PETALING JAYA, July 12 — Social activist and graphic artist Fahmi Reza's 'Kasut Penghasut' shoe design is taking a regional competition organised by apparel giant Vans by storm.
Fahmi's design, which is based on his famous 'Clown Face' caricature of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is currently leading the race in the 2018 Vans Asia Custom Culture competition by a huge margin.
As of today, Fahmi's design has garnered 16,209 votes, compared to 4,732 votes for his closest challenger, who is believed to be from China.
The past few weeks have seen a flurry of support for the design, as Fahmi tweeted on June 29 that 'Kasut Penghasut’ was only 500 votes away from the top spot currently held by a designer from China.
The deadline for submissions passed on June 30, with the final winning design to be announced in October.
According to the Vans Malaysia website, over 5,000 do-it-yourself designs had been received from the Asia-Pacific region since the contest opened in April.
Aku baru habis meeting dengan VANS yang berminat untuk dengar penjelasan aku pasal #KasutPenghasut. Selepas berbincang dan berunding selama sejam, mereka akan bawa perkara ni ke peringkat atas, VANS HQ di Hong Kong. VANS akan beritahu aku keputusan mereka esok. Nanti gua update. pic.twitter.com/D4OmdgdKZZ— Fahmi Reza (@kuasasiswa) July 12, 2018
While the design seems to have struck a chord with the voters, Fahmi tweeted on his account https://twitter.com/kuasasiswa on July 10 that Vans had contacted him, as there had been some 'issues' with the design.
Yesterday, Fahmi tweeted that he would be meeting with Vans, who wanted to meet him personally before deciding whether the design should move to the next round of the contest.
And in a tweet posted earlier today, Fahmi said he had met with the representatives for an hour to discuss his submission.
"I have just finished meeting with Vans, who were interested to hear my explanation about #KasutPenghasut.
"After discussing and negotiating for an hour, they will bring this issue to Vans HQ in Hong Kong. Vans will tell me their decision tomorrow. I will update later," Fahmi posted.
The Vans website stated that the victorious design would be featured on the Vans Slip-On Asia-wide in 2019, with the finalist also taking home a US$2,000 cash prize.
Fahmi reserved comment when contacted by Malay Mail.