On Wednesday, Bieber took to his Instagram Story to describe how he'd just been approached by a police officer who seemed to think the Biebs, a global pop star worth an estimated $265 million, had stolen the shoes—since they still had designer Virgil Abloh's signature zip tie (which, admittedly, does resemble some sort of security marker) attached. "Virgil, my God, bro.
I just had a cop come up to me and ask me why I still had the security tag on my shoe. What the…! " Bieber said in his Story, over a zoomed-in shot of his Desert Ore shoe, with the pale blue zip tie tag in question looped around the laces. "I had to tell him, 'Bro, it's just fashion, I don't know. ' He's like, 'It sure looks like a security tag. ' I'm like, 'Nah, bro, you can check it out.
In 2018, when a sneaker that hypebeasts initially assumed to be a brand-new colorway of the Off-White Nikes turned out to be a knockoff, Abloh noted on Twitter that "the 'zip-tie' is the fastest way to tell if they are real or not…. " (Unfortunately, knockoff versions of the zip ties themselves are also readily available online, perhaps throwing a wrench in their authentication abilities.
For its part, in a 2017 post, the brand referred to the tags merely as "branding with a degree of difficulty. " Bieber, however, probably summed up the zip ties and their purpose best: "Bro, it's just fashion, I don't know.
Off-White sneaker owners, beware. https://t.co/iq33Z9NVKo— W magazine (@wmag) June 8, 2019