The Bootleg of Nikes

the menthol tends to a lot of people that’s just like Newports bootleg thing that was the easy part there’s messages all through that chute it was just the perfect storm of people were ready to accept a shoe that wasn’t one of the big boys the sneaker is dedicated to the two brands that have taken the most and given the least it was time it was time it was time here was this big company and their lawyers just drilling down on me and they thought it was a global conspiracy it was outrageous what do you got we want to know how many we want proof we think that there’s 10 or 20 or 40,000 of these yeah kind of got bullied cost a hell of a lot of money hello microphone check traffic check we’re on Canal Street this is sort of the heart of the visual bootleg area of New York if you spend any time in New York you’ve had to get something here at some point either if it’s a foam mattress for your hurt and grannies back or whether it’s for your art school project my name is Ari Forman some people in Philly call me Orie and I’m a designer graphic designer and started working the music industry doing logos album covers and in the last 19 years of my life has been experienced in marketing its events tours pop-up stores so it’s the experience of marketing we’re looking at my dungeon this is where I keep not only my sneaker collection the vast majority of it as well as a life of knickknacks but the the vast majority of what I have here is Nike stuff and it’s a full range these are samples it’s not so much special it’s this all-black high-top Nike Air Force one with squat on the back so is the SWAT thing but it has steel toe I came up under my mom with this sort of idea of hey just make it and that really has been the catalyst to everything I do so the creative process was always sort of there as I was growing up I was a skateboarder very much into sneakers at that point and then graffiti was sort of intertwined into all of that went to design school just seemed like the natural progression when my graphic design thing sort of led into doing on-the-go magazine with Steve Powers and Jimmy and Max we had freedom with this this is a sample of this colorway here is another pair of those salesman gets it in a ziploc bag from Nike and it has this tag so these two I would assume are this pair of shoes is one of one this is the only one in the world it’s the salesman left and right with two different colored soles sneaker culture in I guess the early thousands there was this moment where sneaker became culture eBay had really shown up internet had shown up forums started to pop up Nike talked and it gave a window it felt really special because it was still tiny I have this is a bathing ape I got in 2003 in Japan this one is pony hair these are the this is the style that said hey it doesn’t have to be only Nike or adidas it can be something else and guess what it can be worth even more a bathing ape brand started in 1993 nigo did something really significant nigo seemed to be taking popular American culture and putting his brand spin on it he was making these knockoff Air Force Ones what he was using camouflage he was doing things that were very hip-hop very Street and it really started to make you look at Nike like why aren’t you pushing these limits that opened the door for other people to do their thing and so here was this moment where I’m got this marketing company I have been working with Nike for years as a as a client and we really had a really great relationship but creatively these things just weren’t happening I was frustrated by clients who didn’t understand the value of something like what Nikko had done I’ve been working with the tobacco industry I had done some tobacco promo I had done anti tobacco and I wanted to make a case study I wanted a piece of art that yeah I wanted to make a sneaker I wanted to be can’t be and funny and nigo open that door so the men thought 10 I had 252 made and that’s because that’s a sample run I had a made in China and so I finally had that sample pair and it was a go [Music] [Music] when the word started to get around I didn’t know what that was going to be like people were really into it and I was I was taken back I’m gonna show you the menthol sentence and talk you through them so I like you’re classy duane reade bag that’s very there’s a very New York thing if you don’t know New York so this is in good shape sometimes I see boxes out there they just heat and so I’m gonna compare that to this vintage classic Newport package here I mean it’s a shame that what’s in it is so poisonous but man this is a beautiful package design so let me tell you a little bit about the Box menthol tens general warning instead of general surgeon general’s warning general warning get off the brand wagon and that was just to say that you can get a brand that isn’t part of this its ruling class of brands that there are smaller brands that can have a higher value and have much more to say and much more content but they are not considered let’s see I think we get the yeah it’s nice to hold these it’s you know the obvious parallels to the brand we’ve got the green for the green and the ads but this sort of aquamarine turquoise II kind of feeling is goes back to the old days patent leather flat leather this is a printed so it’s all there and you know in the classic Air Force one silhouette on the front tip of the Air Force one it has little stars and maybe some people know Sarah not this one has little money signs for me it was all about the detail everything about this had to have a purpose so this insole which is custom is the part that looks like the filter the cigarette filter inside this shoe to see that tag this is sort of like the manufacturing tag the sneaker is dedicated to the two brands that have taken the most and given the least thanks for the motivation now it’s our turn and that was really to say that like we had been working