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Donald Trump enters his fashion era with ‘Never Surrender’ sneaker

Graphic by Ethan Nelson

After receiving a hefty fine from a New York judge, former President Donald Trump revealed his sneaker line.

The “Never Surrender,” as Trump calls it, is the lovechild of bling and patriotism. The entire upper part of the shoe is golden leather until the collar, which displays the United States flag. A solid gold “T” logo is positioned on the outside of the shoe and the sole is a solid red.

The shoes are marketed as a collectible and were sold in a limited edition batch of 1,000 described for “go-getters who don’t know the word quit.” Originally priced at $399, the sneakers are reselling on eBay for five times as much.

Rumors circulated that this was a ploy Trump created to use the insane capitalism of fashion to raise money for his legal fees. If this was the strategy, it backfired terribly.

While red is a symbol of the nation, it is also a trademarked design. Louis Vuitton, known for their iconic red soles, owns that motif.

It’s possible that Louis Vuitton could sue for trademark infringement and brand dilution. While the fashion house clearly launched their soles first, the polarity that Trump holds could very well be seen as harmful to the brand by association.

Of course, it is unlikely Trump would be associated with Louis Vuitton, given his and the artistic director’s tumultuous media relationship.

Any suit Trump would be hit with would be but a drop in the bucket compared to what the judge ordered him to pay in his most recent case. Though if he wanted to use this new fashion brand to finance his payments, he’d need to sell about one million more pairs of shoes. 

Trump’s actions pose no real repercussions to the industry, but seeing that shoe was a nice laugh. It will also be interesting to see if Louis Vuitton takes any action against him. Then again, how much does a former U.S. President matter to the fashion world?

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