An American clothing and apparel company, Americana Pipedream, has started selling Pakistani-made sneakers in the United States, marketing them as the “Taliban’s Favorite.” These sneakers, produced by Serves, a leading Pakistani shoe manufacturer, have gained attention due to their unique history and popularity among certain groups.
1. Servis: From Military Boots to Sneakers:
- Servis, originally established during World War II to manufacture boots for the British Military, has expanded its business to produce various types of footwear.
- One of their notable products is the White Cheetah high-top sneakers, which have become a favored choice among the Afghan Taliban.
2. Unusual History and Association:
- Americana Pipedream’s advertisement highlights the White Cheetah high-tops as a favorite of the Afghan Taliban.
- It claims that during NATO’s invasion of Afghanistan, US troops were cautioned about individuals wearing these sneakers, as they were often believed to be Taliban fighters.
3. Evidence Supporting the Claim:
- The advertisement’s assertion is not without support. A New York Times article from January 2021 featured a photograph of Afghan Taliban members wearing these Pakistan-made sneakers, accompanied by the caption “Members of the Taliban wearing Cheetahs, a sneaker made in Pakistan.”
4. Marketing Tactic or Cultural Phenomenon:
- While Americana Pipedream’s marketing approach may be seen as a clever tactic to capture the interest of US consumers, the sneakers’ association with the Taliban adds an intriguing layer to their appeal.
- The sneakers seem to have transcended their original purpose and become symbolic in certain cultural contexts.
5. International Popularity and Significance:
- The fact that sneakers made in Pakistan are gaining attention and popularity on an international scale, particularly in the US, underscores the global reach of fashion and consumer culture.
Conclusion: The “Taliban’s Favorite” Pakistani-made sneakers have become an unexpected point of interest in the United States. Whether driven by marketing strategy or their unique history, these sneakers have transcended their origins and become a symbol with international appeal, reflecting the interconnected nature of global fashion and culture.
Feature Image: A Servis sneaker on display at a market in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, in 2021.