Authenticity Guaranteed? The Battle Against Fake Sneakers. June 16 2016
When the name Kanye West pops up online, people are bound to pay attention. People want to know what he said (or yelled), what he did, and for sartorial crowd, what he wore. It’s no doubt that Kanye is the biggest trendsetter right now. Not only are his Yeezy’s are the most sought after sneaker, when he wears anything else, they become a hot commodity. This massive following is great for Kanye’s personal brand, but it also fuels a legions of bootlegs and bad imitations that try to capitalize on his popularity.
Earlier today, Angelus Direct-sponsored artist Mache teamed up with Chronicled, Inc. to lace up Kanye West and his daughter North with two pairs of custom adidas for North’s third birthday. One might assume that child of two of the biggest celebrities will get the wildest gifts, but a pair of custom sneakers from the customizer is particularly special.
Many call Dan "Mache" Gamache the master of sneaker customs, and this is for good reason. Mach might be the most seasoned customizer, with 10+ years of practice to perfect his craft. Over the past decade and more, Mache has built a who’s-who clientele list that include sports stars, musicians, and even sneaker companies. So it goes without saying, if Mache is involved, the result isn’t simply a ‘custom sneaker’ but a work of art on a sneaker.
It’s no doubt that these half-uncaged adidas Ultra Boosts are a hot commodity since Kanye was spotted wearing a pair. The question is, because this color scheme is Kanye related, will more olive-and-green Ultra Boosts customs start to pop in the #angelusdirect thread? Probably.
The Angelus Direct supplied paint job itself is proof enough that these sneakers are authentic, one-of-a-kind Mache’s, but they also have a neat little tag on them to further prove that. The sensor tag is from a San Francisco based tech startup called Chronicled Inc, a company that aims to digitally authenticate sneakers with a smart chip.
Marshawn Lynch is one of the backers behind the Chronicled. If you didn’t know, Beast Mode is a huge sneakerhead. He took his love of sneakers to the football field with a pair of custom cleats done by artist SolesbySir (who we featured some months back); so Lynch’s involvement is no surprise in the company.
Ideally, by establishing origin, cataloging proof of purchase, and categorizing sneakers into a database, Chronicled aims to eliminate fake sneakers. Recently, custom sneakers have been brought up in the conversation about authenticity. Most fakes are identifiable, but with so many sneakers are being customized, and so many designs being stolen, things get a bit murkier. With an established customizer like Mache as an early adopter, Chronicled might be the next tool in creating truly one-off customs.
It’s unlikely that up-and-coming customizers and sneaker artists will knock off Mache’s custom adidas for Kanye and North, but you’re bound to see more customs “inspired” by his work; this is where the smart tag comes in handy. Right now, the custom sneaker community is working diligently to police itself for fakes and stolen designs, as we recently experienced (obviously don't steal other people's work).
With tech-based innovation like Chronicled, authenticity is a screen tap away for rare and customized sneakers.