Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sneaker Activism

This is the world's first and only international sneaker petition with over 2000 signatures from over 30 countries in less than 10 days. The petition has also gotten newspaper and blog coverage in USA, Italy, Japan, France, Russia, Chile, Spain, Hong Kong, China and Canada. Talk about "sneaker activism", eh?
Below is an excerpt from The Boston Phoenix.
The Boston Phoenix Remember Marty McFly's grey moon-boot-styled Nikes from Back to the Future II? The ones Michael J. Fox wore in 2015? Those high-topped kicks you could never buy?
Al Cabino remembers them well. So well that he wants his own pair. Minor problem: Nike never actually made any for public consumption McFly's futuristic shoes were movie props.
So last week he created an online petition "to request that Nike create a pair of these kicks to be sold to the public." He plans to hand-deliver the petition to Nike's Oregon headquarters when he gets "a respectable amount" of signatures.
"We're talking the most mythical sneaker in film history," says Cabino, over the phone from Canada. "The Holy Grail of the movie sneaker is the McFly one."
There's been this rumor that Nike had planned to make the McFlys anyway. "There was actually a street legend that in 2015 these sneakers would be made available by Nike," says Cabino. "But I'm not going to wait 10 years. Almost 900 people that signed [the petition] so far, they don't want to wait 10 years."
This past Sunday, three "celebrity" autographs appeared among the online signatures: Nicole Richie's fiance Adam Goldstein (DJ AM) (#11), Kanye West protege Lupe Fiasco (#591), and Bill McMullen (a/k/a Billions McMillions), Def Jam Recording's former design director (#770). Cabino had also started receiving hate mail from people critical of his appropriation of the word 'activist'. "Im not saying we're ending world hunger," Cabino says in his defense. "We're enjoying life. I live and breathe sneakers. I'm not taking anything away from the fight for workers' rights."
Cabino, who earlier this year commissioned a pair of Swiss-chocolate Nike Vandals, "the world's first-ever chocolate sneakers," also claims that he's not a covert Nike agent trying to drum up faux-grassroots press for the corporate monolith.
"This is a pure petition," he insists. "I've been involved in sneaker culture for the last two years. I don't work for Nike."

View Al Cabino's petition online at


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