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Thread: Tai Chi Shoes

  1. #1
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    Tai Chi Shoes

    Perhaps this should go in ORA since it's really about basketball.

    and1 tai chi mid

    September 1, 2009 4:24 pm
    And1 talks to SLAMonline about their plans for their most popular shoe.
    by Chris O’SLAM AND 1 Tai ChiLeary

    The thing that’s always struck me about the Tai Chi is its far-reaching appeal. It was more than trash-talking streetball players that wore the shoe. Its simple, lightweight design (I was a big fan of the terrycloth interior) and affordability made it a rare mid-priced shoe that was immensely popular. The fact that Vince Carter wore it at the 2000 dunk contest and throughout the ‘99-00 season probably didn’t hurt either. While the shoe holds its own moment with me, I’d go as far as to call the Tai Chi And1’s greatest contribution to basketball culture in all of their years in the footwear industry.

    The timing couldn’t be any better—the shoe turns 10 this coming season—for And1 to orchestrate the Tai Chi’s return.

    I recently got the chance to talk about the shoe and what the company has planned for it with And 1’s GM for product development, Rob Purvy.

    SLAM: Where does the Tai Chi stand in terms of everything And 1 has done as a sneaker company?
    Rob Purvy: I think it’s an iconic shoe. It kind of sets a tone and it’s one of the things that helped the footwear aspect of this brand explode.

    SLAM: What do you think it is about the shoe that made it so popular?
    RP: I think it was just the convergence of all of the ingredients that make a successful basketball shoe. It was a really competitively-priced shoe when it debuted initially, $75.

    And just the visuals, it’s classic, it’s very stark. At that time, the incredible flat-screen TV’s that we have now weren’t out then, so it wasn’t easy to identify what was on (players’ feet) but from any distance, you were able to identify that shoe. And above and beyond everything else, it was an excellently-made, comfortable shoe.

    SLAM: What do you think Vince Carter did for the shoe, wearing it that season and in the 2000 dunk contest?
    RP: I think that it was invaluable. You can’t put any words on it because I think we’d all probably agree that that particular dunk contest is one of the most memorable ones ever.

    Without stepping on the other brand’s toes, Vince coming out with that shoe on, based of what was going on in the industry at that time was like, wow! He’s rocking that shoe!

    It’s immeasurable… [On a corporate level] everyone works hard every day to develop whatever with your sales, marketing and advertising team, but I think we know that there’s certain things that happen that stick out in your mind that no marketing company could ever conceive of. Just the energy and the improvisational acts of that particular moment…

    SLAM: What was the situation with you guys and Vince then? Did you actually have him signed?
    RP: No, he wasn’t signed. At that time he was in a transitional period. I believe he came into the league as a Puma athlete and he transitioned into being a Nike athlete.

    SLAM: In a way, to me anyway, it’s almost cooler that he wasn’t signed, you know? He could have worn anything, but he chose to wear the Tai Chi.
    RP: Exactly. Then you know, if you look around the league in other basketball situations, it’s almost like the shoe has been there, around great moments and history that has happened. So many guys were happy to wear this shoe. Even now that word is spreading about the release of this shoe, there’s a lot of people who were around in that era who are saying, ‘Wow, If you’re bringing it back I’d love to wear it again.’

    SLAM: Were you guys surprised by how popular the shoe was with players across the league? I remember seeing guys on so many teams with the Tai Chi on their feet back then.
    RP: I think the other thing that happened with that shoe and that’s why I keep using the word convergence, it really allowed NBA players to really feel as though they were speaking to why they fell in love with the game.

    I think you know [as a price] $75 at that time and even still to this day, it’s not a triple-digit price, but it’s definitely not a little money, but it’s not a lot of money. It’s almost as if they’re speaking to the rank and file mentality of a true basketball player who’s playing the game for the love of the sport.

    SLAM: You’re re-releasing the shoe soon. What do you have planned exactly?
    RP: Our official launch will be Nov. 12 and there will be four colorways available. The other thing we find exciting is what we’ve called the Tai Chi trilogy. The second part of this, which is unveiled at All-Star weekend, will be our special, limited-edition 212-pair, really high-end, crazy version of (the Tai Chi). The reason we’re doing 212 pairs is that there are actually 212 tai chi moves. Each pair will have a hangtag that will have a silhouette of that particular one of the 212.

