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Fashion / Style File

Controversial Artist’s Limited Edition Nike Sneakers Build Major Buzz — and $550 Splurge Anticipation

Tom Sachs Meets The Swoosh — and the Lines are Sure to Follow

BY // 05.07.19

Sneakerheads and art world renegades rejoice. Your ideal collaboration has taken place through a limited edition of Nike sneakers designed by artist Tom Sachs. His interest in capitalism (our obsessively, consumer-based culture), branding, and the cultural fetishization of products, most notably luxury goods, have made him a controversial figure.

Sachs had a meteoric rise in fame after first designing a nativity scene for the holiday windows at Barneys New York. Instead of the traditional depiction of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, he instead had Hello Kitty in a Chanel bra accompanied by three kings portrayed by Bart Simpson. The wildly popular Hello Kitty has popped up in many of his works, but he has never received official approval to depict her. That said, the company behind Hello Kitty, Sanrio, has noted the kitty is an icon and just like Marilyn Monroe shows up in pop culture and art frequently.

Perhaps what captured the most attention however were Sachs’ weapons, particularly guns that he sculpted from packaging associated with luxury goods. Two pieces he created in 1995, HG (Hermès Hand Grenade) and Tiffany Glock (Model 19) were made respectively from orange Hermès and blue Tiffany packaging. Although these sculptures were non-functional, another piece — Hecho in Switzerland also from 1995 — was an actual working gun.

This work could easily get him labeled as a provocateur, however, that is too trite a summation. He is perhaps turning a mirror back towards us to see if we recognize how we have already glorified cartoon figures like Hello Kitty and placed on the highest pedestals, lines like Gucci and Tiffany.

Nike is about to launch a limited edition of Tom Sachs sneakers this Thursday, May 9 which are sure to be a sell-out. Sneakers have become high-ticket items and have made their way into the most fashionable closets of both men and women. Many sneakers that are done in limited editions generally garner legions of fans lining up around blocks, often overnight, to buy them. This will likely be the case with NikeCraft x Tom Sachs.

The Mars Yard Overshoe model will retail for $550 and will be available through select online retailers and at Dallas’ Forty Five Ten. Forty Five Ten is even offering a chance to win a pair through an Instagram promotion (go to @fortyfiveten for more information).

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