Shoeboxes cause a unique dilemma to every sneakerhead. Fresh off the shelf, they offer the promise of a beautiful pair of kicks within. But once robbed of their contents, they become a waste of space, either stacked up in a corner of your bedroom or reluctantly thrown into the trash.
However, one pioneering duo from London have engineered a solution to ensure that we never face this dilemma again, in the form of the Mandem Safe. It’s so simple that we’re surprised nobody has thought of it before – all it encompasses is a discreet black metal safe sized perfectly to fit a shoebox of your choice, cleverly disguising itself as being worth much less than its actual value. Meanwhile, its interior features a foam inlay to coddle your prized possessions.
The Mandem Safe currently comes in two models. The SC variation is designed to slot into Nike shoeboxes and is opened with a key lock, while the latest LX model fits adidas shoeboxes and opens automatically with the touch of a key card.
To learn more about their inspiration, we spoke to the duo that created the Mandem Safe, to find out how they came across the inspiration for this ingenious combination of style and security.
Q1: Hi, tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, we're Kim & Joe, founders of the Mandem Safe. A guy and girl from London who have always enjoyed creating things together.
Q2: Where did the idea for the Mandem Safe come from?
We're both massive hip-hop heads and have always listened to the biggest names in the game talking about how they stashed their cash in a shoebox. That is undoubtedly a cool place for your paper but we thought it could be a bit safer whilst keeping that OG feeling.
We think Jay-Z said it best in his Roc Boys track "Thanks to the duffle bag, the brown paper bag. The Nike shoe box for holding all this cash"
Q3: The new safe feature the contactless key card system, how does it work?
The keycards contain a unique frequency which talks to the lock inside the safe. When it recognises the keycard the lock is deactivated. The lock will operate 30,000 times on a single battery.
Q4: What was the most amazing/memorable sneaker box you've seen/bought?
It has to be the OG Tom Sachs x Nike Craft Mars Yard box. Such a brave design for Nike to adopt. More recently the Off White x Nike boxes have caught our eye with the inside out design.
Q5: Any plans in the future?
We're just putting the final touches to a custom box for a very special customer with one of the biggest followings on Instagram - currently standing at 40 million followers! That's all we can say for now on that one though.
Mandem Safe LX is available at WOAW now. Shop here.