It was only a matter of time. With the boom of the vintage — or at least retro-tinged — sneakers comes a surging secondary market: custom laces, aging services (including DIY markers), restoration appointments and the ilk. There are already defined voices within the fledgling industry, which has only accelerated since the release of Netflix and ESPN's The Last Dance. However, one such retailer remains quick to confirm they'd been around well before the documentary dropped: Singapore-based lace company Foxtrot Uniform.
Yo Fox!, as the company's colloquially known, began as an Instagram page dedicated to documenting the founding duo's ever-growing collection of vintage Jordan 1s. A popular post syndicated by dozens of mood board accounts fast-tracked the pair's ascension. What began as a page for archival work quickly transitioned to making products of their own. Together, they adopted the joint pseudonym "Fox" but typed out in iOS' emoji font.
"It started with the fascination for the fade on the laces that come with the Royal AJ1 and me wanting to have replacement laces for my 85s in the right weave," Fox says. "[After] making a batch for myself and 'maybe' some OG heads, the community ate it up, and ever since we’ve been dedicating our time to making the best laces in the world for vintage and retro lovers."
The laces are available in an array of dyes, oftentimes released alongside an ultra-anticipated drop — think the Jordan x Union collab. The trick is to then swap out the standard laces with ones more complementary or perhaps a set that offers contrast. Either way, it's a stab at personalizing a pair of kicks countless others copped, too. For Fox, "the goal is to bridge the gap between designer and you."
With colors like Fade-Away Grape, Oval Cream, Pine and Kentucky, the chosen hues pay obvious homage to iconic sneaker color sets. They can be applied to the sneakers they're named after or added to another altogether. It's up to you. If you own any vintage Jordan 1s, though, particularly a pair from their debut year, 1985, these laces might look and feel familiar. (You should also seek out some legal advice on selling those, too.)
"Our laces replicate the weave of 1985 Nike basketball laces, meaning they are custom woven to our specifications to mimic the nuances of '80s sportswear," Fox told us over IG. "We are not a drop ship company that resells stock laces from a supplier catalog."
Contrary to the kinds of laces you'll find lining the shelves at chain stores across the country, these are wider than usual (but not "fat"), custom-dyed and boast a higher thread count. But Yo Fox! didn't stop at laces. Since launching their online store in June 2020, they've expanded it to include expensive vintage Jordan collections (which they've hunted down and stocked themselves), lace accessories (barbed wire, eye stay plugs), socks and sneaker stain markers, which afford a vintage look to brand-new kicks.
"After replicating most of the colors in the Nike catalog from the '80s, we started to produce our own vintage fade colors with the same approach," Fox says. "We double dye them to replicate 35 years of fade found on vintage Jordans." They're meticulous about the products they push to market but for good reason: vintage and modern sneaker shoppers alike are obsessive. The quality's there, though. Yo Fox!'s drops happen sort of sporadically, can be previewed with a top-secret password and are first come first serve when the site opens.