TIME HONORS THE DUPLICATE
I was on instagram the other day and Grailed was doing a feature on Air Jordan I counterfeits. Jordan I counterfeits have become a collector’s item because of its limited supply.
“In September 1985 the original Nike Air Jordan 1 released and with it came some notable counterfeit versions by brands such as Sang, Pro-Joggs and Honors Sports. Over time these fakes have become just as, if not more, valuable than the originals themselves.”
It made me think how over time the duplicate gets honored by consumers. Duplicate may not be the exact word to use but it will be used today to sort of exaggerate the eerie similarities in the products discussed today.
First, I remember when the BAPESTA sneaker by A Bathing Ape came out. The sneaker modeled itself after the Air Force 1. When that shoe first debuted people scoffed and mocked it like they were getting paid for it.
Actually people couldn’t even acknowledge the BAPESTA has its own sneakers. People thought it was a fake Air Force 1. The only noticeable difference a star is on the side of the shoe instead of the swoosh. And the word “ape” is on the midsole instead of the word “air”.
Despite these extreme similarities and mockeries, BAPESTAs went on to become streetwear classics. This is due to collaborations w/ visual artist, KAWS, and Kanye West. And being propelled by the Hip Hop community, BAPESTAs was something you could no longer mock.
More recently one could look at REVENGEXSTORM, a streetwear brand founded by Ian Connor known for its shoes. The shoes are almost an exact replica of the classics VANS shoe. Once again the only difference is with the logo , which sports a Lightning Bolt instead of Vans’ classic logo.
Like BAPE, RevengexStorm faced much criticism. Even articles was created informing readers NOT to buy a single pair. When faced with the burning questions regarding originality he simply refuted that NIGO® did the same thing with BAPESTA.
Because I like shoes and shoes are the hardest part to do. I like the Vans silhouette, so I wanted to do what Nigo did with BAPE, basically, as far as footwear.
After withstanding the criticism, the RevengexStorm sneakers are unmarked much higher than the VANS olds kool sneaker and are being regarded as grails.
Much like anything that get cool, RevengexStorm also got it hip hop stamp.
“Lightning Bolt Diamonds cuz I want Revenge” - Gunna
As time progress people seem to overlook the lack of “originality” because the factors of status, validation, scarcity, and simplicity make the product worth acquiring and at times could be worth more than the original.