with them in different capacities and different brands and had worked specifically on some Footwear and we were saying that bigger and better things could be done and we’re going to stand for that if it means that we lose your love you know we’ve got to tell you what’s on our minds a lot of people came up to me saying that I was glorifying cigarettes and yes to a degree I am but how else do you deliver a Trojan horse you don’t show up as the enemy and either I love Newport but I despise cigarettes and so this was a perfect Trojan horse to create that dialogue for me a family that was drug addicted pills alcohol you know caffeine all kinds of things cigarettes were a lesser of evil and they were all evil and it was like well at least if my mom is smoking maybe I’ll have her for 40 years if she keeps taking these pills and doing this alcohol maybe I won’t have her for very long and it was a up choice to have to think about my mom before she died was she was smoking holding her she was on an oxygen tank and I’m trying to talk to her about her health in her life and she’s pulling the oxygen tank off and smoking you not so you’re not supposed to smoke near those things yeah this glamorized smoking and only a way that it could to create a dialogue that other life otherwise wouldn’t have happened if I just said hey be a conscious consumer I don’t think that little worked quite so well so in 2006 the sneaker comes out I suspected that there that people would not be happy and so I set myself up to protect myself as best I could I mean I just you know I was a little naive on that so after the release you know within days Nike gave me a seasoned assist which is for those that don’t know it’s this just sort of standard cease what you’re doing stop it don’t make any more don’t do it anymore and so I expected the same thing from Newport they immediately came at me with more than a cease and desist yeah my secret attache this is one of those things you get at a staple you know five dollars that’s about all I had left after that ordeal so perfect yeah so these are documents relating to the menthol ten project stuff from Newports lawyers a simple sort of cease and desist from Nike like I said they were really cool about it I mean there’s an endless amount of paperwork here that’s related to the new Ford thing so right here is Newports initial letter that says infringement of Newports trade dress and spinnaker logo so if we just pan this over here’s the spinnaker logo here’s what Nikes saying that I’m using and then here’s the here’s Newport so this was my point these corporations can create the demand and market this as a necessity if they want to but they can’t deny that there are certain ramifications of that that there aren’t certain moral dilemmas with that just like anything how do you hold yourself to a higher standard without only holding yourself to shareholders the men thought 10 for me as a case study it’s disingenuous for them to act like some of the things that they’re doing are sort of creating need it must be the shoes it’s got to be the shoes that’s akin to tobacco marketing sure it’s not giving you cancer but I’m saying that they’re their ways of getting the money out of our pockets is similar in the marketing Newport they were like what do you got we want to see all documents we want to see where that was manufactured we want to know how many we want proof we don’t believe you we think that there’s ten or twenty or forty thousand of these at this point we’re in an argument or I’m just being beaten up I’ve basically been tied I’ve got the light on my eyes and I’m the where were you the night of the 27th and then just slapping me around so what was the settlement can’t use it can’t own it can’t own a digital picture of it can’t profit from it can’t talk about it can’t do anything essentially so you can see like here’s the amounts me being charged for defense which is a eleven thousand two hundred and seventy five dollars and growing and growing and so part of the settlement said that I had to buy back the sneakers if they went under two hundred fifty dollars and I had to give it to them to destroy and I was giving it to interns and I know that what are they would I destroy is there a sneaker shredder no so what did what did they destroy this threw them in the trash I guess two or three years in they stop responding to emails they stop responding to my reports they stop responding to my calls they just disappeared and so I then started to stacking things up and I was like I guess I’ll destroy them myself I’ll throw them out I was just like I guess you know it so or I just don’t know and that’s that’s kind of works out that’s why I’ve been talking about it I figured we’ll walk down to Stadium boots check out the folks over there my sneaker was it’s more of a forced collaboration you know that just wouldn’t have happened sometimes you really just have to do something different and put it in a negative context in order to drive a very positive conversation yeah I think this is an example of when the brand is open to there they’re sort of iconic silhouettes and shapes and designs being torn apart reconstructed in a way really changed and and this almost looks like a like a deconstructed bootleg in a way in the in a in a positive way it’s it’s fantastic you know to me is really important about a brand relaxing and allowing things to happen I am concerned to talk about it people could take it as a warning don’t play with tobacco in any sort of way legally illegally it doesn’t really pay off any way that you look at it looking back on it I would do it again I would a little differently I had put some a little more protection in place and stuff but I I think even more so I would have I would do it even more intensely knowing the type of dialogue that can create I would do it again in a heartbeat and who says

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