    (Note: Between the time I spoke with RP and when I wrote this up, And1 shifted the plan on the Tai Chi trilogy. Instead of the TGR, the company will re-release the low-cut version of the Tai Chi. In keeping with the Chinese philosophy ties to the shoe, it’ll drop on Feb. 14, in line with the launch of the next lunar new year. — O’Leary)

    SLAM: Will you release all four colorways at once in November?
    RP: Three of the four colors will actually be available on Nov. 12. One of the other things that I think mkes the Tai Chi so exciting is that it was such a great opportunity to do so many different colors. In the NBA, you’ll see some assorted colors initially above and beyond what will be available in retail because our guys (endorsement athletes) will wear team versions of the Tai Chi based off of the teams they play for.

    SLAM: Do you have a favorite colorway of the Tai Chi?
    RP: I think sentimentally, I like the white/red/silver, because that’s the one that (VC wore when he) won the slam dunk contest. I think that one for me was probably a tie with the white/black/silver because that’s the one that’s the closest to showing the actual inspiration from the yin-yang sign that we know that comes from Eastern philosophy.
    Of course, we all know where to get real tai chi shoes...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
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    “Tai Chi” edition of the Instapump Fury

    These look pretty cool.

    DEAL X REEBOK INSTAPUMP FURY “TAI CHI” FEATURES A YIN & YANG COLOR BLOCK
    APRIL 24TH, 2017 BY ZACK SCHLEMMER



    Chinese sneaker shop DEAL teams up with Reebok for a very special “Tai Chi” edition of the Instapump Fury. Continuing the tradition of bold colorways for the unique silhouette, the Fury receives an eye-catching “Yin and Yang” color block with the two opposite shoes mirroring each other’s high contrast black and white color block, inspired by Tai Chi’s “I have you, you have me” concept. The insoles feature a graphic of the traditional Tai Chi gossip compass, Yin & Yang logos are found embroidered on each heel to complete the impressive look. The collab arrives soon at DEAL locations in China. A global release at select Reebok Classic retailers can also be expected later this summer.







    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  3. #3
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    AND1 Tai Chi

    Top 20 Basketball Sneakers of the Past 20 Years: AND1 Tai Chi
    The Tai Chi's sneaker Hall of Fame status was solidified when Vince Carter wore them to dominate the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest.
    August 23, 2017 By Abe Schwadron

    Since the debut edition of KICKS hit newsstands in 1997, NBA Stars have graced the hardwood in countless fire sneakers. To celebrate KICKS’ 20th anniversary, we’re counting down the 20 best we’ve seen over the past 20 years—and the moments that defined them. At No. 9 is the AND1 Tai Chi, the sneaker that was flying through the air on Vince Carter’s feet at the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. –Ed.



    The Sneaker: The Tai Chi made its debut around the time folks were bugging out about Y2K, and by then, the AND1 brand was already rock solid. Between Stephon Marbury representing in the League and the AND1 mixtape series taking over in the streets, AND1 wasn’t some fledgling company—they were serious players. Yet not until All-Star Weekend 2000 did the brand finally get its legacy moment for its forever-iconic sneaker. A bouncy young cat by the name of Vince Carter pulled up in Oakland and promptly pronounced “It’s over!” with perhaps the single greatest Slam Dunk Contest performance ever. All with the Yin and Yang-inspired Tai Chis on his feet.

    The Moment: While Vince Carter was hanging off the rim at the 2000 Dunk Contest, his white and red pair of AND1 Tai Chis were leaping their way into Hall of Fame sneaker status.

