So What’s the Deal With These Big Red Boots?

Kendall McElroy

As can be seen taking social media by storm, the Brooklyn art collective MSCHF has released another in their line of unconventional, subversive takes on art and fashion. Dubbed the Astro Boy boots for their uncanny resemblance to Osamu Tezuka’s manga character’s Astro Boy famous footwear. “In cartoon world, representation works with reduced information to immediately imply an object, rather literally depict it. The Big Red Boot works on a similar principle, where it is an absurd, simplified form that conveys the idea of “BOOT” without worrying too much about the particulars of realism.”

MSCHF co-founder, Daniel Greenberg further explains, “The Big Red boot is a realization of a specific sort of cartoonish abstraction of a shoe.” They feature a cartoonish, bulbous shape that almost weighs around 1.6 kg each, and could almost be perceived as unwearable. As described, these boots are “not shaped like feet,” however are, “extremely shaped like boots.” 

After their initial drop on February 16, the $350 boots sold out within minutes and rapidly started popping up on second hand websites like eBay, going for more than $1000. Celebrities and stylists also began dawning their newly bought footwear, such as Lil Wayne, who was spotted wearing them at New York Fashion Week and Diplo who wore them courtside at a recent Knicks game. Stylists along with social media influencers have flooded feeds with flicks of them sporting the boots. 

As MSCHF continues to push the envelope with their outlandish footwear concepts, it begs the question; when does experimental fashion cross the threshold of just being an experiment rather than fashion in any respect? However, as can be explained by Greenburg, “”Part of what comes with the word experiment is chasing after concepts that are varied and dissimilar. Part of why the Super Normal [shoes] are interesting is that they can be this quotidian wearable sneaker, and part of why the AC.1 or BRB are interesting is because they are these challenging fashion objects. The core of our approach is not to compromise the concept of any individual shoe in service of some kind of predetermined overarching market/audience/function/niche.”

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