They are big, red, made of rubber and comically larger than the average boot, but they are making waves on social media, made an appearance during New York Fashion Week and WWE Superstar Seth Rollins stomped out The Miz in the boots during Monday Night Raw—and here’s what the craze is about.
The Key Facts
A New York-based art collective known as MSCHF—pronounced mischief—is behind the cartoonish big red boots that have made their appearance all over social media.
TikTok has seen hundreds of million views of the boots, including one from Jaadiee who dressed his grandfather with street wear and another of him trying to get rid of the outrageously large shoes.
It has been likened to the footwear in popular anime. Astro Boy and Dora the Explorer’s sidekick “Boots.”
MSCHF described them as “Cartoon boots for a 3D world” comparing them to fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s Armadillo Boots.
On Thursday, the Big Red Boots went online and were available for purchase at $350 via MSCHF’s website.
With many trying to get their hands on a pair, the web traffic to the MSCHF website caused it to crash—and when the site was back online the boots were already sold out within minutes.
The boots are selling for over $1,000 on the secondary market.
MSCHF is an art collective that sells a bizarre line of products, not just fashion. They also have cologne to smell like WD-40, and a half-pound fruit loop, which sold out.
The Key Background
Founded in 2016, MSCHF is not exactly a fashion brand or a producer of consumer goods but describes itself as an “art collective” that engages in art, fashion, tech and capitalism. MSCHF used to finance itself through ad campaigns that were created for clients like Target and Casper, but this was stopped by 2019. Gabriel Whaley, the founder and chief officer, told Insider they now “go all in on our own stuff.” It is unclear how exactly the company maintains funding, but it has had a $12.5 million series B round of funding in 2021, according to PitchBook data.
This art group is not afraid of controversy. Last year, in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X, MSCHF dropped 666 pairs of what it called “Satan” Nikes, which featured redesigned Nike Air Max 97s with a bronze pentagram, upside down cross and real human blood retailing for $1,080, a reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18. Prior to the “Satan” shoes, MSCHF released “Jesus” Nikes, featuring holy water from the River Jordan. MSCHF would be sued later by Nike. The company offered to refund anyone who returned shoes to Nike as part of the settlement.
Trends in Viral Communication
MSCHF is not only famous for its Big Red Boots. It dropped an app featuring investment advice based on one’s own astrological sign. The browser extension was also a hit, allowing users to watch Netflix discreetly at work. This company collaborates with content creators and partners with Mr. Beast, to create an app to sell 2,755 Lamborghinis for $35—the catch being the car can vary from a toy model, a remote controlled car, a kid size car and—for only one purchaser— an actual functioning Lamborghini.