World AIDS Day Footwear: Is This What It Takes for a "Holiday" to Stand Out?

The commemorative World AIDS Day sneaker.
The commemorative World AIDS Day sneaker.

Yesterday during an e-mail exchange, a coworker opined, in reference to this week's World AIDS Day, that there are "so many causes to care about that it's easy to lose track."

This may change her mind and/or that of anyone who is fashionable/hipster-y.

For World AIDS Day on December 1, José Parlá has designed a one-off Chuck Taylor Converse sneaker. The kicks, limited to a release of 500 pairs, will retail for $100. A percentage of the net wholesale price, according to the American shoe company, will go to The Global Fund in its quest to fight AIDS in Africa.

"Parlá chose his painting Ephemeral Pitches, and Notes, Rhythm and Phonetics to grace the shoe's upper," reads the official release. "A striking work, the painting explores constant changes to urban lifestyle and was inspired by abstract noises, music, rhythms, languages and sounds of cities."

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Whoa. All of that in a shoe? How could anyone pass that up!?

The press release also states that the sneaker is an ode to the Miami, Florida-born artist's love of playing basketball and dancing as a youth. (Side note: If you've ever actually tried to hoop in these shoes, you know it's a fractured ankle waiting to happen.)

Jokes aside, our coworker did touch on something interesting. There are so many causes that American philanthropy -- even when it revolves around terrible, incurable diseases -- has reached a saturation point. Not saying we like it or anything, it just seems to be where our culture is at.

A step below cause-based days are fringe "holidays" such as International Sauntering Day on June 19 and Worldwide Atonality Day on December 17. (Yes, these do exist. Look them up on the Internet for proof.) We'd hate to see the release of commemorative T-shirts as well as dog and cat accessories for these weirdo celebrations. Seriously, would we really need a single-pitched squeaky toy to honor Mr. Atonal Music, a.k.a. Arnold Schoenberg?

No, but who's going to stop somebody from doing so?


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