Sneakers, from casual shoes to collectible luxury

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Published on

September 5, 2023

From performance apparel to casual fashion must-haves to collector’s covets and even investment properties, sneakers have become a collector’s item, commanding sky-high prices.

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From the pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1s worn by rapper Kanye West and resold for $1.8 million, to the perpetual waitlist for users of shoe-selling platforms, “sneakers” — describe these The technical term for sneakers – has become a favorite of many. occasion, luxury.

In the ’80s, Nike teamed up with Michael Jordan to create the first athlete-relevant sneaker, a story that was recently rescued by the Ben Affleck-directed film Air: The Story Behind the Logo. This collaboration was the germ of what would become a street and collector empire decades later.

“Sneakerheads”, the collector behind the most unique designs

With specialized platforms acting as intermediaries that vet models to make sure they’re not fakes, reselling special edition sneakers is a thriving business and a worthwhile investment asset.

Special editions, very limited offers and countdown events have turned one of the most democratic footwear in history into an affordable exclusive for a select few. As pointed out by professional platforms such as Taxo, the industry has an annual turnover of around 74 billion euros.

After these unique and coveted styles came the image of the “sneaker toe”, collectors who bought the most desired styles when they became available and resold them at a higher price, especially those with designer, Styles made by artists and collaborations with various artists. company.

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

Thriving as an investment good, embracing popular culture

Although sneakers are already an integral part of the wardrobe – according to specialist platform Business Of Fashion, the resale business will reach 28 billion euros by 2030 – the popularity of sneakers among the general public is declining and it is no longer easy sold out. Models that occurred before 2020.

María Salcedo, a specialist in “sneakers” who works for some of the distributors, “when viral styles arrive, they usually sell within half a day and very few are available. The shoes arrive the next day, unless the size is unusual,” explained to EFE, the tags of the most relevant shoes in the country.

From the craze driven by icons like Kanye West or Kendall Jenner to bring these styles closer to casual chic, some particularly in-demand styles (such as “Dunk” or Air Jordan) stand out, for a while “complicated before reaching brick-and-mortar stores.”

“There are measures to prevent counterfeiting and reselling; some models do not allow returns to prevent counterfeiting, while others are only sold as one pair per person,” said Salcedo, who now points to many of them. A fork costs from 90 to 200 euros and is available in a few days.

The sales platform continues to pay attention to detail, keeping calendars, alarm clocks, and countdowns, hours, and even seconds to the next launch on a “site” for registered users, though according to Salcedo, basics like the white Air Force they have become clothing items. A wardrobe must-have.

“There are special editions that do tend to run out and don’t become collectibles, such as Valentine’s Day editions, where very few units are produced at prices that aren’t very high,” the expert said of the growing collector’s market and high-street consumers Said while relaxing.

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