If you’ve been on TikTok or Instagram lately, you’ve undoubtedly bore witness to a pair of cartoonish Big Red Boots doing the rounds.
Taking sartorial inspiration from Astro Boy or Dora the Explorer’s sidekick Boots, these boots represent the growing “cartoonification” that is happening in fashion right now.
What started with Loewe’s Minnie Mouse clodhoppers, continuing with a pair of J.W. Anderson froggy slides inspired by a young Prince Harry have continued into "cartoon boots for a Cool 3D World.” Created by New York art collective MSCHF, the brand has made headlines for its satirical and often controversial designs including the custom ‘Satan Shoes’ designed for Lil Nas X containing real blood. This move saw the label slapped with a lawsuit from Nike, which would later be settled.
Released February 16th, these fun boingo boots are retailing at $350. A high price for a bouncy pair of boots that are probably quite sweaty - if not delightful. As New York Fashion Week swarms our FYP, these shoes have been seen on a host of influencers and celebs, including Dorian Electra, fitting for their zany look.
"Cartoonishness is an abstraction that frees us from the constraints of reality. If you kick someone in these boots they go BOING!” say MSCHF. Is this the beginning of a new era of hyperreal fashion? If we can make cartoons that look like reality, why can’t we make reality that looks like a cartoon? Are we seeking out items that provide distraction from a world that can be a little colourless at times? Or, will these boots be ancient history by the time the ink has dried on this issue of OTwo?