Celebrity Sneaker Collabs
When a celebrity releases a collaboration with a brand, sneakerheads are now not the only ones buying but their fans are also. The anticipation for celebrity releases has also increased tremendously from the days that S. Carters and G-Units were released. Back in 2003, the S. Carters were the fastest selling for the brand which came with unreleased music from Jay-Z and sold exclusively at Foot Locker. They sold 10,000 pairs for $100 before they were introduced to other retailers and then fizzled out. The G-Units quickly followed from Reebok riding on the stardom of 50 Cent. The initial partnership from Jay-Z and Reebok opened doors for hip-hop and sneakers straying away from the idea that only athletes could have signature shoes for brands.
In 2013, Teyena Taylor and Adidas released her highly popular Harlem GLCs to a young female crowd. This release introduced Adidas as a frontrunner in the sneaker release business. But a follow up shoe that year fell stagnant in large parts speculated because of an online incident between Taylor and Rhianna and eventually the partnership ended. But Teyana later partnered with Reebok to release the Reebok Question “Red October” in 2018. Taylor also did promotional campaigns in the Reebok Classic Freestyle paying homage to the 90’s for the brand. In 2015, Rihanna along with Puma released Fenty Puma. This line took the sneaker world by storm with all of the Rihanna fans buying whatever pair that they could get their hands on. The chunky styles and spin on classics helped catapult the brands sales during its rebranding period. Her shoe line introduced women who weren’t into sneakers to this world where colors, platforms, satins, fur, and buckles were possible on sneakers.
In 2020, Beyonce released her Ivy Park collection with Adidas and this time included sneakers. We all knew this release would be crazy and as expected, the Beyhive went crazy! Her collection was also not only for women, but had unisex pieces so that everyone could enjoy. Adidas used a similar method as with the Yeezy brand-low quantities at high process points to sell out and create demand. Because of Beyonce’s icon status, CNBC expects Ivy Park x Adidas to surpass the Yeezy brand. The Yeezy brand is estimated to bring in $1.5 billion in 2019. Since the initial Yeezy and Adidas roll out in 2015, the demand for Yeezy has been great for Adidas. Bringing in Kanye West to create a shoe line increased Adidas sales 14% in its first year. West partnered with Adidas in 2013 after leaving Nike for the Adidas deal. From 2009-2013 he was signed to Nike and released the Air Yeezy line which holds a high resale value now. West claimed that even with the success of the Air Yeezy, Nike would not pay him royalties.
Could you imagine if West would have stayed with Nike and released his Yeezy collection there? Nike has a new superstar who each time he is mentioned with a sneaker release we know that there will be a sell out. Travis Scott has changed the sneaker and celebrity game. For the past few years, he has created chaos around his sneaker releases. So much that stores will not carry the sneakers and they are only available online or from resellers. Scott has taken the classics such as the AF1, Dunks, Jordan 1, Jordan 4, and Jordan 6 to new heights as his mass following will purchase any sneaker that he touches. Scott’s retail prices for shoes go for $120-$180 and resale upwards of $500.
While some people may think that these names and their celebrity add value, the jury is still out on that fact. Is the extreme pricing and resale more because of the limited nature of these sneakers or do they really measure up to the hype when it comes to design, uniqueness and the flavor of each artist? Let us know what you think.