We're guessing the initial powwow between San Francisco creative agency Eleven and Milan's SearchnDesign about creating the First Class Shoe for Virgin America went something like this:
"Hey, let's raise money for a great cause by making a shoe."
"Okay. What'll it look like?"
"Well, it'll be all-white, with fine Italian leather."
"Sounds great, when do we start?"
"Hold on, we're not done. We're going to slap a bulky video display on there that's still smaller than your phone's screen. They'll feature a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, USB charging port and mood lighting. Oh, and just to make sure you look like an escaped convict from an airlines detention center, let's put ridiculously gaudy seatbelt restraints on there instead of laces."
"Um...okay. Well at least it's for charity, right?"
Although we jest about the perhaps slightly misguided design concept of trying to encapsulate the first class experience in footwear, the fact is these (thank goodness) one-of-a-kind hightops are doing their job. With less than a week to go in their eBay auction—and all proceeds to directly benefit the Soles4Souls charity— the bidding is already up over $8,000.
The deep-pocketed winning bidder will receive these prized kicks in a custom Plexiglass display case, complete with LED lighting. Whether it winds up being a diehard sneakerhead or just a fearless travel buff, it'll most certainly be a generous, well-meaning, charitable sole—er, soul.