Brandalised's new collaboration with Japanese sneaker brand via SANGACIO epitomizes the state of affairs.
via SANGACIO prides itself as a truly handmade sneaker brand, with all footwear manufactured within the brand's own factory in Thailand by trained artisans, handstitching everything from the sole to the brand's lateral side "にゅ" branding.
Or so the story goes — via SANGACIO is Japan-only and I haven't handled the product myself. I'm sure it's fine and all but that's not important here.
More interesting is the saga of Brandalised.
Brandalised deems itself the "official" partner to "THE WORLDS [sic] MOST FAMOUS GRAFFITI," selling a wide variety of tchotchkes decorated with imagery sourced from various graffiti artists, including Banksy.
Of course, Banksy has nothing to do with Brandalised: Full Color Black, a Brandalised subsidiary, actually beat Banksy in copyright court over use of his graffiti.
"If [a company] ever says its [Banksy merch is] official, it's officially bullshit," one Redditor succinctly put it.
Still, thanks to Banksy's own copyright problems, Brandalised is free to utilize the artist's imagery for its own devices.
Retailing for ¥28,600 (about $230), via SANGACIO's Brandalised sneaker collab features a few recognizable bits of Banksy iconography, like monkey and rat prints.
Besides those, though, the shoes are barely recognizable as being Banksy adjacent, otherwise made of white leather and fitted with via SANGACIO's usual hiragana "にゅ" branding.
Brandalised licenses faux Banksy graphics for the Medicom Toy stuff and things like greeting cards but doesn't operate any of the touring Banksy shows — for now.
Luckily, that means that the worst stuff we have to see is nothing more upsetting than these bland-ass sneakers.