Nikedunk Prison Blues

I have talked before about prison aesthetics in fashion. In the case of Haeftling, my criticism was tempered by the professed share of profits with the inmate population.

This example from Nike is less complex. These are trainers “inspired” by prison. The ‘Prison Blues‘ sneaker. How bland.

The jejune description of the shoe is trumped only by the inanity of the comments.

The Prison Blues come thoroughly packed with rugged details such as distressed denim featuring repeating prints of the star spangled banner splashed over in white; the edges of the panels are left deliberately unraveled for a worn, unfinished look. The white Swoosh features printed type in black on it and a zipper enclosure keeps the shoes pulled together,  while the lace-up panels take a side-step. On the tongue is a number patch that uncannily resembles the number identification patches on prison uniforms. Prison Blues is set to drop on Aug 9 at 10PM EST, so pen that date down in your iPhone for a pair in time.

The quotes on the sneaker are those of Johnny Cash – an inadvertent and tellingly naive inclusion. Cash, despite his self-manipulated jail-bird image, only spent one night in lock up and (certainly today) has little to do with the reality of American prisons. I’d loved to have seen quotations from Eugene Debs, Clarence Darrow, Angela Davis or Elliot Currie used instead, but they aren’t commerce-compliant …