What’s up with my Sneakerhead fam? What’s your collection looking like these days? Any new pickups? Anybody luck up on any “off white” releases? I for sure didn’t, but I didn’t even try to be honest. Trying to snatch a collab between these shoe brands and designers/artist/celebrities is not an easy task.
Let’s define what a collaboration (collab) is before going any further. A collaboration is when a company such as Jordan allows a celebrity/artist such as Drake to have special colorways and even branding on signature silhouettes of the company’s shoe. Not to be confused with a partnership. Normally collaboration and a partnership is the same thing. They differ in the world of kicks. For example, Rihanna and Puma have a partnership. Where Rihanna has creative control and Puma brings her ideas to life under her brand “Fenty by Rhianna”. Another example of a partnership is adidas and Kanye West, where Kanye has creative control and adidas produces his “Yeezy” shoe.
Fenty By Rhianna
Yeezy By Kanye
Collaborations seem to be more and more popular these days in the sneaker realm. The big names attached to sneaker brands along with exclusivity creates hype in a way you wouldn’t believe. Why? Because now you don’t just have Sneakeheads excited about the release, but also the artist/designer’s fans are also excited about the release. Some of which aren’t actually collectors or Sneakerheads, but want to support the artist they like.
Back in the day, collaborations were unheard of outside of sports. If you weren’t an athlete that couldn’t shoot, throw, catch or run there was no way you were getting a shoe. Even athletes weren’t guaranteed deals, some would just get “player exclusive” colors that they would promote. The earliest collab outside of sports that I’m aware of was in 1986 between adidas and RUN DMC (I could be wrong)…. RUN DMC even had a song called “My adidas”. Another major collab was between Jay-Z and Reebok in 2002 followed by 50 cent and Reebok in 2004.
RUN DMC adidas 1986
S.Carter Reeboks 2002
G-Unit G6 Reebok 2004
At the time, all of these collaborations were big and un heard of. Now a collaboration between artists/celebrities and shoe companies is the norm. Because these shoe companies see how it creates not only more hype but more revenue. If you produce less shoes than normal but have twice as many consumers looking for your product due to tapping into the artist’s fan base; you’re guaranteed to sell out and see a return on your investment. Which is why collaborations have become more common, it guarantees revenue and brand expansion.
All in the same breathe, the allure of collaborations is going away. Because it is becoming more common instead of a rarity, regardless of who the collaboration is between. Hopefully things switch up soon, every celebrity/artist doesn’t need a sneaker, hell most don’t even really wear kicks like that in the first place.
As always cop heavy, keep em fresh and the soles icy. #Salute
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