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Shoe Business: Nike's Iron Man 2 Dunks vs. Twitter Customs

Iron Man Dunks sneakers

A couple of pairs of sneakers for you today: both from Nike but, while one is an official product straight outta Nike's Beaverton, Oregon HQ, the other has come via Merseyside, in the U.K., and is essentially a custom job. One takes its inspiration from a larger-than-life cartoon character, the other from 140 characters. First, the official, megacorp version...

A vision of Tony Stark-ness, Nike's SB Iron Man Dunk Highs are red and burgundy suede in the main, with black patent and yellow trim. They're not out until December, so what you see above may not be their final iteration.

Now onto the more interesting of the two: Brass Monki's Twitter-inspired Dunks. They're made by a British guy called Daniel Reese who, for the past year, has been customizing sneakers, from low-fi Converse to the Dunks you see above. Most of his customized kicks start off as plain white trainers, and end up as videogame and cartoon character-inspired works of art.

Twitter sneakers

The 22-year-old has been selling his creations via the Web, but today he admitted defeat. "Whilst the online shop has been a success, allowing people to order my work, the reality is that for the time involved in creating a pair of bespoke Brass Monki customized sneakers I would be better off financially doing a couple of hours' overtime at my daytime job! I have made the decision to permanently close the online store and will only offer my work in the future on a commission basis."

In short, his original market of "teenagers/young people" has been supplanted by "corporate dudes and many personalities in show business and T.V." There's no business like Shoe Business, it seems.

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  • Sheena Medina

    The market is tough and crowded for custom sneakers. It's too bad Daniel Reese is shutting down his operation. The designs on his website are some of the better ones I have seen out there, and I have seen A LOT. The pac-man design is especially unique. Nike has been producing uninspired customs for years, but with the introduction of services like NikeiD and subsequent competition like Mi Adidas, they have made it really tough out there for the "little guy." I will say you probably will never be able to reach the depth of customization, that is currently possible with a smaller retailer, within a larger corporate structure. So, here's hoping that they don't kill everyone off.