Produced by DAN H.
Written by Poe and Debre
Founder, CEO, head designer… Takashi Imai holds many titles within MADFOOT!. But perhaps the most suitable title for him is “sneakerhead”. His passion for sneakers didn’t start at the inception of MADFOOT! His interest started when he was a child, when his father brought the monthly Japanese magazine, RUNNER, home for him. Soon, he was canvassing neighborhood sporting goods stores, searching for sneakers pictured on RUNNER’s bi-annual footwear features.
Once entered high school, Mr. Imai’s passion led him to series of part time then full time jobs, as store clerk and then manager, all at sneaker retailers. 5 years ago, he, with the support of his friends, branched out and formed MADFOOT!
“Wall of History”
Takashi Imai (Center) and the MADFOOT! crew
Mr. Imai and his crew’s passions are evident, not only in MADFOOT!’s designs, but in everything they do, even the décor of their workplace. Freshness was fortunate to visit MADFOOT!’s sparse headquarter, not far from SPUPERFECTA! Inside, we saw the “Wall of History”, a floor to ceiling display of some 200 pairs of MADFOOT! sneakers, from the first season’s line-up to never-released prototypes. And this is only half of collection!
Guarding the “wall” were 2 SNEA-KAIJYU or Sneaker Monsters, made by Australia-based artist Ken Fujimori, the head is even detachable so you can place your own favorite sneaker. (At USD $5000 each, if any reader wants to purchase it, please contact MADFOOT!)
Freshness also caught a glimpse of this season’s comical marketing campaign, which featured reenactment actors in humorous predicaments. The campaign asked “what if a pair of sneakers ended up back in time, some 300 years ago in the Japan’s Edo era?”
(Catalog designed by the renowned 7 Stars Design)
Built on the principle of “What We Want to Wear”, MADFOOT! sets itself apart from its peers. It doesn’t follow industry trends or technical fads. Instead, Mr. Imai and company concentrate on the sophisticated details that aren’t noticeable at first glance, and force someone to give their sneakers a “double-take”.
The prime example of this is the soon to be release MADFOOT! x Saucony PM, a collaboration with Saucony. What appears to be an understated design is actually a multi-facets concept. The first asks “what if you can wear a wrestler’s mask on your feet?” hence, the colorful appendages found on the shoe outlined a wrestling mask. Trace the outlines and the different color palettes and another surprise, the word “MAD” appears. This is one reason why MADFOOT! garnered such attentions among “sneakerheads”