Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sneakers: The perfect dude accessory
The obsession to collect artefacts is well known and sneakers are no different. Rare sneakers, issued on limited edition are must have to committed Sneakerheads, most of which are male. Life consists of trolling endlessly online message boards and reading specialty magazines in search of information about release dates and/or forthcoming styles. Collectors can pay grossly inflated prices on eBay just to own the shoes they want. Sneakerheads pride themselves on the size of their collections with the vast majority of never worn. In sneakerease this is called "fresh," and describes shoes which are kept in their original boxes and either prominently displayed, exhibition style, or safely stored in security conscious bedroom closets. Much of the fervour to collect is fuelled by companies like Nike, New Balance, and adidas among many others who release only limited-edition models in small quantities, thereby making them instantly collectable. When Vans released sneakers with Homer Simpson there were only 100 pairs made and were snapped up immediately. The infatuation to own ‘originals” was recently depicted in the TV series Entourage (HBO) when Vince (Adrian Grenier) the main character paid a king’s ransom for a pair of Nikes customized by a graffiti artist. Well aware of the passion new sneakers engender, companies call selected sneaker boutiques to pre warn loyal customers new styles are on their way. The information broadcast through local networks guarantee an instant sell out. Sneakers are both wearable and affordable art and the ultimate in secular consumerism. What the slogan T shirt did in the 60s, the sneaker canvas has surpassed.