    I was going to say Tai Chi and Basketball don't really go together in my mind, but then I remembered Tai Chi BasketBall Skillz and Kung Fu Dunk.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #4
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    Return of the Tai Chi (shoes)



    AND 1 And Kevin Garnett To Bring Back The Tai Chi At ComplexCon
    October 23, 2018 by Ross Dwyer

    25 years ago, a brand that started by selling sharp, witty basketball-themed t-shirts out of the back of a car was founded. That brand then grew to become a powerhouse in the world of basketball, shaking the market by focusing on the streets and the heart of the urban game — plus taking an approach that was much more direct than its competitors. That brand then grew at an exponential rate, sponsoring a worldwide “Mixtape Tour,” releasing memorable commercials, and even creating a special pair of two-toned shoes that were worn by Vince Carter during the legendary 2001 All-Star Dunk Contest. That brand was AND1, those shoes were the Tai Chi — and now they’re re-launching this year at ComplexCon, with a little help from Kevin Garnett, who has returned to the brand for the first time since 2003. Returning in both the recognizable yin and yang red/white colorway — that lives up to its nickname with a white pebbled leather lateral side and bold red suede medial side — and a new “Mixtape” colorway with a colorful all-over print featuring retro streetball-themed details, the kicks are a special look back at AND 1’s past. The brand is investing in the future as well: their “Paint The Park” tour in collaboration with Garnett and his Area 21 show is revamping inner-city basketball courts the nation over to ensure the next generation of hoopers have somewhere safe to hone their craft, just like like KG did as a youth in Chicago. Get a look at both of the special kicks below, and expect a release November 3rd exclusively at ComplexCon.
    AND 1 Tai Chi

    Release Date: November 3, 2018 (ComplexCon exclusives)


    I dunno. These don't strike me as particularly 'tai chi' but whatev.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  5. #5
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    More on the 25th anniversary of AND1 Tai Chi shoes

    Anyone here ever wear these? I'm painfully naive to basketball culture (embarrassing being here in the SF East Bay, home to the Warriors).

    RESPECT Interview: AND1 GM, John Scipio Talks Tai Chi 25th Anniversary + How The Shoe Has Influenced Basketball Culture
    Posted On November 5, 2018 Ayana Rashed 0


    Image Credit: AND1

    AND1 is celebrating 25 years of the Tai Chi, one of the most revolutionary sneakers that has stamped an iconic time in not just basketball culture but also in hip-hop and art. The company re-released the original Tai Chi at Complex Con over the weekend as well as the electric Tai Chi mixtape. The sneaker has captivated a generation of people and remains one of the top 10 basketball sneakers to ever hit the marketplace.

    We got an opportunity to chat with AND1 General Manager, John Scipio to talk about the 25th Anniversary and also speak on how iconic the shoe has been over the years. You can get into our exclusive interview with him below.

    You guys are celebrating the Tai Chi 25th Anniversary, what makes this shoe so iconic?

    Well you know I think when you look at the brand and what the brand represents as far as street-ballers. I think there’s no other product that is our statement level product more than the Tai Chi. Not just talking about it through the lens of the 2000 slam dunk contest where being worn by Vince Carter, it’s even more than that. I think If you look at that particular product, it embodies the brand. That’s what I think makes this such a special release because as we’re making our comeback as a brand to the marketplace particularly as far as the culture concerned what better product can be the platform for that, other than the Tai Chi?


    Image Credit: Tai Chi OG

    It was said that you guys got so many request to bring back the original shoe, who reached out initially that made you guys say, we’re gonna bring them back?

    I think it was a collective effort by the team, the team just kind of figured how we were going to say hey let’s make sure that as we’re are looking to re-energize what we’re doing in the marketplace what product do we have to align with, that can bring that level of energy? Going back to my earlier point I don’t think there was a better product for that than the Tai Chi. So I think as a team myself and the footwear team we kind of aligned on this being the product and this being the time to do it.


    Image Credit: Tai Chi OG

    In your opinion, how has this shoe influenced basketball culture altogether?

    I think if you look at basketball culture. the shoe is a representation of the brand. We know the influence that it’s had around basketball culture through not just the sport but kind of the combination between art and music specifically hip-hop bringing all of them together. I think that’s what the Tai Chi represents. It’s already bringing every component of the culture together not just through one lens. Solely looking through the lens of sports but everything that consumer is engaged in and is important to them.

    Where do you rank the Tai Chi among some of the best sneakers?

