On a rainy day in Boston, we had the chance to talk to Hannah Bundy. Today she is the head of lifestyle marketing and storytelling for Reebok’s classics products – Club C and Classic Leather, which are both icons and staples of the brand.
After working many years in the agency world she went searching for something different, and eventually, her passion for fashion, style, and sports led her to Reebok, where she has been doing some amazing projects with both classic silhouettes. Hannah told us about her process for getting into the company and how she transformed the Classic Leather – that she bought for her interview at Reebok – into a unique sneaker that holds memories of special moments.
“I’m Hannah Bundy, I head up lifestyle marketing and storytelling for our classics products – Club C and Classic Leather. I am a Korean adoptee, grew up in upstate New York, lived in Boston previously, New York, LA., finally back in Boston. And loving my time at Reebok.”
How did you first get interested in Marketing and how did that lead you to Reebok?
hannah In school I studied Journalism, actually, and then I did an integrated Marketing minor, and really gravitated towards that. I spent about 10 years in the advertising agency world, learning about a ton of different verticals, businesses and kind of working through different activation plans with those various companies. I’ve done that for a really long time, but I really wanted to settle down and focus on one thing and do that really well. And it took a while for me to figure that out and what I wanted to do, but ultimately I worked with a career coach to really put my thoughts in order. She helped me get to what I really wanted to do in life – and that’s how I ended up at Reebok.
And how was the process to get to where you are today?
hannah I spent maybe four weeks or so with a career coach and she would ask me the simplest questions, that you could answer yourself, but you’re just so much in your head. She just provided the clarity: “this is the question, what do you like? What do you want?” There were a lot of different homework, exercises I did to try to figure that out. And it landed on Reebok. There were other industries I was exploring, like cooking, restaurants and stuff like that, that was just totally different for me. But at the center of that circle was always Reebok, so I just set my sights on it.
It took me about eight months to get in there and get hired. It was a lengthy process, worth it in the end. I actually started out in marketing operations for the U.S., and eventually, I found my way back into more of a marketing and integrated role. And then, with the recent transition, I was given the opportunity to lead the lifestyle product storytelling and marketing team.
And why did you connect with Reebok?
hannah There’s a lot of footwear companies here, but I chose Reebok for its intersection of lifestyle and athletics. I grew up playing sports, and I mean, I was not good at them, but I was always kind of athletic – even to this day, I still do classes and stuff like that. And then on top of that, I was obsessed with clothes, growing up to this day. So when I read through the mission statement, when I was interviewing, I was like “yes, this is exactly what I’m passionate about”. And I feel that work and life shouldn’t be so separate, and that really came across through the pandemic more so than ever. So just reading that mission statement, it still holds true today. That’s really what drove me to Reebok and like only Reebok.
“I feel that work and life shouldn’t be so separate, and that really came across through the pandemic more so than ever. So just reading that mission statement, it still holds true today. That’s really what drove me to Reebok and like only Reebok.”
And now talking more about footwear, when did your relationship with sneakers begin?
hannah It came in a different way. I was obsessed with style, trends and things that were going on back in the 90s, 2000s, and that kind of led me into footwear. But I do remember struggling with it at first, I wasn’t sure how to style things, what was cool and what wasn’t. And I became really picky, but over time I figured it out.
Now looking back on it, do you remember the Total Request Live show on MTV? It was a countdown music video show. Now I feel old for bringing it up, but before social media, TV and magazines were where a lot of kids would see trends and style inspiration. I remember studying outfits and footwear through those avenues and then heading over to the mall to try to replicate that look. It was much different back then!
Working around shoes everyday, did your relationship with sneakers change throughout the years?
hannah Definitely. I think the biggest change for me, and I’d be curious if anyone else has said this, is that I’m always looking down. Everywhere I go on the street, it’s just natural. I’m like “what are you wearing? How are you wearing it? What do you style it with?” I try not to talk about it all the time with friends and family or whatnot because I’m sure it’s annoying. And the style obsession is definitely amplified, because it’s just another element that in my younger years I didn’t fully understand. But now going to work, you see everybody wearing it and it’s this whole community. That’s definitely been a change that I’ve noticed in myself.
And why out of all your sneakers, you chose this specific Reebok Classic Leather for your Kickstory interview?
hannah I chose the Classic Leather because that’s the shoe that I bought to interview in back in 2019. When I first came to the interview, it was really scary. I had a phone interview before that, but then I had to go in for four separate interviews and then present a deck that I had created about a product, to all of them. I was so nervous, but it worked out, I was really happy. They hold a special place in my heart because of that memory that’s associated with them.
“I chose the Classic Leather because that’s the shoe that I bought to interview in back in 2019.”
And what's all this writing over the shoes?
hannah I actually wrote all over them. I was trying to learn more on the product side and I labeled every single part of the shoe.
I'm sure that over the years at Reebok you had the chance to work on a lot of cool projects. Is there one that stands out to you, that you enjoyed the most?
hannah Yes! So the Reebok Collective was something I’ve worked on and it was a year long partnership. We started with six partners and ended up with nine, it was the first long term influencer program that we had done. The intention was to work with individuals who were uniquely themselves and unapologetic about it. I still love all of our partners that we worked with. The partnership ended in May, which is so sad, but we’ve developed this really great bond, always love and have so much respect for them.
It allowed both sides, our partners and Reebok to learn how a program like that can benefit both sides. It shouldn’t just be a one way, like “what can you do for us?” type of thing. The intention was to figure out what they’re working on and how can we get involved – which looking back, was definitely hard to figure out what that balance was, and how do you do that within a corporate environment. But I think if we were to do that program again, we would nail it, and we would be able to link arms and do things more together. And granted, it was all during the pandemic too, so we could barely do anything in person. But it was really cool to see this group, some of them knew each other before us, and some of them didn’t, but it was awesome to see them come together in the spirit of Reebok, and also for themselves, too.
“So the Reebok Collective was something I’ve worked on and it was a year long partnership. We started with six partners and ended up with nine, it was the first long term influencer program that we had done. The intention was to work with individuals who were uniquely themselves and unapologetic about it.”
“They are inherently Reebok. And over time, there will be ways that we can evolve both silhouettes, and it’ll be really cool to see that come to life.“
Now at Reebok, you work with really important silhouettes like the Classic Leather and Club C. In your opinion what makes these silhouettes so important?
hannah They are icons. We were just talking about that right before I got here. The next thing I want to do is to really dive into the archives and learn more about the history of both products, because they are so important. They are inherently Reebok. And over time, there will be ways that we can evolve both silhouettes, and it’ll be really cool to see that come to life. We’re already seeing it with this particular shoe here, but they’re staples, you know. So I’m really excited to evolve what Reebok has done in the past, what we’re doing now, and looking toward the future.
Whenever I see an organic Reebok out in the street, I’m like “do I know you?” (laughs). There are a lot of other major cities, even in New Orleans, we were just there with the Reebok collective. I was just again, looking down at everyone in Bourbon Street and in the area, and I saw a lot of Reeboks. But I think there are different cities where Reebok is really popular. Philly is another one, L.A. is definitely a little bit too, probably Miami as well. But it’s really cool when you see them unplanned.
Reebok Classic Leather
Owner: Hannah Bundy