Whatcha know about contraband?

THESE days designers are collaborating regularly with the brands stocked on our shelves; Adidas and Raf Simons or Nike working with Tisci. However, nothing quite leaves its mark like a bootleg sneaker based on Nike’s infamous Air Force 1 silhouette.

The name Ari Saal Forman man not mean much to some, but for many he could be seen as the genius designer behind his own Menthol 10s – a shoe produced in micro-quantities to poke fun at sportswear giants Nike, and Lorillard Tobacco Company, who filed a lawsuit against Ari.

252 pairs were made and almost immediately slapped with a Cease and Desist order – a legal document that forces both producer and retailer (in this case, Forman) to cease production and sale of the product. Except there was a twist with the outcome of this order; Forman was forced to destroy all stock, AND was prevented from even owning a pair of the 10s.

Credit: removed eBay listing

Ari decided to sell the shoe exclusively in New York City, with stores Alife and Clientele being the shoe’s only stockists.

Influence also stemmed from Nigo’s introduction of Bape footwear – we all know which of their models looks suspiciously similar to an Air Force 1, don’t we? His plan was to discourage a consumer-market from supporting companies who ‘give back a little’ instead of buying from smaller brands.

The design itself displayed an upside-down swoosh, a detail similar to that in use by both brands’ logos, and came in a box style on that of which houses the Newport cigarette.


Feature credit: NSSMAG.com

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