    I think it’s one of the Top 10. If you look at it through the lens and take into consideration I’ve been around the game for a long time so prior to being at And1, I was at Nike for 25 years. So I’ve seen basketball culture and I’ve been apart of it for a while and I’ve seen products so I think if you look at it. It’s right up there with you know, you got the Jordan product, other products from Nike like the Penny and things like that are really iconic and have really made those brands. I think this is our statement level product. This is our Air Force 1.


    Tai Chi 25th Anniversary

    When someone see’s the Tai Chi for the first time, what would you like their first thought to be?

    I think with anything that you put into the marketplace, the first thing needs to be the aesthetics associated because something that generates in you the emotion of it, is what propels you to buy it. So I think when they first see it, I want them to look at the lines and the beauty of it. I think it’s a great looking product. Then once they put it on they will feel the comfort level created with it, I think that pretty much ties it all together. Just like falling in love sometimes it happens just at a glance and we want that to be the emotion that is generated when people see the product.



    Name one basketball player that you feel is a style icon?

    All of them are creating that now, just seeing them walk into the arena. That’s become more about or as much about the game itself. You got Russell Westbrook, Lebron has changed his whole deal and how he’s showing up. The shorts with the suits, they’re creating an environment where people are daring to be more creative and to show forth their personality and I think that’s another way that And1 as a brand has influenced people. I remember back in the day when the mix-tape tours were going on and you had all of these outlandish kind of people. They were like they’re ruining the game but It was just these players being able to express themselves. Now you see that same level not just on the court but off the court as well. So it’s about expression and I love the fact that you might see patterns being mixed up, different textures of fabrics, sometimes fur being worn it’s just really interesting now seeing these cats walk into the arena.



    Name one song that describes the Tai Chi 25th Anniversary?

    That’s a difficult one because hip-hop is so diverse and there’s so many songs. The one hip-hop song I’d probably go with, maybe because this is my own personal favorite but we’ll go with DJ Khaled – All I Do Is Win. Because I think that’s what we want to do and what I like about that song is that it brings in a number of different artist. The fact that we’re able to bring old school players and mixing them with new school like Daryl Macon out of Arkansas now playing for the Dallas Mavericks, Devon Carter with the Memphis Grizzlies so it’s bringing that combination together and making great music, art and winning. So that’s what we’re about.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  6. #6
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    Onitsuka Tiger TAI-CHI

    ONITSUKA TIGER'S TAI-CHI GETS "NIPPON MADE"
    1 DAY AGO IN SNEAKERS
    WORDS BY SAM COLE
    ONITSUKA TIGER



    Brand: Onitsuka Tiger

    Model: TAI-CHI "Nippon Made"

    Release Date: Available now

    Price: £195 (approx. $246)

    Buy: Online at Onitsuka Tiger

    Editor's Notes: If you've found yourself on the hunt for a pair of no-frills, stripped-back classic sneakers crafted using the highest quality materials, you've landed exactly where you need to be.

    When it comes to uncompromising quality, there's nothing quite like Onitsuka Tiger's "Nippon Made" collection. Born in Japan and crafted there to this day, the collection is built on the traditional principles of shoemaking – handcrafted, luxurious materials across classic (sporting) silhouettes.

    These are the principles on which Onitsuka Tiger was conceived and has maintained throughout its decades-long history; principles that have seen it retain its reputation for reliable, rotation-worthy crafts.

    The "Nippon Made" treatment has been applied to a wide array of silhouettes within the brand's extensive footwear armory, providing consumers the opportunity to buy into a high-end iteration of their favorite sneakers. You know, it's that extra special bottle of your favorite liquor that you crack out at Christmas – special occasions only.

    Now, for Spring/Summer 2022, "Nippon Made" makes its way to the TAI-CHI.

    A silhouette that exudes quality like a classic car, the TAI-CHI has been high-tuned and manually pieced together, meaning no two pairs are the same. With these, you're not only owning your favorite pair of shoes; you're owning them as a 1 of 1.

    As is standard, the TAI-CHI "Nippon Made" line-up comes in a selection of OG Onitsuka Tiger colorways, including its unmistakable Kill Bill black-on-yellow, silver, black-on-white, and black-on-gum.
    Nice shoe but you could buy nearly 10 pair of Feiyues at that price.

    Just sayin...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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