A Miami based contemporary art newsletter / blog

Hump Day Cool Finger: Custom Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe Nike Air Max 90’s


Custom Kicks – Air Max 90 Andy Warhol/Marilyn Monroe. Image credit.

Our trawling of various ‘cool’ blogs this week dredged up these, a recent ode to art this time piggy backing off of the unavoidably vacuous Nike corporation. Conceived as a collectible extension of kicks (a proclaimed classic style of trainer from the 90′s) these abominations, inspired by Andy Warhol’s Marilyn, were custom made by Sander Nagel

The general consensus on the www seems to be that these are the ‘best thing since sliced bread’, one blogger even reported that he wanted to buy three pairs, one to rock, one to display and one to sleep in. Personally we think they look like shit, their only redeeming features being the all white body and contrasting black laces and tongue tag.

In their defense they are certainly a unique new spin on two iconic classics, however, as one of the most recognizable and widely disseminated works of art in the world the memorialization of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn as a shoe design flabbergasts us not only because is it so mind numbingly obvious, but because having been preceded by just about every type of adaptable consumable known to man (Marilyn coffee mugs, Marilyn mouse mats etc), it is incredible that we have somehow avoided it until now.

Andy Warhol was one of the most enigmatic and invigorating figures the art world has ever known. Throughout his Pop and Post Pop periods he pioneered an artistic revolution by consistently blurring the distinction between high and low art. This fact and the reality that Andy Warhol began his artistic career as an illustrator of ladies shoes deems the advent of these Nikes somewhat fitting. Nevertheless, Andy Warhol, who would likely have called this move ‘Business Art’, would presumably be very disappointed to know that the edition is not just extremely limited, but completely a one off.

The only thing we found favorable about this whole affair is the following comment from Binge Online:

I like the pose of these Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe  Nike Air Max 90 shoes cuz it conjures up images of a nubile young thing wearing daisy dukes while sucking on a lolipop as an unruly wind, generated by a steel fan in a photo studio in New York City, playfully blows wisps of her strawberry blonde hair over her scalp and shoulders. Because thats who will wear these and whom they are for.  Really dough.   Shucks, I’d buy a pair just display em under a round acrylic cheese display case. For irony.

Below are a few more choice comments from Flylyf and Kanye West that serve to illustrate the demographic for this kind of hybridization:

KiDD Tt says:


g.knows-kicks says:

DOPE. straight fire. they NEED to release these

Sarrow says:

…i want it best thing i seen dust far

harajukulover says:

omg these bring tears to my eyes. i love them

LEmpireDesLoups says:

oh the 90′s. They probably sprinkled a lil crack on em.’

steven says:

ayee nice sneakers


For legitimate nightmarish concessions by the Andy Warhol Foundation please go here.

This post was contributed by Thomas Hollingworth.



  • Richard Haden

    Nike’s Marilyn versus Sylvie Fleury:

    If I were looking for an example of recuperation, I think it safe to say using Marilyn’s image, in our time, is a fine example of trying to resuscitate sales through nostalgia. What made Marilyn Monroe’s or Elizabeth Taylor’s image relevant in Warhol’s day was that these iconic images represented a female paradigm. I just don’t see the same paradigm in today’s world. Since the pop tartish day of Warhol, we have seen the idealized female image of the 60′s give way to a multitude of other kinds of stylized glamour such as Punk, emaciated models (Edie), Grunge, Corporate, Butch and so on.

    As for the shoe gazing point of this conversation, I can highly recommend an alternative to Nike’s recuperating of Monroe …it comes in the form of deconstruction. Instead of the wanton desire of Nike profiteering, I give you Sylvie Fleury’s “Mondrian Boots”. Fleury undermines the Nike posturing gesture which tries to profit from the passive nature of popular populism by way of the passive nature of outdated iconography. On the other foot Fleury’s profound iconoclastic statement kicks the patriarch where it hurts most; to the groin of patriarchy itself; or to the history of the male domination as the purveyors of taste itself.

  • Emily


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Hump Day Cool Finger: Custom Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe Nike Air Max 90’s