Here’s a tactic they don’t teach you in “Marketing 101″ about how to re-package your product to help its appeal to skyrocket world-wide: as ammunition! If you have been following at all the continuing story of the Baghdad shoe-thrower, Muntadar al-Zaidi, you will have already heard about how the offers of money for those very two shoes that President Bush had to duck have reached very high figures, mainly from various wealthy Gulf individuals. But we lesser mortals can at least be content with purchasing a pair of the very same type of shoe which al-Zaidi used, available from the original Turkish manufacturer. This word comes today from the Belgian paper Gazet van Antwerpen – “Bush shoes” immensely popular with Americans. (In fact, the story happens to be placed within the “She” sub-section of GVA’s site, devoted to women-relevant subjects like “Fashion and Beauty.” You ask why? Shoes, man – women can’t get enough of shoes!)
Yes, the shoe-company (or -person, I don’t know; I’ve no facility in Turkish, it’s not a European language, sorry) is “Ramazan Baydan,” and it/he has already received more than 300,000 orders for that model and counting. The all-too-brief piece also reveals certain additional characteristics about them: made of brown leather, with a thick sole (ah, but does not one need a thick sole to reside in Baghdad these days?), priced at $42/€30 a pair. From the picture at the top (looks like a crowd of Indonesian protestors), we also see that the shoes are loafers (i.e. no laces), which makes sense from a weapons standpoint: better for deploying to one’s throwing-hand quickly, especially in that most-critical interval when you have already thrown one and hope to get the second one despatched as well before any bystanders or security personnel can react.
Sorry, no actual link or any other information other than “Ramazan Baydan” about where to go to get your own pair – time to head for Google! But it seems that very many Americans have already solved that puzzle and placed an order – thus the GVA article’s title.
UPDATE: Here you go! H/t to Bloomberg’s Mark Bentley, it turns out that the place to go for your “Bye-Bye-Bush” shoes is the Baydan Group. Fair warning: Even on their “English” site (to which the preceding link connects you, of course), they still use Turkish extensively.