Andrew Henry, founder of footwear label YOURS, was not stoked with a shipment of his shoes – so he decided to destroy the whole lot. (Creatively, of course.)
OK, it’s not the most conventional way to showcase your product – declaring them to be duds and destroying the lot – but for YOURS it was a way of killing two birds with one stone, resulting in creative de(con)struction.
The video, shot in slow motion, shows explosives, paint, a crossbow, a chainsaw and even a pig’s head to kill a pair of hightops.
Henry, the son of rugby coaching great Sir Graham Henry, is a long-time sneaker enthusiast and thought it would be fun to destroy the shoes. (Oh, yes.)
A soundtrack features a female vocalist narrating the process in French and the video was produced by Joel Little – who’s worked with the likes of Lorde and Kids of 88.
What was wrong with the shipment of shoes that prompted you to destructive ways?
There wasn’t actually a lot wrong with them. Basically, the finish on one of the production runs just wasn’t up to my standard. I’m a perfectionist, if a product has even the smallest aspect that I am not happy with, then I won’t release them to my customers.
Why the French translation/voiceover?
No reason really, just having fun with it. She sounded sexy, I thought it worked well with the overall feel and look of the video.
Did you do the translation yourself or did you have some help?
We left the translation all up to her. None of us speak French so she could be saying anything. Which I personally prefer – it would be pretty hilarious if she was saying how ugly they looked.
How did you come up with the various ways to destroy the shoes? I mean, some of them are very artistic, particularly the pig’s head.
Basically, we just wrote down as many ideas we could think of. We had everything from a blowtorch to spaghetti and meatballs, we then just narrowed it down to the ones we thought might work the best. The pig’s head is a personal favourite.
Do you ever get scared when you’re in a room by yourself?
Not generally, but If I was checked into, say, The Overlook Hotel, I would probably feel like a cuddle.
Who else was involved in bringing about the death of the sneakers and what did they do?
We had a number of people who helped make it happen but the main players would have to be the director, Jae Morrison; Tom Paine, who helped with the overall creative direction; Matt Ellin and Andrew Timms for post-production; and Joel Little for the music.
When did you found YOURS and why?
In 2009. I’ve been collecting sneakers for as long as I remember and most collectors dream of creating their own shoe. I wanted to stamp my mark on a culture I’ve been a part of for many years.
If you could come back in the next life as a shoe, what sort would you be?
All I can think of is tasting feet my whole life. Maybe a faulty pair so I had an early death?