The Takashi Murakami x Porter TZ BS-06 was slowly becoming somewhat of a white whale—or even a lost cause. Word of the Japanese artist’s first foray into sneaker design along with some tantalizing images first arrived online almost a year ago. Since then, it’s pretty much been radio silence, suggesting that perhaps the entire project had fallen through.
Now, however, there’s news that the long-awaited kicks would arrive at Murakami’s online store Tonari no Zingaro as well as select retailers as a weekend drop starting Friday, August 30th—a bit of a shocker all things considered. The artist himself, announced the release via his Instagram account over the weekend.
“For the first time in my life, I made a pair of sneakers from scratch,” he writes. “From conception to drawing sketches to selecting the collaborator and manufacturer, I’ve handled everything, start to finish, every step of the way. Seeing the finished pair, I felt deeply emotional. I’m truly glad I did it.” He went on to mention his long series of collaborations with other footwear brands including Vans, Issey Miyake, and perhaps most famously, Louis Vuitton. “This time,” he adds. “I truly got do everything from scratch and feel that this was exactly what I had wanted to do. I’m doing a fist pump in my mind!”
Images via Takashi Murakami (@takashipom)/Instagram…
While the shoes employ Murakami’s famous flower brand, its role here is quiet and secondary, a change from past fashion projects. Instead, the emphasis is on motifs cribbed from Mobile Suit Gundam, a anime classic and a favorite of the artist. Martial-looking pockets and pouches available for accessorizing, a colorway dominated by tank green, a boxy sole, and more give the kicks a ready-for-war look, but with the sort of cartoonish proportions one might expect from Murakami.
As the artist adds, the whole project was a result of a meeting between him and streetwear legend Marc Eckō, one which led to Murakami’s participation in ComplexCon, a gathering of sneakerheads. After his reception there, the gears started moving. In a series of Instagram posts below, the artist explains his process.
Murakami certainly has some right to be thrilled. More than a strong first effort, these are some genuinely desirable kicks. The current price of $611 and the limited run, however, means that prices on the secondary market are bound to be exorbitant. Set your watches and your clocks if you want in on the ground floor with these.