Jae Tips x Saucony Originals Cooperate to Revive the Matrix Model

Jae Tips x Saucony Originals

For his latest Saucony Originals collaboration, Jae Tips chose a shoe that wasn't an immediate hit with the public. His new partnership with the brand follows a similar pattern.

Jae Tips, the recipient of the 2023 FNAA Collaboration of the Year Award for his take on the Saucony Originals Grid Azura 2000, unveiled a fresh design during Paris Men's Fashion Week. The shoe he reimagined is the Matrix, a model that debuted in the year 2000.

"Many of the creatives I work with were eager to bring this shoe back, without even discussing it amongst themselves," said Jason Faustino, the senior global brand manager for collaborations at Saucony.

Researching the model, Faustino discovered that it was designed by Brian Moore, the current chief of product at Saucony. Moore created the Matrix during his initial stint with the brand, serving as the vice president of product marketing and design from 1996 to 2003. Moore, an experienced footwear industry professional, has also worked for companies like New Balance, Timberland, The North Face, and Tracksmith.

The new shoe model is a blend of the past and the present, Faustino explained. It retains the iconic look of the brand's classic designs, while incorporating progressive elements that suit the current times. The familiar river logo seamlessly transitions from the eyestay to the midsole, creating a cohesive and recognizable aesthetic.

Jae Tips, also known as John Cotton, is one of the brand's key collaborators who was eager to revive the Matrix model. He suggested various colorways for the design, which the team ultimately embraced.

The shoe's construction differs from the brand's recent successful runners from the early 2000s, featuring fewer pieces and panels. Faustino highlighted the decision to use a wool upper, which not only aligns with the fall/winter season but also serves as a subtle nod to Jae Tips' signature fitted hats, which often incorporate wool. Additionally, suede accents on the toe and heel, as well as a double-layer open mesh tongue, add a distinctive touch to the overall design.

In 2025, as per Faustino's projection, the Jae Tips partnership may actually materialize even earlier. Additionally, beyond the Jae Tips collaboration, Faustino revealed that the reintroduction of the Matrix model is happening at a critical juncture for the company.

“[Brian] designed the Matrix to unite Originals and performance as one brand, which we are owning more than ever with so much excitement surrounding both our leading performance product and new lifestyle offerings. Consumers are so fluid and aligning with our values of living a healthy, positive, active lifestyle, while also caring about their style and personal expression through progressive designs from our archive.”

- Faustino

Following the debut of the Jae Tips and Saucony Originals Grid Azura 2000 "Remember Who Fronted" partnership in May 2023, the two brands came together again to unveil two versions of the Grid Shadow 2, aptly titled "What's the Occassion?". Their latest collaborative effort made its grand entrance at ComplexCon in November 2023.