PIRATE street sellers in Barcelona are launching their own brand of trainers.
The Top Manta brand will buy the same fake Nike and Adidas trainers, but use its own logo.
Known as manteros (blanket sellers) after the sheets they place their goods on, Barcelona’s 400 sellers are usually African men who endured a dangerous journey to arrive in Spain.
“We wanted [the logo] to look a bit like a canoe, which is the form of transport by which most of us arrived in Europe,” said Aziz Fayé, a spokesman for the new Union of Street Sellers, to the Guardian.
“We’ve more or less sorted out the suppliers. What matters is that the manteros start selling Top Manta products instead of the shoes and T-shirts they’re selling now.”
Around half the manteros in the city have said they will start selling the products within weeks.
“Things have improved since the union was created but there’s still a lot to do,” said Fayé. “We’re still persecuted by the police who prevent us from selling but if we don’t sell we can’t survive.”
Manteros buy trainers from warehouses just north of Barcelona.
Nike and Adidas trainers are imported without logos to avoid evading charges of piracy, before fake logos are added by the manteros.