It's been another weird week in retail. Vans teamed up with everyone's favorite Upper West Side grocery store for a good cause, Legos and Adidas partnered for a customizable shoe, and Will.i.am created a "smart" face mask — but it'll cost you.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
Zabar's and Vans team up for a good cause
Vans in 2020 launched an effort called "Foot the Bill," which provides financial support to community-driven small businesses. The program last year sold 20,962 pairs of Vans across the globe and raised over $4 million.
The footwear brand brought it back this year and in March opened the program up for public nominations.
Among the recent nominations was everyone's favorite Upper West Side grocery store: Zabar's.
The special shoes and T-shirts come in an orange and white color scheme — reminiscent of its branding — and feature some of the business's most popular items: coffee, smoked salmon, bagels, rugelach, cheese and those black and white cookies.
Unfortunately for interested fans, the T-shirts have since sold out, but don't fret. The slip-on Vans decked out in all the Zabar's treats your heart could desire are still available for purchase.
The business plans to use all the proceeds from the Foot the Bill effort to support its local food banks and food rescue organizations.
"Economic instability brought on by the pandemic means that an increasing number of people rely on these programs to put food on the table and we feel that supporting their efforts is more important now than ever," the company wrote in a post on Vans' site.
The collaboration appears to have even gained the stamp of approval from Congressman Jerry Nadler, who retweeted the news last week.
But of course, some were quick to point out just how vastly different a Zabar's customer may be from the typical Vans customer.
The Venn diagram of Zabar's shoppers and Vans customers is two circles without an intersection https://t.co/o9MWzzuWqt— Joel Siegel (@joelmsiegel) March 31, 2021
Hey, Vans slip ons, Zabar's rugelach and a good cause? Sounds like a winning combo to us.
Adidas tempts consumers' creative muscle with latest Lego drop
In October last year, Adidas and Lego announced a multi-year partnership to produce co-created products. Though the initial collaboration may have taken some by surprise, the resulting products have truly delivered.
And that includes one of its most recent drops: the Adidas Ultraboost DNA X Lego Plates Shoes.
This pair is every kid-at-heart's dream come true. The iconic Adidas three-stripe design is fully customizable with, you guessed it, Lego bricks.
The product, which according to The Verge went on sale at 10a.m. Thursday, have since sold out. The shoes are already posted on online marketplace StockX and have bids up to $400 as of press time.
This, however, wasn't the only hot item to hit the sneaker scene recently. Nike released a pair of its Air Force 1 shoes with features reminiscent of the U.S. Postal Service's shipping boxes.
But it seems the USPS wasn't fully on board with this "collab," vowing to take action to protect its intellectual property.
"Sales of unauthorized and unlicensed products deny support to the hardworking women and men of the Postal Service," the USPS wrote late last week. "This is an unfortunate situation where a large brand such as Nike, which aggressively protects its own intellectual property, has chosen to leverage another brand for its own gain. The Postal Service is disappointed in Nike's lack of response to repeated attempts to come to a solution."
Will.i.am, Honeywell jump on the face mask train
Face masks became the hottest accessory of 2020, and it seems that trend will continue for at least the next several months.
From traditional retailers to makers on Etsy, everyone seems to have added face coverings of some sort to their product assortment.
And now, even rapper Will.i.am is trying to get in on the action. The rapper and founding member of the Black Eyed Peas teamed up with designer Jose Fernandez to create Xupermask.
But this isn't your typical face mask. The product taps into Honeywell's innovation and uses smart tech and features things like HEPA filters, an audio control panel, a microphone, fan controls and noise-canceling earbuds, among other things.
"When the pandemic broke out, it quickly became clear that masks were going to be a new must-wear item, like shoes or a jacket when it's cold outside," Will.i.am said in a Q&A posted on Honeywell's website. "From a functionality standpoint, masks have their issues. Your eyeglasses fog up. Masks are hot and stuffy. Talking on your phone is muffled. Your earpods get dislodged or tangled up."
The product, however, will cost you — $299.99 more precisely. Unfortunately for those interested, the first drop has already sold out, according to Xupermask's website.