How Artist Brendan Murphy Is Using AI to Revolutionize the Sneaker Collecting Experience
Updated: May 18
This post originally appeared on Footwear News website.
The recent conversations surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) have been unsettling, but contemporary artist Brendan Murphy and art collector Christopher Harding believe they have a game-changing idea when it comes to footwear.
The two have launched Fast Sneaks, a sneaker company that utilizes advanced AI to ensure product authenticity and provenance. The company will debut with a limited-edition collection of one-of-one collectibles — dubbed Fast Sneaks Project — that were created by Murphy.
“The launch itself is revolutionary because of the one-of-one aspect to it. I’ve made a living as an artist, I know collectors. I’ve also been to sneaker events and it’s full of collectors,” Murphy told FN. “They are so invested in sneakers that are one of 9,000. In my world, I don’t make anything that’s not one-of-one. I thought if we could become vertically integrated from a manufacturing side and distribution, we could make what’s usually a consumer product into a one-of-one art piece. I’m saying the sneaker collectors, ‘Stop paying thousands of dollars for a sneaker that is one of 9,000. Here, you have a real art piece and it functions as a sneaker as well.’ I’m bringing the art world to the sneaker world, and I think that the sneaker collector deserves that.”
Fast Sneaks is authenticated by FeaturePrint, the optical AI technology of BMW iVentures-backed technology company Alitheon.
FeaturePrint, according to Fast Sneaks, creates the equivalent of people’s fingerprints for items are for people. Further explaining the technology, Fast Sneaks said FeaturePrint creates a unique identifier that does not require changes to the item, and not only enables quick and easy digitization of physical objects for irrefutable identification, authentication and tracing, it also eliminates misidentification and misuse of items.
Because of this, Fast Sneaks said the “unmatched credibility” should further boost a collector’s confidence, and could “profoundly change the playing field for billion-dollar markets” such as fine art, fashion and footwear.
“I had some success in the NFT Web3 world, so I’m very much aware what the Blockchain provides for artists and for creative people going forward,” Murphy said. “A lot of these paintings, they have old stickers on the back dating back to the 1800s, which try to figure out who owned these pieces, how many galleries. It’s antiquated and it’s over. But once I’ve established a painting is an NFT, it has a unique code. Alitheon takes it a step further. Alitheon could take a picture of my painting and identify the smallest of unique traits on that painting and subsequently give it title, uniqueness, and almost prevent it from ever being copied.”
Each of the collectibles comes in a hand-crafted, embellished lucite display case. They also come with an additional pair of limited-edition “Hustle” sneakers meant for the collector to wear. The “Hustle” will come in two looks, and the buyer can choose which one they’re sent.
Fast Sneaks Project arrives June 7 exclusively via Fastsneaksproject.com and will retail for $2,000.
Looking ahead, sneaker consumers and art collectors alike will have several more opportunities to consume this genre of atypical product.
“All of our offerings going forward will be direct to the consumer, and each month or maybe twice a month we’ll collaborate with interesting people — celebrities, designers, I’m even collaborating with a former Navy SEAL — and they will get their own sneaker launch,” Murphy explained. “We will launch it one day, and when the launch finishes, that will be the edition. If it sells 200, then there were 200 in the edition. It’s a cool model because we don’t have to make the shoes until we get the order. We’re never going to be too heavy on inventory, it’s not that capital intensive and it is very art driven and collaborative.”