Sneakers Are The New Currency Of Luxury – Urimuri

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Luxury is difficult to define. A simple dictionary definition throws up phrases like ‘an inessential, desirable merchandise that is expensive and can be tough to obtain.’ But there’s extra to it than mere worth; luxurious is heritage, design, craftsmanship, exclusivity and far more. For a younger Indian at present, there might be in all probability one thing that’s as a lot the definition of luxury as a Hermes Birkin handbag – sneakers. 

Sneakerheads Ahead

Over the previous couple of years, the world has witnessed a surge in sneaker culture. Once an emblem of athleticism, sneakers today are cultural commodities, with the global sneaker market predicted to achieve $120 billion by 2026. These humble footwear provide bragging rights and have moved past the confines of sports to luxurious ramp walks. Sneakers have a cultural connotation with road type, and 62% of respondents in a Hypebeast survey chose sneakers as their most bought streetwear product.

Sneakers right now are cultural commodities

From restricted edition drops to unique collaborations, India too is seeing a massive surge in sneakerheads, who chase highs from a model new pair of kicks. And there are many causes for this, the vital thing being a growing millennial and Gen Z market that values self-expression and luxury, albeit in a special form. But sneakers have been in the marketplace for a long time. Why the sudden craze?

“As kids, my co-founders and I used to purchase plenty of sneakers. The frequent issues we faced were the dearth of access to authentic sneakers and the time it took to deliver them in India. Getting the pair you wished typically took as many as 4-6 months. Additionally, there was no method to verify your new pair’s legitimacy; no third-party apps might check if the sneakers were authentic,” explains Danish Chawla, who began Find Your Kicks India (FYKI) with Simardeep Singh and Harshdeep Singh in 2020. An on-line marketplace for reselling sneakers, FYKI tackles the primary issues of this enterprise and connects patrons and sellers of this high-demand commodity. 

Youngsters are also inspired by celebrities who choose to don sneakers Youngsters are additionally inspired by celebrities who choose to don sneakers

Platforms like FYKI, Superkicks have additionally, in turn, contributed to the expansion of the sneaker tradition in India, indulging sneaker enthusiasts with a variety of sneakers from around the world. “We see each sneaker having a different story. Every product has a different enchantment. For a retailer like us, we harp on storytelling behind every shoe carefully linked to subcultures like skateboarding, hip-hop, basketball, and music. One can see an exponential rise in interest in sneakers in India, and I give a lot of credit to our connection to the western tradition, which has fast-tracked in the last 5 years because of Instagram and combined with the fact that there could be more disposable income” expresses Nisha Lulla, who co-founded Superkicks, a sneaker and streetwear retailer, with Sangeet Paryani.

Social media platforms, corresponding to Instagram and Facebook, also play a big function in community-building; sneakerheads can join and share their collections and experiences. Devyn Kumar, a hospitality industry skilled, discovered his passion for sneakers and their history through social media. “There is a big influence of superstar endorsements, and plenty of in style YouTubers may be seen sporting sneakers, inspiring a complete technology. From Ranveer Singh to Rannvijay Singha, influential celebrities inspire a certain attract for this footwear. Also, accessibility in India is a superb plus; many sneakers which are nearly impossible to get abroad due to excessive demands usually sit right here on discounts,” he shares. 

Limited Edition Drops Rule

This appeal promotes one of the significant tendencies in the sneaker tradition: the choice for limited edition drops and collaborations. “The idea behind collaborating with an all-time NBA champion and legend Micheal Jordan and constructing such differently designed sneakers generally identified as Air Jordan was a wonderful transfer that Nike got here up with, and being an enormous fan of the NBA culture, I was simply excited, and I began collecting sneakers,” shares Ayush Chawla, a sneaker fanatic. Danish corroborates this development in course of sneakers being the new-age asset. “The younger era uses sneakers to express themselves. It combines luxury and exclusivity with comfort. A 14-year-old would most likely not perceive how stocks work, but they would undoubtedly know the value of a restricted version sneaker.” 

Sneakers have cemented their place in popular culture, and the drive to get their arms on a limited edition pair isn’t limited to males. Online platforms and stores are seeing more women partake in the sneakerhead community. “Most sneaker lovers have been men, solely because girls have a quantity of footwear selections within the style phase like heels, flats, etc. However, over the past two years, manufacturers have started paying consideration to making sneakers for ladies that are fashion-forward and comfortable. In the footwear pie chart, ladies invest more in sneakers, be it Jordans, dunks, basic superstars or white standfords. We’re seeing lots of ladies now divulging the money saved aside for a pleasant pair of sneakers as a substitute of heels or stilettos,” explains Lulla.

Nike released an NFT collection of Cryptokicks with RTFKT Nike launched an NFT collection of Cryptokicks with RTFKT

Is The Future Digital?

But the place is that this business headed? Keeping in contact with the luxury trade, is there also a future for online sneakers? Nike has bought a digital shoe firm that makes NFTs and sneakers for the metaverse, and Balmain is taking its Unicorn sneaker silhouette to the metaverse. While most brands anticipate the craze for NFTs to seep into the sneaker business, Lulla and Chawla believe it’ll by no means evaluate to owning an unique pair of sneakers. 

“Even although I see the development for NFTs persevering with in the future, I feel it won’t ever be able to exchange any bodily product. Especially in the sneaker industry, as a outcome of should you hold the functional side of it – footwear are a fundamental want for everybody. In the sneaker business, having a tangible product is essential, which could be held and skilled. Hence, I really feel having bodily merchandise will at all times dominate this industry,” Lulla adds.

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