Trends in the $79 Billion Sneaker Industry

New Balance x Aime Leon Dore

Decades after the world first noticed Michael Jordan’s on-court footwear, sneakers have grown into a $79 billion industry and a symbol of modern fashion. From sportswear giants to luxury fashion houses, everyone is diving into the sneaker production “race,” recognizing their cultural significance and practicality.

In July 2020, during the height of the global pandemic, an online raffle was held to determine the lucky few who could spend $2,000 on the latest Air Dior sneakers. This high-profile collaboration between Dior and Air Jordan resulted in the most expensive sneakers at the time, and the “Wolf Grey” Air Jordans sold out within minutes.

This historic partnership between Air Jordan and Dior significantly transformed the sneaker market. According to Augustman, Richard Xia, CEO and co-founder of Novelship—a trading platform for sneakers and streetwear—discussed the evolution many call “sneakernomics.”

Such collaborations involve extensive behind-the-scenes work, including market research to ensure success and strategic marketing to capture public interest. “In my opinion, using the right celebrity and brand together usually guarantees a certain level of success,” Richard Xia stated.

A recent example of a successful celebrity-brand partnership is the collaboration between New Balance and fashion brand Aime Leon Dore. With Aime Leon Dore’s founder, Teddy Santis, leading the creative direction, New Balance saw a resurgence in popularity among both streetwear enthusiasts and high-end fashion consumers.

This collaboration highlighted a new way for brands to launch products with influencers, enhancing their cultural presence and offering creative opportunities. These exclusive lines help reach new consumers without compromising the brand’s overall identity.

New Balance and Aime Leon Dore are expected to release another collection this year, building on the success of their previous partnerships. This news has generated significant excitement across social media platforms.

The New Balance 550 “Aime Leon Dore” editions continue to be popular on resale platforms like StockX and Goat, selling for $400 and $350, respectively.

Today, similar collaboration models are widespread. Examples include Nike and Travis Scott; Adidas and Kanye West; Puma and J. Cole; and the recent partnership between Converse and Fear of God’s Jerry Lorenzo. Collaborations between brands and celebrities continue to attract consumers, provided both parties contribute significant creativity.

However, not all collaborations guarantee success. Under Armour experienced this risk with their partnership with NBA star Steph Curry. While initial sales were strong, subsequent releases failed to maintain momentum, leading to lower-than-expected sales figures.

Reebok also ended its partnership with Cardi B after mixed reviews and underwhelming sales from their collaborative collections.

Despite these setbacks, sportswear brands continue to seize the golden opportunity to collaborate with celebrities, aiming for billion-dollar revenues. Before launching their collaborative products with luxury fashion house Prada, Adidas introduced a Gen-Z focused lifestyle line, led by TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and brand ambassadors like soccer star Paul Pogba and tennis player Naomi Osaka.

Puma signed a partnership with artist The Weeknd, creating a co-designed sub-brand focusing on men’s apparel and sneakers. Similarly, Nike launched the Sacai sub-brand, co-designed with Japanese fashion designer Chitose Abe. Most notably, a Supreme and Nike collaboration sneaker auctioned at Sotheby’s fetched a record price, with one pair selling for $150,000.

According to Jing Daily, sneakers are becoming a key topic among investors, CEOs, and other professionals. They discuss brands, rarity, and colors of the sneakers. While luxury handbags remain popular among women, men are increasingly discussing sneakers. Choosing the right brand, style, and distinctive patterns signifies the owner’s expertise. These factors indicate that the status of sneakers is changing, solidifying their position in high fashion.

At Buypurity, we stay ahead of the trends in the sneaker industry. Explore our trendy collection and join the future of fashion with us.

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