Sneaker candles, candle holders, and even planters are already very much a thing — but an artist out of Chicago has made kicks-inspired homegoods more stripped down and tasteful.
Rob Valentino has turned Air Force 1 soles-inspired soles into incense holders and trays that can be used for all your smoking needs. The white rubber soles, which Valentino made himself, are hollow and filled with a clear resin, beneath which a graphic creates the illusion that you're looking down on an actual Air Force 1.
With a sleight profile, these Air Force 1-inspired incense holders look better than slapping down a sneaker-sized accessory on your bookshelf or coffee table. And even with the "Air" logo removed from the midsole, other sneakerheads will know exactly which sole they're looking at.
Version 2.0 — Valentino previously made a similar product out of an Air Jordan 1 "Bred"-inspired sole without the top-down graphic beneath the resin. Those sold out, but the void from looking at them from anywhere but the side left a little to be desired.
The new Air Force 1 tray feels like a more complete product, and here's hoping it's only the beginning of a sneaker series. Countless soles could be used for an incense holder, and it'd be dope if Valentino eventually expanded into a wider range of the classics.
I groan each time I see another sneaker candle in a carefully curated Instagram still, and Valentino's incense holder is a fresh take on the idea.
He's got some hand-dyed goods, too — Valentino usually works with dying practices, and some of his homemade material is still up for sale. A tie-dye-like bleached T-shirt is the first of 12 planned tee releases, and dip-dyed Nike crew socks with hand-screened graphics are available in pink or purple.
All of Valentino's wares are relatively cheap, too, and are a great deal for handmade goods. The incense holders and T-shirts are both just $30, while the rich-colored socks are $15 a pop. As streetwear sits firmly mainstream and Supreme is now owned by an international corporation, supporting a small, independent creator is a way to return to the field's roots.