Retail Therapy: Nike's shoe treadmill takes a step in the wrong direction
While the company was filing a patent for tech that helps shoppers put on shoes, Kanye West was evidently ripping off its old designs.
It's been another weird week in retail. Nike filed a patent for a conveyor belt shoe, while Kanye West's Yeezy team made waves for stealing its designs. In other news, there's a new Kickstarter for a jacket that doubles as a tent and Asos brought the shine back to fashion with silver leggings that make the moon look dull.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
Nike just does it — files for useless patent
Nike is still figuring out how to make life easier for its female employees, but the company at least has a firm grasp on how to make it easier for customers to get a running start to the day.
Thanks to Nike's patent department, we could soon be stepping on a treadmill before we even have our shoes on — or, more accurately, while we're putting our shoes on. According to Gizmodo, the patent is designed to add a conveyor belt feature to tennis shoes to "help people put on their shoes," because that's definitely the most important problem Nike needs to solve right now (A+ use of resources).
But let's forget for a second that Nike's top brains are going toward helping customers achieve a skill usually acquired in the second grade and turn our attention to Adidas, which had a similarly bad week — one that started with being forced to withdraw a Soviet-themed T-shirt from stores in Lithuania and only got worse from there.
Adidas brand ambassador and universally disliked celebrity Kanye West managed to not only offend everyone in the United States with his comments about slavery last week, but also admit that someone on his Yeezy team had taken ownership for a Nike design. After acknowledging the blunder, he quickly moved on with peace and love toward the Adidas rival, Teen Vogue reports. In typical West fashion, he fired the underling that was involved, sent a shout out to the real designer and spent the next day filling his Twitter feed with philosophical musings like: "take a walk outside. Fresh air is healing."
Let's all remember: impersonation is the highest form of flattery. That is, unless you're stealing someone's work and casually passing it off as your own. Then it's just plagiarism, copyright infringement — you get the idea.
#Adidas: So they announced that they’re sticking with #KanyeWest in spite of his remarks on slavery. Well, they have every right to do so, just like I have every right to only shop #Nike from now on. Why Adidas would stand by such ignorance is mind boggling.— Brandon Boyd (@ItsBrandonBoyd) May 4, 2018
@adidasoriginals @adidas Thank you standing by @kanyewest , now, I can return my $300 order with great pleasure. Off to @Nike it is. #slaveryisnotachoice , but buying #adidas is. #boycottyeezy #BoycottAdidas #boycottkanyewest— Sir Henry ???????? (@MrHenryPerez) May 3, 2018
Why? You sample everything and pretend it's yours.— Showbiz 411 (@showbiz411) May 4, 2018
Can't pitch a tent? Wear one
Every once in a while a disruptive thinker ignores the small voice in the back of his or her head saying an idea hasn't been fully formed yet and imagines they've created the best thing since sliced bread. Thus, we get products like platform flip flops, platform crocs and pool floats shaped like maxi pads.
The tent jacket is another example of an innovative idea gone awry. What started out as a good-natured attempt to help the less fortunate by allowing them to wear their portable homes (talk about a feature that adds utility to the apparel space), ended up as an item on Kickstarter that doesn't really hold fashionable value but still costs several hundreds of dollars to purchase.
To be fair, it may be more worthwhile to spend $300+ dollars on a tent jacket that helps out the homeless than on an embroidered selfie. But where the tent jacket went wrong is by assuming that anyone besides the homeless would want to wear a jacket that looks like a trench coat ran into an outdoorsy steampunk enthusiast.
There's a case to be made for low-budget travelers to cough up the cash for this product, but only if they change the slogan to: "The world is your campsite."
Last night I had a dream that there was a man who invented a jacket that could turn into a fort and he called it a “tent coat” and that is the funniest damn thing my subconscious has ever come up with— Caitlin C. (@teachingsmiles) May 9, 2018
Asos sends festival fashion into outer space
In a year punctuated by Asos' constant efforts to outdo itself (We're wagering the worst accessory from 2017 was either the poop emoji handbag or the hoop earring sunglasses), the brand's latest effort is almost refreshing in its originality.
The brand last week managed to release an outfit that says Star Wars, 90s nostalgia and a little bit of West Side Story all at once. As has become typical for the fast-fashion retailer, the "ASOS DESIGN metallic festival co-ord," reported by the Sun, has about two words that signify anything about the product and the rest are there either for misdirection or decorative purposes.
According to Asos, the correct way to wear the "meggings" and "longline T-shirt in holographic metallic silver fabric" is with a black fanny pack, neck tattoos and a winning smile, likely to offset the sinking feeling customers' get when they realize they're dressed like a tourist at a disco party taking place on Zenon's space station.
As usual, one of the only positive things we have to say about this Asos ensemble is that the whole shebang costs a whopping $64, justifying the otherwise unjustifiable fact that the entire outfit is a glitter glue shade of silver. Shine on, Asos. Shine on.
Would love to know a) Why on earth this outfit came up on my sponsored FB post this morning. Have never searched for meggings or men's silver outfits! And b) How many @ASOS have actually sold ???? pic.twitter.com/Xliskd0pPZ— Alison (@small_ison) May 6, 2018
Asos are selling "meggings" aka man leggings. This really really cannot become a thing.— Flossie Fallon (@Flostitute) February 22, 2015
Follow Cara Salpini on Twitter