By Peyton Gallaher
2 CENTS: Is the future of the sneaker industry in the hands of musicians?
Ballers want to be rappers and rappers want to be ballers. Sports and music; two interconnected cultural aspects of life. Both music and sports are archaic in heritage, but are integral in determining what is considered relevant in the pop cultural space.
Naturally, the two entirely different cultural spheres have cohered into a Venn diagram of sorts over the years. Both parties appear to be infatuated with the other. Whether it be Shaq Fu or Ice Cube’s upcoming 3-on-3 league, the overlap of these two uniquely defined niches seems boundless. Sneakers are no exception.
With the ever-present impact of Kanye West and the growing influence of artists such as Drake, Pharrell, Rihanna, Big Sean, DJ Khaled, and others, musicians, particularly in hip-hop, have a larger role in sneakers than ever before. Kids want to be like these musicians and it has seen these artists become the cutting edge in the industry of looking fly. A matter of fact, for the first time ever, musicians are starting to threaten athletes as dictators of the sneaker market.
The heyday of the Lebron line appears to be in the rearview for now as the traditional basketball shoe has taken a backseat to more comfortable, high fashion, and casual kicks. It’s hard not to notice that people are falling over themselves for anything Yeezy, while Kyries, Lillards, and Currys are sitting idle on shelves. This is not to say that this isn’t a result of other circumstances like quality, price point, or limitation of product, but it’s certainly worth paying attention to.
The bottom line is that it is hard to say what is what right now as the game is constantly evolving. However, it seems that the musician’s role in footwear is going to be permanent. How will things adjust? Only time will tell.
Silhouette: NMD City Sock 1
Name: White and Gum
The City Sock is an almost underutilized canvas in Adidas’s now expansive arsenal. It’s sporty, yet high fashion appearance is what constitutes the modern day sneaker head’s closet. This week, Adidas brings the shoe back to the forefront.
The white and gum pair is part of a pack that highlights the beloved gum sole on a black and white City Sock, and a black and white NMD 2.0 (4 pairs in total). The white City Sock particularly stands out for it’s interesting construction, and understated, but chic look. The gum on the bottom provides the assist for this all and all clean pair.
Silhouette: Jordan 4
With a black OVO 12 in the chamber for the upcoming weeks, Jump Man could easily take their foot off the pedal for a while. They aren’t. Certainly, Jordan brand has been coming with the heat in 2017 and this weekend will be no different.
The “Royalty” Air Jordan 4 finally makes it’s highly anticipated debut this Saturday. High quality, short haired suede highlights an upper that also shows off hits of luxurious gold on the eyelets. The brand describes this shoe as a “premium model”, but the traditional Jordan premium price tag does not come along with it. This is surely a welcomed change. When gold is featured on a Jordan brand shoe, it’s always a crowd pleaser.
Silhouette: Old Skool
The Old Skool is one of the most classic silhouettes in existence. Debuting in 1977, the shoe has graced the feet of the diverse ranks of Julia Roberts, Tyler the Creator, and Gigi Hadid. GQ even said in August of 2016 that the model “was about to be the next Stan Smith”.
Made famous by a stray scribble that creator Paul Van Doren eventually turned into the shoe’s iconic white stripe, the Old Skool has become the common man’s kick. It’s simplicity, affordability, and style has allowed the Old Skool to become a true classic.
Flashing forward to 2017, Vans is still pumping Old Skools out. This time, in collaboration with off the beaten path fashion brand, Undercover. What was cooked up was an entirely suede, canvas, and rubber pair covered in pink flowers that dot the iconic upper. Both pairs, grey and maroon, are artfully crafted and well balanced in both quality and design.
Silhouette: Air Max 1
Name: Ocean Fog
The Air Max one is one of the most important shoes ever. Nike had of course already introduced air units in their sneakers, which forever revolutionized athletic shoes, but they didn’t perfect the technology until former architect Tinker Hatfield got a hold of it in 1987. Inspired by the facade of a Parisian museum, Tinker decided to expose the air unit in the midsole of the shoe, something never even thought of before. In 1990 the air max 1 dropped and the rest is history.
Today, the Swoosh is giving the Air Max 1 a makeover in premium leather. The “Ocean Fog” colorway is one of 3 in a pack dropping Saturday with the branding of pinnacle. The model sports an eye-catching, multi-toned blue upper, with a cream midsole offsetting the splashes of color. Of course, the famous exposed air is still present so the wearer feels like they are walking on cloud 9.
Question of the week:
Which classical artist would produce the best sneaker collaboration?
(my answer is Van Gough. I could mess with a “Starry Night” AF1. )