“Influencers” and their impact on the Sneaker Culture

A lot of times when I try and think about why a certain shoe is selling out or reselling for a high value I can often somehow link it to a combination of factors like the cost and overall exclusivity which builds hype for many releases, and causing a demand for a shoe that wasn’t there before. Another factor which has continued to make its presence ever growing is the celebrity influence of many rappers now signed to major sneaker companies and the power of popular non-celebrity Instagram accounts. It also appears to have recently been an arms race amongst brands to sign anybody with a large social media following, mainly rap artist, who have developed successful releases for smaller brands like Aisics by collaborating with someone like Wale who is both a sneakerhead and popular rapper, or Kendrick Lamar’s Reebok Ventilators selling out despite the fact that a regular pair of Ventilators sit at your local sneaker store.The biggest example of this culture influence by celebrity’s to me in this year alone came when the all white colorway of the Adidas ESM boost sold out shortly after Kanye West performed in them, despite the fact that shoe was sitting on shelves and even on clearance in certain stores nation wide. But honestly we have now come to expect things like that to happen for someone like Kanye West who has so much pull in popular culture as a whole and not just our insulated sneaker world, but nowadays even people who are not traditional celebrities have alot of sway in the sneaker world. For example in my opinion John Geiger has single handedly revived interest in high top Air Force One’s through his Nike ID’s, various customizations, and now his “Misplaced Checks” series in collaboration with the Shoe Surgeon which was an idea he says Nike shot down to commercially sell, but now appears to have a cult following. Another example is how Don C turned his friendship with Kanye West from a luxury snap-back line with Mitchell and Ness into a contract with Jordan Brand which created one of the most hyped up releases of 2015 in the Don C Air Jordan 2. The success of both of these men is very much hard earned, but how is that they have so much pull within the sneaker world in increasing the popularity of two separate sneaker models that were not as popular before even though they are not athletes or performers. With rumors of yet another price increase for Jordan retros in 2016, I feel that it is more than likely that rappers and other people not directly associated with any one sport will help brands sell much of their cheaper lifestyle options like an Air Force One or an Adidas Superstar as Jordan’s become more and more too expensive for the average consumer effectively popping the sneaker bubble of purchasing retros what seems like every weekend.


P.S These are just my personal opinions and are not targeted at one person or brand, and just my take on who is really behind the trends.

@johngeiger      theshoegame       sneakernews       solecollector

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Aspiring sneaker and streetwear writer from NYC currently in highschool looking to give a different perspective on things in the sneaker culture. To keep up with me follow me on instagram @lordstraz.

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