ofertas nike air max ‘Old skool’ sneakers are beating a path to new markets
PARIS Remember those stinking sneakers you threw in the trash in your teens? They could be worth hundreds of dollars by now for vintage sneakers are the height of cool.
Like much that has influenced fashion in recent years, the popularity of the vintage sneaker can be laid firmly at the door of the music industry, specifically that of rap and R with legendary names like Run DMC not only important in music history but in footwear terms too. Like urban black music and its “bling bling” mentality, the craze for “old skool” sneakers did not take long to enter the mainstream.
“About two and a half years ago, the re release of the Nike Air Max 90 ignited a spark,” explained Magdi Fernandes, owner of Slammin Kicks in central London, which specializes in the kind of sneakers that are fueling the demand for vintage styles. without seeing rows of vintage looks.”
Unlike some other stores, Slammin Kicks does not sell original, worn footwear to an informed niche market of collectors. It sells re issues of classic or rare sneakers to an eager general public. There are always exceptions, such as the four pairs of Nike Air Force 1 and 2, as well as Rocafella and Black Albummodels donated by the music impresario Damon Dash that are worth at least 1,000, or $1,790, each. The rappers Jay Z and Kayne West, two of the store’s better known clients, have added to the store’s reputation as an epicenter of a hot trend.
Fernandes, who played basketball professionally, has made it store policy to “provide shoes that no one else can provide, at real prices for the street.” This notion of affordable exclusivity, generally associated with products like luxury handbags, is increasingly apparent in sports footwear.
Oki Ni, a concept driven retailer of hard to find fashion, footwear and gadgets, is one such example. Its main store on London’s Savile Row is only one of a number of such outlets scattered throughout Britain and springing up in Stockholm, Hong Kong and Japan beginning in late September. They act as glorified galleries for the retail activity taking place on the company’s Web site.
The store’s owner, Paddy Meehan, collaborates with Adidas Originals’ heritage division to “trawl through the vintage back catalogues,” selecting styles for reproduction, often with various tweaks on the original. Usually they are issued in very small runs of about 50 pairs, which means that selling online from a warehouse base is the only option.
Meehan said Oki Ni’s customer base ranges in age from late teens to mid 40s and is “fairly savvy” on fashion. He is quick to point out that “these are people who are knowledgeable,” and that “what they are looking for is a unique and beautiful product.”
Drieke Leenknegt, Nike’s head of communications for Europe and the Middle East, works for a company whose Air Jordan and Dunk models are benchmarks in the history of sports footwear. “Our approach has always been first and foremost the product,” Leenknegt said, with vintage style a more surface concern.
“The first objective is to design products that perform and then look good,” she said. “There is no reason why something from the past can’t and shouldn’t influence design.”
Fernandes agreed on the importance of function, pointing out Nike’s Huarache 2K4, which he nominated as a future classic. Designed for the basketball star Kobe Bryant, and inspired by 11 past styles, the resulting shoe is a smooth, unfussy fusion an element of design simplicity that classic sneakers share.
Tokyoites, a Japanese boutique in the Marais district of Paris, sells vintage action toys in their original boxes and a various mixture of items from bicycles to clothing and shoes.
A store employee in charge of footwear pointed out star pieces like Nike Night Track glitter soled runners, which date to the late 1970s, black Adidas shell toes that commemorate the late DJ Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, and a pair of Dunks featuring artwork from the late French artist Bernard Buffet.
In Tokyoites, though modern reproductions abound, the focus is on original sneakers, some with merited mud marks and price tags dripping an unfeasibly large number of digits. Karim’s personal feelings about the quality of modern sport footwear were unprintable.
They were not shared by Leenknegt, who said that Nike’s “iconic” Air Force One basketball shoe, for example, had “led the way” in performance and design.
Of course the resuscitation and adaptation of retro fashion is nothing new, and at Martin Margiela, the trend has always been the dissection, reworking and re assembly of old clothing in new and thought provoking ways.
It was an organic progression for Margiela to delve into the world of sneakers. He worked first from a stock of sneakers from the Austrian Army and then from a cache of surplus air force sneakers. Finally, the shoes were customized by the reclusive Belgian designer by adding personal graffiti.
While reserves exhaust themselves, trends also tend to wear out like over worn soles. However, Fernandes said there was consensus within the industry that vintage sneakers and their copies would stay around for at least the next three to five years.