Tom Sachs and Nike Return with the General Purpose Shoe: Is This the World’s Most Boring Sneaker?

Over the weekend, Nike brought a full-page ad in the Sunday print edition of New York Times to herald the NikeCraft General Purpose Shoe, its latest collaboration with New York-based artist Tom Sachs. The ad lauds the sneakers as what most advertised products claim isn’t: “Bored.”

Right Don Draper Fashion, the rest of the ad is bold, vintage, countering the trend among athletic shoe companies and fans alike to anoint footwear with a meaning beyond its primary function, of course. is to protect one’s feet from the ground. Instead, the General Purpose Shoe is “A more athletic shoe. A pair of sneakers not their own. The picture on the title has no syllables — very similar to real life Crazy men-he advertises David Ogilvy’s 1960 Volkswagen “Lemon” campaign rank — a pair of well-worn sneakers, a contrast to the typical brand new sneaker ad. (“Keeping the shoes on the shelf and never wearing them is my worst nightmare,” Sachs tells us. back to 2017.)

Bold print ad this weekend.


The ad argues that what’s remarkable about the General Purpose shoe — which is easily abbreviated to “GPS” — is its unremarkableness: “GPS is a tool to help you be your best,” Sachs said in a Nike press statement. “They have a low quality. They want to do all the things you do and tell your story. ” A sneaker that’s about the journey, not the destination. With plans to release new colorways on the horizon, the GPS will debut in an offset neutral Studio version with a gummy midsole. su and cobalt blue pull tabs, and named for their status as the current Tom Sachs Studio team’s uniform shoe, for $109.99, they’ll drop through the NikeCraft website on June 10.

Of course, Nike was the sun in the Big Sneaker universe, and became the company it is today by helping invent the concept that the sneaker Not boring, or even merely utilitarian — instead, sneakers are pieces that make a statement not only to be worn, but to be seen and coveted. Indeed, Sachs first teamed up with Nike in 2012 to release Mars Yard shoesa sneaker designed with an extraordinary purpose to withstand conditions simulating Mars and inspired by Sachs’s Creative passion for space travel. Despite that lofty goal, it became a shoe bowl here on earth, leaving a crater on the resale market: pairs listed on StockX will cost four and five figures. Looks like GPS means something different. In a press statement, Sachs shared that he was “involved in Nike in the first place because we wanted to create a sculpture that everyone could wear. It’s a tool for everyday life; it’s democratic. ”

Sachs in his general purpose shoes.


“If the Mars Yard,” reads Nike’s press statement, “is designed for astronaut scientists, its relative, the NikeCraft General Purpose Shoe (GPS), finds its footing every day. ,” and designed to “become better with wear.” (The worn-out sneakers in the image in the ad put this shoe in dialogue with the $1,850″ Balenciaga sneakers “destroyed.” cancel” attracted headlines a few weeks ago.) The sneaker culture is holding a mirror to itself, questioning the objects we covet and why, and how we use or maintain them. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you intend to get your product out of the box or not.

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