Shrek and Ned Flanders From 'The Simpsons' Are Streetwear's Latest Muses
Well, Hypebeasts, it's time to say “howdily doodily, neighborino!” to streetwear's latest fashion icon, none other than Homer Simpson's ultra-pious next-door neighbor, Ned Flanders. In what is undoubtedly one small step for Matt Groeing and one giant leap for left-hand kind, streetwear brand Adidas has teamed up with Springfield's most devout Christian to create a line of sneakers best described as more than “okily-dokily."
Dropping on October 3 and retailing at $130, the shoe, which arrives in a box featuring Flanders holding his iconic “Left Handers Rule!” sign, is based off of the brand's existing McCarten model, featuring the character's signature shades of olive and brown, with a pink lining, mirroring the pink button-down Flanders wears under his deep green sweater.
Unfortunately for residents of Springfield, it seems the shoes will not be available at the devout entrepreneur's Leftatorium emporium, as not only does the Adidas set include a left and right shoe, but the store has been out of business since 2018, proving that even in animated worlds, brick and mortar stores – nay, leftie institutions – are not immune from the dangers of e-commerce.
However, Flanders has some seriously swampy competition as he climbs the ladder of streetwear success – Shrek, our favorite Scottish, onion-like ogre is also taking the world of skate-inspired fashion by storm, starring in Supreme's latest collection.
Earlier this week, the brand, known for peddling their box logo on a variety of plain t-shirts and bizarre items, including bricks, crowbars, and fire extinguishers, premiered their upcoming Fall/Winter 2021 collection, including several pieces, ranging from basic black t-shirts, to beanies, and even a series of skateboard decks, inspired by Duloc's premiere swamp-dweller. All featuring the “Supreme” brand name written in the film's signature, ogre-y font – complete with a tiny pair of the titular hero's ears appearing on the “S" – it seems fashion critics have mixed opinions on the collection's execution.
“Streetwear, like onions and ogres, has layers,” GQ writer, Eileen Cartter explained of the collab. “To keep churning out highly covetable styles with each new drop, Supreme builds up a teetering stack of reference upon reference, collaboration upon collaboration, to tap into our “Buy Now”-happy psyches. In many ways, Shrek is sort of a perfect fit for this formula: the 2001 Dreamworks classic (not a word to be used lightly, though I think it fits here) was way ahead of its time in terms of its meme-ability and referential humor, and as its then-young viewers came of age online, jokes from the movie found new life online, reborn via the digital gallows humor that informs many a forum, Vine, and comment section,” she continued, adding that there are “levels to this.”
Yet not all fashion writers are as optimistic about the collection. “The logo, which appears on T-shirts and skate decks, feels like it may be an attempt to cater to Gen-Z humor as much as it is a nostalgia play for anyone who grew up in the 2000s running back the Shrek VHS everyday,” wrote Complex's Mike DeStefano in a recent collection review. “Maybe using an image of the ogre himself on a T-shirt would have fared a bit better if they wanted to reference the movie, but as things stands this just seems like an odd choice for Supreme," he added.
Adding to this disappointment, it seems Supreme's Shrek concept may not be entirely original. Back in 2019, Dime, a Montreal-based skate brand launched their own Shrek-inspired collection of hats and t-shirts with nearly-identical designs, DeStefano noted.