype of it. Rotterdam’s Odd Matter envisioned a furniture series of “active sitting” chairs. NYC’s Joe Doucet proposed form fitting running gloves. And London’s Modla ventured into the territory of high altitude training masks. These items all employ the future-forward fabric—derived from chenille yarn—which features an open figure-eight construction of interlocking strands of fibers to create a single surface construction. It’s a textile that will debut in Reebok footwear early 2018 and clearly demonstrates technical advancement for the brand.

Jon Fidler and Richard Goddard, founders of Modla, used the material in a rather distinct way—after 3D-printing the valve technology (and designing the mask with a digital 3D design process) they affixed a Flexweave facial strap to demonstrate its flexibility and grip. “I do a lot of high intensity training so I’m interested in how such equipment works, functions and can help improve performance,” Fidler says. “But we also saw the potential in the aesthetic of the Flexweave material, to create something which would blend with the mask and align with the contours of the wearer’s face.”

“As it happens, the Flexweave material provided even more benefit than just the aesthetic and was amazing to work with,” he continues. “It’s strong and durable, so perfect for a product that will get a lot of wear and tear; while also incredibly lightweight, making it breathable on the face for athletes when training.” Naturally, Flexweave will predominantly—to our knowledge—be used for the aforementioned footwear. The Reebok Innovation Collective developed Flexweave, but Modla certainly helps make clear just how dynamic the woven textile can be.

Images courtesy of Reebok