Big cats, big guns, a foiled murder for hire plot and one utterly perfect, bleach-blonde mullet, the story of the Tiger King was the great panacea for 2020.
Joe Exotic and his bandwagon of freewheeling, gun-toting polygamists arrived like cowboys hallucinating on contemporary kitsch, their wardrobe of beaded chokers, baseball caps and animal prints dilating pupils across the internet.
Yes, Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, and the underworld of big cat breeding provided some of the wildest, most uninhabited stylistic mashups we’ve seen in recent times.
Get ready all you cool cats and kittens, here are four sneaker collaborations you’re not likely to see out in the wild!
Nike Air Max Plus 'John Finlay'
Joe Exotic’s ex-husband and diehard pink camo devotee John Finlay, is one of the most transformative characters in the gang. With a brand new set of teeth and fresh batch of ink, Finlay is a far cry from the man portrayed earlier in the docuseries.
Still, the love of pink camo is not stripped so easily. Composed in pink camo, woodland camo and desert camo, Finlays camp, militant Air Max Plus is complete with a diamond-plated cage and Joe Exotic’s heartfelt messaging on the midsole: ‘Privately Owned’.
Nike Air Force 1 'Jeff Lowe'
Biker, swindler, agent-provocateur, and perennial playboy, Jeff Lowe somehow managed to avoid the shrapnel from the murder for hire plot against Carol Baskin. The calculating Lowe had some of the more memorable quotes in the series, and his stripped back, all-American biker style is the perfect aesthetic for a sneaker collaboration.
You know a great sneaker for mile high clubbing en-route to Vegas? The Air Force 1.
Manufactured with a chequered shirt, vintage Affliction graphic, bandana print and packed full of premium leather, the Nike Air Force 1 ‘Jeff Lowe’ looks as dubious as the man himself.
Cheap knockoff or legit? Who knows with Jeff Lowe.,
Nike Air Wildwood ACG 'Doc Antle'
Known for his various stints in Hollywood, Doc Antle and his devoted harem have worked with everyone from Britney Spears to Jim Carrey, the list of high-profile credentials including films such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Doctor Dolittle and Mighty Joe Young.
Now sleeping with an AK-47 under his bed (due to receiving ‘nearly 50 death threats per day’ since Tiger King aired), we’ve chosen Nike’s ACG line to provide little added protection for Doc Antle. This special edition Air Wildwood has also been fitted with a number of tactical pouches to carry essential equipment such as tranquilisers, ammo, and contraceptive devices.
Manufactured with classic khaki midsoles, faux tiger fur print uppers, a khaki fleece toe box, and lipstick to represent Doc’s three wives, this Nike Air Wildwood is finished with a ‘DOC’ ACG logo, and is about as salacious and untamed as the man himself.
Yeezy BOOST 700 Wave Runner ‘James Garretson’
Former Dallas strip club owner, exotic animal lover, stool pigeon, and bulky businessman James Garretson has arguably one of the most arresting scenes in Tiger King: slo-mo cruising on his Yamaha 2019 VX Deluxe WaveRunner to the tune of Eye of the Tiger.
Garretson and his blackmarket lemur truly give zero fucks, a disposition that puts him on the wavelength of another unorthodox entrepreneur: Kanye West.
Built with navy life jacket material on the heel, the Yeezy BOOST 700 Wave Runner features Oakley polarised lens and carbon fibre on the uppers. White water-speckled midsoles offer sprayback, while a real-life, fully operational Yamaha VX WaveRunner replaces the lacing system.
Eye of the tiger? Thrill of the fight? Or all for the lemur...
Air Max 1 'Joe Exotic'
The queer, gun-toting, cash-strapped connoisseur of kinky sex and big cats has become a mythological character since Netflix debuted Tiger King.
Using the Air Max 1 as our canvas, we’ve opted for a denim Swoosh and tongue, with vintage tiger print and faux zebra hair paying homage to the former proprietor of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park.
Gold earrings hold the Swoosh in place, while light blue and gold sequins add a layer of unabashed kitsch to the design. Finally, the heel is built with neon reflective visor, while obligatory tribal tattoos and barbed-wire place the shoe in a confusing time warp of drug-addled cowboys, golden mullets and wannabe killers.
Anyone else tired of being held in captivity?
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Nike Air Max 95 'Carole Baskin'
The soft-spoken, giggly, flower child of The Big Cat rescue and perpetual object of Joe Exotic’s wrath, Carole Baskin and her religiously devoted pride of ‘cool cats and kittens’ have bred enviable financial posterity from their outpost near Tampa, Florida.
Given the circulating memes, rumours and TikToks suggesting that Carole Baskin fed her husband to her lions, it’s only fitting that we chose the Air Max 95 for her collaboration, a silhouette originally modelled on the human anatomy.
Built with a bohemian mix of hairy and rainbow leopard print, stitch flowers and soft pink nubuck tones, this one’s got enough flowers to trigger all kinds of lethal allergies!