A creative brand has given a few lucky people the chance to walk on water (literally) while adding some spirituality to their style after releasing limited edition ‘Jesus shoes’ that are filled with holy water and have been blessed by a priest – and cost a staggering $3,000.
However, despite the sky-high price tag, it seems there were plenty of people out there willing to pay big bucks in order to elevate their shoe closet with such a unique – and spiritual – design, because the shoes sold out mere minutes after being launched by Brooklyn-based company MSCHF, according to Fox News.
In order to create the aptly-named Jesus Shoes, the company gave a pair of classic Nike Air Max 97s a religious revamp, first filling the sneakers’ transparent air-filled sole with holy water that it sourced from the Jordan River and then colored in order to make it more visible inside the shoe.
A blessing: A pair of $3,000 Nike sneakers filled with holy water and blessed by a priest sold out in mere minutes after launching online on Tuesday
Save your sole: The shoes are filled with 60cc of holy water that was sourced from the Jordan River in Israel, then colored to be more visible in the transparent sections of the sneaker
Spiritual style: There is also a crucifix attached to the laces of one of the sneakers, as well as a single drop of blood on each tongue, meant to represent the blood of Christ
Eager to ensure the shoes bore plenty of religious touches, the brand then added several other spiritual elements to the design, adding a Bible verse – Matthew 14:25 – in black writing on the side of the shoe, as well as a single blood drop, to represent the blood of Christ, which can be found on the tongue of the sneaker.
MSCHF designers then threaded a crucifix onto the laces of one of the shoes in each pair, and added a red insole – meant to reference the red Papal shoes that were traditionally worn outside by the Pope, until the current Pope, Pope Francis, made the decision to don black footwear instead.
Tribute: A red insole is meant to represent the red shoes that were traditionally worn by the Pope when he went outside
As a final special touch, the soles of each of the shoes – of which less than 24 pairs were made – were also scented with frankincense, one of the three gifts presented to baby Jesus in the New Testament story of his birth.
Even the packaging was given a religious makeover, with designers adding an image of an angel to the box, as well as a seal modeled after the Papal Seal.
Far from being an attempt to spread some spirituality to the world however, MSCHF’s aim with the release of the sneakers was actually to mock the ‘absurdity’ of ‘collab culture’.
Speaking to the New York Post, the brand’s head of commerce, Daniel Greenberg, explained that the company’s staffers were sharing ideas for ridiculous collaboration ideas, before they started wondering, ‘What would a collab with Jesus Christ look like?’
Referencing a recent viral collaboration between Adidas and Arizona Iced Tea, Greenberg explained: ‘We wanted to make a statement about how absurd collab culture has gotten.’
In July the two brands teamed up on a limited edition sneaker design, which was then sold for just 99 cents at a New York bodega – a stunt that sparked such a wave of interest, it led to a riot on the street as people desperately tried to get their hands on the shoe.
Setting the scene: As well as sending the shoes to several celebrities and influencers, the brand also unveiled campaign imagery to generate interest in the sneakers
Joking: According to MSCHF’s head of commerce, the aim of the release was to mock the ‘absurdity’ of collaboration culture
Meaning: The final touch on the sneaker design was to add a bible verse – Matthew 14:25 – and a frankincense-scented sole
And Arizona and Adidas are not the only brands to cause such a frenzy of excitement with a limited edition collaboration; when streetwear label Supreme teamed up with Louis Vuitton, the designs sold out in a matter of minutes.
Similar collaborations with popular brand Kith have also produced the same astonishing levels of interest.
Aiming high, the team posed a collaboration with ‘one of the most influential figures in history’: Jesus Christ.
Debate: The shoes have proved to be controversial on social media, with some blasting the concept, while others have praised it as a funny joke
‘As a Jew myself, the only thing I knew was that he walked on water,’ Greenberg added, revealing how the concept for the sneaker was first born, while explaining that he was actually responsible for sourcing the holy water from a ‘friend in Israel’.
The company then followed the tried and tested practices of so many past fashion collaborations by generating interest and intrigue in their launch through celebrities and influencers, sending just a few pairs out to high-profile social media users ahead of the public release.
MSCHF then debuted the shoes on popular sneaker re-sale website StockX, where they flew off shelves in a matter of minutes, leaving not so much as a sprinkling of holy water in their wake.
Unsurprisingly however, the shoes have stirred up some serious controversy online, with many incorrectly directing abuse over the release at Nike – which did not have any input or involvement in the design of the sneakers.
In fact, despite Greenberg confirming that MSCHF purchased the original sneakers at retail value, and did not receive them from Nike, many Twitter users blasted the sportswear company, with one even accusing it of ‘worshiping the devil’.
Others simply branded the shoes – and anyone who would pay such a huge amount of money to buy them – ‘stupid’ and ‘ridiculous’.
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