From casual shoes to luxury goods

From functional clothing to an indispensable piece of casual fashion to becoming a coveted item for collectors and even a good investment, sneakers have become a sought-after item for collectors and a pricey style.

From a pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneakers worn by rapper Kanye West that resold for $1.8 million, to perpetual waiting lists for users of shoe sales platforms, “sneakers”—the technical nature that defines these sneakers—are in many cases Everyone has become the focus of attention. ,Luxury.

In the 1980s, Nike collaborated with Michael Jordan to create the first athlete-related sneakers, a story highlighted in the recent Ben Affleck-directed film Air: Behind the Icon. This collaboration laid the foundation for what would become a streetwear and collectors empire decades later.

“Sneakheads”, the collectors behind the most unique designs

With dedicated platforms acting as intermediaries and vetting models to verify they are not fakes, the resale of special edition sneakers has become a booming business and investment asset.

Special editions, very limited offers, and countdown events have turned one of the most democratic shoes in history into an exclusive item that only a few can afford. According to data from professional platforms such as Taxo, the industry has an annual transaction volume of approximately 74 billion euros.

Behind these unique and coveted pairs comes the “sneakerhead,” a collector who buys the most wanted pairs when they become available and then resells them for a higher price, especially those with Shoes created in collaboration with designers, various artists and companies.

One example is the collaboration between designers like Virgil Abloh, who was the creative director of Off White and Louis Vuitton until his death in 2021, and Nike. The 200 pieces produced were auctioned by Sotheby’s in 2022 for $25 million.

Rise as an investment product, decline of pop culture

Although sneakers are already an integral part of any wardrobe – with the resale business set to reach €28 billion by 2030, according to specialist platform Business Of Fashion – popularity among ordinary people is declining. The situation before 2020 was all about the more accessible models.

María Salcedo, a sneaker expert who works for some distributed brands, said: “When viral styles arrive, they usually sell out within half a day, and it’s rare that a pair arrives the next day. shoes, unless the size is unusual.” explains the most relevant sneakers in the country to EFE.

A few particularly popular styles have emerged from the craze, driven by icons such as Kanye West or Kendall Jenner, who have pushed these styles closer to casual fashion , such as “Dunk” or Air Jordan, for a while “even their arrival in physical stores was complicated.”

“There are measures in place to avoid counterfeiting and resale; certain models do not allow returns to prevent them from being counterfeited, while others can only sell one pair per person,” Salcedo said in a statement reported by EFE. Many of these models Prices range from 90 to 200 euros and are available for several days.

The sales platform continues to pay attention to detail, keeping calendars, alarms and countdowns, hours and even seconds to the next release on the “website” for registered users, although according to Salcedo, basic pieces like white air force have become wardrobe staples A must-have.

Speaking about the growing market for collectors, the expert said: “There are some special editions that tend to be sold out but do not become collectibles, such as the Valentine’s Day editions, where few units are produced at not very high prices. ” And it’s also relaxing for the street consumer. .

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