Sneakers have played a major role in the development and the image of cities, people and brands. From the all-white Air Force 1s and Timbs to the Chuck Taylor’s and Jordan’s, sneaker culture has helped to define times.
A Multi-Million Dollar Industry
What was once a hobby to have every pair of Jordans for a sneakerhead, has now become a multi-million dollar industry.
Today, price tags and resell value range from $300 to $2 million for some of the most limited shoes on the market. The latest of them being the Jordan 1 High X Dior collaboration, which hit a resale value of $33,449 on Friday, July 17th, 2020, according to popular sneaker marketplace StockX.
Sneaker companies have long understood that the value of the shoe comes from its exclusiveness. Therefore, having a limited amount of pairs available for the market drives prices upward, as we see today. As a result, this is a widely practised system in the sneaker retail market.
In the case of the Jordan 1 Dior’s, there are only 8,000 pairs made, with an additional 5,000 made for family and friends. President and Chief Executive Officer of Christian Dior Couture stated that more than 5 million people made an entry to get their hands on a pair that sold for $2200US.
Artists and athletes are also important for large sneaker brand revenue and sneaker culture. With the help of social media, a simple upload to the Instagram feed drives the demand for a shoe.
Recently, on July 21st, 2020, rapper Travis Scott posted a picture of him wearing the Nike SB Dunk Low in the colourway Newcastle Brown Ale. Even though the shoe was released on June 1st, 2008, for a retail price of $90US, StockX announced on Twitter that the shoe rose 40% in sales after Scott’s upload to Instagram. Which marked August 1st as the shoe’s highest-selling stock in its 11 years at a resale price of $1,308US.
You can’t talk about sneakers without mentioning Jordan’s. The Jordan brand may be responsible for how we value shoe wear today. Aligning with world-renowned Athlete Michael Jordan and his endorsement cultivates phenomenal value for Jordan’s.
Even more, older sneakerheads understand that when an original Jordan shoe is being re-released, with its original colourway, they’re reselling a shoe that is defining its time. Therefore, retro nostalgia gives the re-released sneaker its value.
For some, shoes are just something to put on your feet, but for others, sneakers at times have become a form of self-expression and at odd times, a way to flex on your friends.