I’ll be the first to admit it: Virgil Abloh deserves to make sneaker history for his first series of Nike collaborations, The Ten.
When Nike first announced its partnership with Virgil Abloh of streetwear favorite brand, Off-White, the collection quickly gained notoriety. Since then, “The Ten” have all grown into one of streetwear’s most coveted sneakers.
How could they not? They hit every box, ranging from neutral to bold colourways in the best classic shapes. They were divided into two sets. The first, titled “REVEALING”, included the Air Jordan I, the Nike Air Max 90, the Nike Air Presto, the Nike Air VaporMax and the Nike Blazer Mid. Then they released “GHOSTING”, which featured the Converse Chuck Taylor, Nike Zoom Fly SP, Nike Air Force 1 Low, Nike React Hyperdunk 2017m and Nike Air Max 97.
It has always been clear from looking at Virgil’s sneakers for his own Off-White brand, or even for his work as the men’s art director at Louis Vuitton, that he keeps his best shoes for Nike. Without the pressure of having to invent new shapes or start from scratch with new silhouettes, Virgil’s “The Ten” were the perfect blend of inspiration and innovation.
Just look at resale prices – the most telling indicator of a sneaker’s success – and Off White Nike remains one of the most expensive collaborations. It is not uncommon for pairs of The Ten to cost more than ten times the retail price.
Collaborations between Off-White and Nike Sneaker
But it’s not just the aesthetic value or even Virgil’s supposed genius that drives resale prices up. It is exclusivity.
Here’s the thing about The Ten (as with most coveted collaborations): They all sell. Fast. Even those of us (namely me) who have little more than basic math skills understand the principle of supply and demand. With the most popular sneaker collaborations coming in extremely limited quantities with just one release date, it’s no wonder that StockX, Flight Club, Stadium Goods, or any place you buy your sneakers at astronomically higher list prices. at retail value.
It follows that the more limited versions have some of the highest resale prices. White Air Jordan 1s cost over $ 4,000 on Stadium Goods. Just like the ComplexCon Air Force 1 and Black MoMA AF1 sell forâ¦ $ 16,635.
However, the hype is dying out.
The same thing happened with Kanye West’s Yeezys. When no one could get them, everyone wanted them. And, while sales are still broadly consistent, the massive hype of yesteryear is all but forgotten. Some specific colorways and shapes remain coveted, but it’s telling that these are the ones with the fewest re-releases, the ones you’re least likely to see on everyone else in a KITH store.
Not to mention, since Trump’s endorsement of Kanye and the ensuing presidential candidacy, wearing Yeezy clothes seems a bit too close to wearing a MAGA hat.
Virgil also had his share of controversy. More recently, much of the black community has expressed disappointment over his paltry $ 50 donation to Black Lives Matter causes in the height of summer. While the jury is still out on whether all blacks should be at the forefront of racial justice movements all the time, the concern and criticism was immediate.
However, this community disappointment did not appear to affect sales of its much anticipated Jordan 4 âSailsâ. I like to think it was fair because it was an exquisite shoe. Even me, lying in bed, looking at the SNKRS app, hoping for luck in the raffle, as one would expect in vain (these sneakers are selling for between $ 879 and $ 1,090 now, so it looks like they don’t. are really not in my future).
Jordan 5 sails
But a few months later, the most recent version, the Jordan 5 “Sails”. The Jordan 5s are a less popular silhouette than any others Virgil has conquered before.
The Air Jordans, created and popularized by Michael Jordan, are the most popular Nike sneakers.
The 5s, however, are more difficult to achieve, and it is questionable whether Virgil did or not.
The Jordan 5 ‘Sails’ have grown on me since they were announced, but they’re far from Virgil’s best shoe. The color scheme is almost unrecognizable from his signature, more minimal styling, detail flame-shaped on the youthful frieze side, and only the hint of Off-White text and the yellow label remain flashy indicators of the brand’s identity.
So while I was willing to forgive the oversaturation and questionable feelings about Virgil for the Magnificent 4s, no such concession was made for the 5s.
I may be the only one. Again, this pair sold out on the SNKRS app within a minute and the resale prices are already hitting $ 720 on StockX. But it’s only a matter of time before the excessive proliferation of Off White shoes makes them superfluous.
At this point, I can’t help but roll my eyes with each new title announcing an upcoming Off White x Nike collaboration. Each new shoe feels like a cash grab, a chase that deteriorates the value of the original Ten.
Virgil, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late. Quit as long as you have a head start. Please. Make one last shoe before you go, and make it your best for now. I will be on the SNKRS application, on hold.
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