Racing was what Rueben DiTullo was known for but basketball was what he did when he wasn’t being timed.
Rueben was finishing high school at a time of style—jeans, kicks, haircuts—reminiscent of when his uncle Vinny DiTullo was setting the pace in every race in the 90s. Unlike the looks his bros wore, Rueben’s philosophy was ‘step out to stand out’.
Leave the house in a muted tone athletic sneaker? He found his kicks someplace else.
Rueben had offers from a number of schoolshaving nabbed medals at meets at a time when they handed out something more than a participation ribbon. And of course, Vinny’s alma mater was intrigued in another DiTullo.
After a tour of the campus and training facilities, Rueben wandered into a barbershop to get fresh. If this town was going to be home for the next four years, getting the right barber was a must.
Rueben noticed a familiar face in a photo underneath the glass counter. Vinny and his crew decked out in baggy washed-out denim, tinted sunglasses and boxy sweatshirts.
His eyes shifted focus back and forth several times. 35mm film was far from the megapixels of today, but Rueben zeroed in on his uncle’s sneakers, their style reminiscent of the low-tops on his own feet: the Gucci Ultrapace. Eye-catching glints of metallic leather hitting the toe-cap, eye stays, and rear panel of the shoe. Distressed suede covering the mid-foot and around the toe box. Head-turning reflective fabric and mesh dress the side and toe box of the runner with piping details that outline the sneaker’s silhouette. Leather printed with a serpent skin pattern and Gucci, the name of the House, appearing on the side of the shoe as if it were the title of a video game in an underground arcade in Tokyo.
Fit in with the rest of the pack or set the pace for everyone else to chase.
Some walk the line and others step out to stand out.