Season: Spring/Summer 2022
Release Date: March 2022
Editor's Notes: I love Japanese clothing. Beyond the big brands that cross over internationally, I'm obsessed with small upstarts and the random amazing creations you come across from digging deep into the scene.
Really, the only reason I use Instagram is to keep up with this stuff.
That brings me to BLOHM, a niche Japanese brand that specializes in punkish shoes, loafers, and the occasional wearable.
It's a pretty small outfit even in Japan, though BLOHM's reach extends to pretty cool joint efforts like a 2019 collaboration with street artist CHITO — now best known for collaborating with Givenchy and Supreme — and influential streetwear label Stray Rats.
For Spring/Summer 2022, BLOHM is rolling out another collection of stylized footwear and accessories but one particularly clever pair of kicks caught my eye: the "Paradox" sandal, which is a Birkenstock-style platform slide with a forefoot strap clearly inspired by MF DOOM's mask.
The Villain's signature face covering was both part of his larger-than-life persona and a reflection of his desire to shun the spotlight. DOOM often famously hired imposters to perform in his stead rather than tour himself and rarely granted interviews, letting his famously twisty flow do the talking instead.
All that's to say that it's pretty funny to see a Japanese brand so inspired by MF DOOM that it elected to render his mask in silver and black leather atop a sandal sole.
And doubly impressive that the resulting design actually looks pretty good.
Note that despite all this, the shoes are apparently not a collaboration or licensed design.
In fact, the estate of MF DOOM clarified to Highsnobiety that BLOHM's sandals were not authorized by the estate.
The shoes are unlikely to see especially wide release either way: BLOHM only has select domestic stockists aside from Better Gift Shop and its shoes usually retail for around $300 even before import fees, so it rarely appears overseas.
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