The world of sneakers tends to have controversial subjects and back in 2006 one of the biggest stories was this special collaboration between Barry McGee, HUF and adidas. Throughout the year adidas released special versions of the adicolor Lo with special packs and collaborations with a number of partners. This version was the most talked about and quickly the most sought after.
Barry McGee for HUF x adidas adicolor Lo Y1 Ray Fong uploaded by kid_sneakerness
When asked to participate in the adicolor Yellow series the folks at HUF decided to call upon friend and artist Barry McGee to aid in design. The basic design of the sneaker is very simple with a Brown upper fixed with diagonal lines. Gold hits are added to contrast with the upper in leather used on the brand’s three stripes, as well as other unique details. These additions include the image of McGee’s Asian character known as Ray Fong added onto the tongue as well as McGee’s artist name, Twist, added to heel.
The depiction of the Asian character upset the Chinese community and became a media storm. McGee revealed the image was not a stereotype but was actually based on a picture of himself as an eight year old (McGee is half Chinese). However, the damage was done and the sneakers remain highly sought after. 1000 pairs were created for sale in 12 exclusive adidas retailers, but finding a pair is very difficult today.