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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Graffeeti Sneakers: the new canvas

The difference between graffiti and tagging is as everyone knows, the former is script whereas the latter is artwork. Although to the owner of the wall it may make little difference. Now tagging is the inspiration behind a new line of children’s shoes, called Graffeeti. The canvas shoes are covered in strips of white plastic which can be written on and rubbed off at will. Each shoe has “Tag ... You’re It!” etched on the sole Graffeeti is the brainchild of Kelye McKinney and Jim Mulligan, two civil engineers in Rocklin, Calif. And inspired by their write on and wipe off, white board. At first they experimented with patent leather but this proved too expensive. Now they have a suitable material the Graffeeti shoes have a fabric loop to hold a dry-erase pen and recommend the use non-toxic pens, large enough not to be choking hazards (6 supplied). The designers do not condone the “destructive practice of graffiti on public property,” but do promote self expression and hope to develop a dry-erase backpack to allow budding taggers to hone their skills without risking arrest. (sic. in other words, by the time junior gets to a wall, they will be quite proficient taggers - that‘s one up for the environment). Graffeeti sneakers are available in high-top and low-top models and retail at They cost $31.99 (US) children’s sizes; and $35.99 (US) for junior sizes. The shoes can be bought on Graffeeti’s Web site and at several stores in Northern California.

According to the NPD Group, a marketing research firm, the children’s footwear industry had sales of $5.7 billion in the 12 months ended in May.

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