Scarcity and exclusivity were the pillars upon which the modern sneaker market was built, but with brands rushing to claim dominance through collaborations and countless drops, these factors are losing relevance for many buyers. So, how do sneakerheads now determine the value of footwear?
Nike has released a pair of ‘hands-free’ sneakers that combine accessible functionality with style. The GO FlyeEase kicks are designed to be put on without any laces or straps, catering to the needs of people with disabilities and reduced mobility without skimping on the sneakerhead cool factor.
Combining hypebeasts’ fandom of limited-edition drops and owning pair upon pair of coveted sneakers with accessibility and affordability, the AR-style Aglet app is letting the sneaker-obsessed get in-app versions of the shoes they love and crave without actually having to buy them.
In a tech-enhanced twist on colouring books, Nike Japan is giving sneakerheads a chance to immerse themselves in product design. The brand’s AR zine taps into shifting expectations around augmented retail, letting consumers create and showcase their own virtual Nike Air Max designs.
The resale market for streetwear has expanded from niche online communities to form a sizeable part of the $18 billion apparel resale industry. But who are the key players in this world? And what drives people to spend small fortunes to secure particular sneakers, t-shirts and hoodies?