The Anti Brand Sneaker
The Consumed Column in the NY Times looks at the possibly contradictory concept of launching a sneaker brand that is an anti-sneaker brand. By checking off all the right boxes in its production process, the Blackspot is decorated with a rough circle meant to suggest the obliteration of branding. What’s interesting is a supposed rise in cynical consumers:
The makers of the Blackspot explain their mission as being “to establish a worldwide consumer cooperative and to reassert consumer sovereignty over capitalism.” The first Blackspot shoe, a low-top sneaker, was released in August 2004 and has sold more than 13,700 pairs; the bootlike Unswoosher appeared in March 2005 and is selling at a faster pace (6,000 so far) than the original sneaker, according to the company. This is a pretty good showing, considering the underlying challenge: that those most sympathetic to the mission might also be those most hostile to the idea of a brand as an antidote to the ills of consumer culture. In a sense, the Blackspot is designed for those most cynical about consumerism.