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Rockport has come up with an innovative way to promote the launch of its Truwalk Zero footwear. It has commissioned a German performance artist to suspend people in mid-air in Midtown Manhattan during rush hour today.

The performance by Johan Lorbeer at the Grace Building on 43rd Street and Sixth Avenue this morning and between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. tonight is designed to illustrate how light weight the new shoes are through the gravity-defying performance.

“The brand is all about lightness,” said Daniel Tschuemperlin, Rockport’s senior vice president of product and brand management. “We’re going after the metropolitan professional so we came up with the idea of floating people without gravity.”

The installation drew a large crowd as passersby stopped and took photographs and taxicabs pulled up to the curb with their passengers hanging out of the windows for a look.

The performers were cordial, talking to the gathering about how they manage to stay suspended for many hours. (It has something to do with invisible platforms that hold them steady.)

Tschuemperlin said the men’s and women’s shoes had a limited launch this week on two styles for men, a lace-up sneaker and a wingtip, as well as a sneaker for women. They retail between $120 and $140 and are being sold at Rockport stores and other select mid-market retailers.

Rockport is also running a contest for consumers in the U.S. and Canada to win a trip on a zero gravity flight later this year.

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