There's no doubt that a good portion of the people lucky enough to purchase the Kaws x Air Jordan 4 released on Friday will be tucking the shoes away for years before ever wearing them. Others will be reselling the sneakers, which are going for around $1,800 on the secondary market already (they retailed for $350). But Kaws himself, birth name Brian Donnelly, wants people to use the shoes for what they were actually made for.
"I would hope that people would wear the shoes," Donnelly told Sole Collector at a launch event for them at the Brooklyn Museum. "I mean, for me a shoe is a functional object. That could be a hypocritical statement, 'cause I collect furniture that you can't sit on."
Donnelly, who admitted he's not that into sneakers, said he's been hounded endlessly by people asking him for pairs. His Instagram posts are filled with vile comments from sneakerheads upset about missing out on the shoes, a waiter recently asked him for a favor on the release while he was grabbing a meal, and his brother has even been contacted about the Jordans.
So intense was the desire for the artist's special Jordan 4 design that people tried to exploit his website to buy pairs early. While Donnelly is no stranger to selling hype product—his limited toy launches have long been targets for resellers—he says this launch was on a different level of magnitude. "Nobody ever hacked my website before."