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Colin McLean / Gavel Media

Trump's New Shoe Line

Michael Jordan, Kanye West, Beyoncé. These are all celebrities who have made headlines with their creative footwear designs. Now, Donald Trump has made a splash of his own. 

The past few weeks, the fashion industry was swept by an uncontrollable frenzy after former president Donald Trump shook the world by revealing his new sneaker line, “Never Surrender High-Tops.” These glittering, chic sneakers come at a price tag of $400, letting him slap a “high-end" title onto his corrupt lumps of synthetic leather. 

“This is something I’ve been talking about for 12 years, 13 years," Trump proclaimed to a crowd at Philadelphia Sneaker Con where he debuted the footwear, "and I think it’s going to be a big success. That’s the real deal."

This “real deal” is a cruel eyesore for fashion enthusiasts. Imagine the iconic Air Jordan 1s with its high-top design and blocky soles, but instead of the red, black, and white, the majority of the shoe is gold, and a capital T is etched in place of the Nike swoosh in addition to the American flag in all its glory on the ankle area. Like many things associated with Trump—such as the Trump Hotel, Trump toilets, and his hair—is anyone shocked that “Air Trump” is wholly gilded? Even if that surprises you, the American flag should not. 

Trump’s intentions are different from celebrities in the past. Conservative journalist Raymond Arroyo told Fox News viewers, “As you see Black support eroding from Joe Biden, [the shoes are] connecting with Black America. Because they’re into sneakers, they love sneakers. This is a big deal.” Trump’s team seems to shamelessly believe this product of fashion terrorism is winning over Black voters. Arroyo continued, “The culture always trumps politics. And Trump understands culture like no politician I’ve ever seen.” 

It may be true that politics shift with culture, and it’s undeniable that Trump is a politician like no other. However, I’m not sure who told Mr. Arroyo that Never Surrender High-Tops resonate with Black voters. This is just a thoroughly poor judgment of the Black community. 

Trump and his conservative followers do not understand the community’s values. A flaxen pair of shoes is not more important to voters than their child’s education, food, clean water, and jobs. I am not an expert when it comes to politics, but to think sneakers will win over an entire community because of the stereotype that Black people are all sneakerheads is the most obtuse campaign move I’ve seen in a while. Trump might as well make Trump-branded yoga mats to win over the white liberals. You almost feel sorry for the hollow-headed people like Mr. Arroyo while they sit back leisurely on their couches at home, smiling and chuckling, thinking that all Black people are surfing that MAGA wave now. 

One thousand pairs were produced and Trump autographed at least ten of them. Roman Sharf, founder and CEO of luxury watch dealer Luxury Bazaar, bought one of the signed pairs for $9,000. This madness launched him into the spotlight with both support and spite. “I am a sneakerhead," Mr. Sharf told Piers Morgan while on his show. "I’m a big Trump fan and I put the two together and I said, you know what, nine grand is not that bad a price. I’m just a man that likes sneakers, that likes Trump, that bought a pair of sneakers and the world went crazy.” Sharf commented about the shoes, “They’re very, very Donald Trump.” I’m sure they are. In all seriousness, some things aren’t meant to be together, but the watch dealer seems satisfied, so who am I to judge him on his financial decisions? 

Comedian Shane Gillis mocked Trump’s new sneakers on SNL where he quite literally transforms into Trump after putting them on. If these shoes could turn me into a multi-millionaire and former president, sign me up. But in reality, you are more likely to turn into a laughing stock than a businessman. I have absolutely no intention to draw attention to myself by rocking with the Never Surrender High-Tops, or any of the others in Trump’s sneaker line. 

There are two more models in his shoe line featuring the “T-Red Wave” and “POTUS 45 White” colorways with the same graphics as the high-tops in addition to a “45” both of which are frankly not worth more attention. 

Never Surrender High-Tops or the others are not the next trendy piece. It’s a weak political campaign move that most people will forget by the election. We’ll look back on this in a year and wonder what happened to those vicious Trump shoes that were being paraded around.

Alex Cho
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