PHOTOS Air Bin Ladens create shoe sensation in India

Osama Bin Laden shoes from India

There’s a new shoe sensation in India and it’s not a Simpsons-inspired brand called Apuma, it’s Air Bin Ladens! The crudely constructed high-top sneakers feature a sewn-on caricature of the world’s most wanted man: Osama Bin Laden!

The photo above (click it for a larger image) features a storekeeper in Allahabad holding up a pair of the coveted footwear, which run just under $15 and have Allahabians lining up to purchase them. 21-year-old Praveen Kumar says, “It gives me a feeling that the most hated person in the world lies at my feet.”

I did a little research and uncovered an exclusive sneak peek at an image from the shoe company’s upcoming ad campaign:

Air Bin Laden shoe ad with Spike Lee's Mars Blackmon

Pretty cool! It’s gotta be the shoes! Who knew Bin Laden was that tall? Or maybe Spike Lee is just that short?

But my exhaustive investigating didn’t stop at uncovering that fake gem, no sirree! I dug even deeper and found out that the Air Bin Ladens weren’t the first shoes this company tried using the head of Al Qaeda’s elusive leader on, they also tried another NBA-inspired campaign back in 2007:

This ad campaign for Bin Laden's shoes was scuttled

Osama Bin Wallace! I think I kind of like this one better, even though it’s hard to argue against the simple and cool logo from the Air Bin Laden campaign…

(For those not too hip to the NBA, you can CLICK HERE to see more of one of the NBA’s biggest characters, Big Ben Wallace.)

****Editor’s Note – Sometimes when doing these humorous posts the line between spoof and reality can get kinda blurry so let me clarify. The photo at the top of this post is real and the Osama Bin Laden sneakers are indeed a big hit among India’s youth. They are priced just under $15 and Praveen Kumar is a real person that actually said that, at least according to Fame Pictures. The shoes are not, however, called “Air Bin Ladens.” At least not yet. And as far as I know Spike Lee has not signed on to revamp his Mars Blackmon character to market the shoes and “Osama Bin Wallace” is a complete figment of my imagination.

Top Photo: Barcroft/Fame Pictures
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