Ohh, the Twist Bow…


In Product/Packaging Posted

Living and working in Tokyo in the fashion industry for five years taught me to recognize micro trends faster than you can say Twist Bow slide.  It’s like one day every 20 year old girl on the corner of Omotesando Dori and Meiji Jingumae is wearing puff ball earrings, and if you don’t have this very specific puff ball earring in your store…woe to you.  But then next month if you are carrying puff ball earrings you might as well move your ass over to Cat Street.  Seriously when I opened my store in La Foret my friend said to me, “You have your own store, and it’s not on Cat Street!”  By then I was there long enough to recognize that as a compliment.  Ok long intro.  Let’s talk about the Twist Bow.

“Living and working in Tokyo in the fashion industry for five years taught me to recognize micro trends faster than you can say Twist Bow Slide.”

This past December I went back to Japan for an extended holiday, and when I was there I went to my favorite shoe department in OiOi where they carry Japanese brands I like, but they actually carry my size.  I discovered this very brand new footwear brand called Ambassadors of Minimalism.  Their office is in Aoyama, and they had existed all of 1 year at the time. There was this sneaker that blew me away.  This deep mottled gray felt that was like 5mm thick had been twisted into a oversized “bow” for lack of a better word.  I snapped them up for $200 and hobbled away (they were 1/2 size too small but I didn’t care)

Amb Instagram

Photo copyright Ambassadors of Minimalism

Amb Twist Bow Sneaker Variations

Photo copyright Ambassadors of Minimalism

When I got back home to New York I enjoyed my very unique sneakers for ohhh, about 5 months.  Then…came…The Twist Bow Fenty Slide.  I was aghast.  Did Rihanna travel to Tokyo, see my shoe, and copy the coveted bow onto her Puma slide!?  Or, worse yet, did the earnest tiny start up of Ambassadors of Minimalism see some Fenty preview and steal it?  I was so conflicted.  What is real?  nihilo sanctum estne? Is nothing sacred?!

Fenty Slides

Photo copyright Puma Fenty

Fenty Sneaker

Photo copyright Puma Fenty

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on this since then, and a lot of time has meant A LOT of Twist Bow shoes. First Steve Madden ripped off Rihanna, then Top Shop ripped off Rihanna then damn if my Twist Bow wasn’t popping up like bloody mushrooms all over the damn place until I couldn’t even look at my sneakers and they were relegated to the back of my closet.

Steve Madden Knockoff

Photo copyright Steve Madden

Top Shop knockoff

Photo copyright Top Shop

Right now a Google search for Twist Bow Shoe propagates 16 million possibilities from the grotesque to perfect copies of the original.  I may never know who thought to twist a piece of material once and pin two sides down to a shoe, and I realize 2016 is not the first time this has occurred, but damn if it isn’t overwhelming to watch it spread faster than Captain Trips.  I pity the designer who comes into work each day to have her boss’ boss demand their own version of the Twist Bow sneaker.  Who are you?  I want to buy you a latte little designer friend.

Google search for Twist Bow Sneaker

Photo copyright Google


Leave a Comment