Wooooow!! We are really down to the last month of 2019. Time is moving fast, I'm headed into my 6th year of blogging and it would not be possible without every single one of you supporting and reading my blog.......Thank you sincerely!! I was reminiscing about when I started blogging with another sneaker connoisseur and we started discussing the state of the sneaker culture. We took it waay back to when we REALLY got into the sneaker game and the changes since then. There have been soo many changes that I felt the need to touch on the topic.
I started back in 2001, as far as buying and cleaning my own kicks. Iverson Answer IV white and gray was one of my first purchases, along with some cocaine air force ones (necessity for my generation). From there I was hooked and could not find a better way to spend my money. Young with a job and no responsibilities? I damn near lived in the mall with my $375 dollar check lol. Spending anywhere from $90 to $150 on my shoes, which I never paid any attention to. But my mom "spending all your money on shoes" "$100 dollars?! That's too much damn money, but it is yours do with it what you want". She thought I was crazy spending that amount just for a pair of shoes, when K-mart had shoes for $29.99.
Iverson Answer IV
Kmart Specials aka Spaldings
There was a strange appeal to buying shoes for me. The colors, the styles and the materials all told a story and when executed perfectly....it is poetry in motion, just BEAUTIFUL!!! But to adults and outsiders, I was insane to spend money like that. Then they wanted to be funny "If I spend that much money they better make me run faster and jump higher" ha ha ha.....But they did not get it. Probably because the sneaker culture was tied directly to the hip-hop culture and therefore looked down on as far as collecting and spending money on shoes that would make an adult cringe. Sneaker culture was underground and pure, in it's infant stages if you will. Too young to be taken serious, not old enough to have respect and because of that adults and outsiders thought it would soon die out, just like hip-hop.....it is just a phase.
Wu Tang X Nike Dunk
Meanwhile, I'm camping out in lines, making phone calls to boutiques/shoe stores, waking up early to travel and whatever else to get whatever release was dropping. I had to have the kicks and I was ready to get in the trenches to acquire them. To outsiders I looked like a damn fool, but to those in tune.....I was making moves!! There was no SNKRS app or website that just had release information available, no online raffles or any of that. You had to be in the loop, know people, be active in forums like Niketalk and things of that nature to know when shoes were dropping. It was almost like a secret society where shoes were your way of entry, topic of conversation and what brought us closer together. Because of that there was a certain love and respect among us and because of the way we went about acquiring kicks almost every pair had a story behind them. That story just added to the connection with a shoe, rarely selling kicks out of the collection. But if I did, due to the respect held...there was no rape prices or over charging. Give me what I paid for it, because I know you're buying to wear and that's what it was about.
My how times have changed!! To the surprise of those aforementioned adults and outsiders...and even me, the sneaker culture has become mainstream and the numbers that once made my parents cringe are now laughable when buying kicks. Like, there are commercials for Stock X. A place that is considered to be somewhat of a stock market and marketplace for kicks. Wait...stock market? Yeah, stock market!! It has become that serious and that profitable. The culture once laughed about and mimicked is now one of the biggest cultures there is and it is only getting bigger. But....it's not the same. There are websites, apps, boutiques and all types of ways to not only find out about releases but also secure said releases. You no longer have to get in the trenches or apply major effort to secure kicks as you once did. It is no longer who you know or what you know as much as it is "Do you have the money?". You have "hypebeasts" & "resellers" now. Money is what it comes down to in the sneaker game now, that is why there are apps now. The companies wanted to reach more people to increase exposure and sales, what better way than an app that is on your phone since everyone is attached to their phone. No longer do you have to get out in the trenches and create stories about your kicks, just wake up early enough on release day.
Which is convenient and cool or whatever but it has robbed the culture of it's essence. The thing that made the culture great is now missing. Getting in the trenches, building connections and doing it for the love is a thing of the past. Now it is about bots, hype and dollar signs.....for most. There is still a lot of those in the game who do it for the love and value connections built in the trenches. But the number is dwindling because that is no longer the movement. I know things are meant to evolve and change and with the sneaker game it was only a matter of time, but the allure is missing now and it is all about money. High fashion has even found it's way in, with collaborations with designers and brands is a thing of the norm now. Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and other brands that would have never back in the day are now engulfed in the culture and it is all due to dollar signs. Shoes release every weekend and sometimes during the week to maximize windows for profit and it is getting out of hand. You no longer have time to appreciate a pair of kicks and let the art of a shoe resonate before you're bombarded with more releases. It has become a "what next?" culture always looking for the next drop....the next fix. To the point that the market is flooded with kicks and we're heading into holiday 2019 already posting and talking about "Holiday 2020" shoe releases because "WHAT NEXT?!".
Its not the same anymore and I miss it.
As always cop heavy, keep em clean and the soles icy.
Feel free to connect with and follow me on my social media outlets:
MY BOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, LINKS ARE BELOW:
Its More Than Just Buying Sneakers: