SneakerHeads are always on hunt to find and collect the rarest of the sneakers to flex their collection. Often these hyped and Grail kicks are from famous brands like Nike Or Adidas, But the most rare sneaker ever made was not from those brands.
Ari Saal Forman an American Designer made “Fake” or “Bootleg” Nike shoes which turned out to be a Grail for the sneakerheads. This Bootleg Sneaker was a forced Collab between a cigarette brand Newport and Nike and called them the “Menthol 10s”
The Box of the Menthol 10s Said “Get off the Brand Wagon” and also the sole of the shoe had small dollar signs on them. This bootleg sneaker was designed on top of the Most famous Nike silhouette Air force 1s. Ari Forman has mentioned in multiple interviews that the bathing Ape former designer “Nigo” was a massive influence for him. The brand bathing ape a.k.a “Bape” also used the iconic Nike air force 1 silhouette and got away without any legal issues from Nike. Also, the colorways which Nigo used on his shoes were extremely loud and vocal and represented the hip-hop culture of the era.
Ari Saal Forman decided to do a demo run first and made only 252 copies of menthol 10s. During the initial release, Ari himself signed almost all of the shoes and the release was an instant success. The sneakers took a direct shot at Nike and Newport, the tongue of the shoe said “Dedicated to two brands, that have taken the most and given the least”. Few days After the launch of the sneakers, Nike released a “cease and desist” order against Ari, but Newport took this as a serious issue and attacked the Designer with legal brute force which led to the destruction of the existing shoes.
Currently, Ari is not allowed to legally own a pair of “menthol 10s” himself and to this date, Ari Saal Forman is considered a Sneaker Legend for his attention to details and this beautiful illegal creation, and Menthol 10s remains as the rarest sneaker ever created.
Vice later on created a documentary on it which is available on Youtube.
Unreleased Grail sneaker concepts from Ari:
Due to the whole incident, Ari Saal Forman couldn’t bring these beauties to life. These concept arts have been taken from Ari Saal Forman’s official Instagram account. Feel free to check his Instagram profile (Here), you will find lots of cool stuff