Biggest Sneaker Stories of 2021, From ‘Satan Shoes’ to Yeezy News, Lifestyle News

In recent years, casual shoes have grown from a practical concern to a multi-billion dollar industry. The last 12 months in particular have been as eventful in the sneaker world as anywhere else.

There have been births in the commercial sense, as newcomers have gone public on the New York Stock Exchange, and deaths – like the shocking loss of streetwear-style stronghold Virgil Abloh.

The year was not without controversy, as people lined up to claim that Satan was coming to steal the soles and souls of young America with a special collaboration that made headlines.

Here, we take a look back at the biggest sneaker stories of 2021.

Travis Scott’s festival tragedy saw Nike unplug

Real life took its toll on the sneaker world after the tragic events of Astroworld, Travis Scott’s festival in his hometown of Houston, Texas where 10 people were crushed to death and 300 injured as the crowds flocked to see the rapper headlining in November.

Nike, a longtime Scott collaborator, has indefinitely postponed the release of its Air Force 1s on December 16, while Dior has yet to say whether its next men’s collaboration with Scott will continue.

Despite the decisions – and the ongoing lawsuits against Scott and co-host Drake – prices for Scott and Nike’s “Cactus Jack” shoes on resale sites remain high.

Virgil Abloh has died, Nike x Off-White prices have jumped

Sneakersheads were among those who expressed their shock when the deaths of Louis Vuitton and Off-White designer Abloh were announced in November after a private battle with cancer.

This manifested itself in a run on its prolific production of Off-White x Nike collaborations and a surge in shoe prices on sites such as StockX, where a pair of Off-White x Air Jordan 1s sold for 10,500. US $ (S $ 14,245) on November 28 – the day the 41-year-old’s death was announced.

Prices on these resale platforms have since stabilized, but are still higher than in the weeks before his shocking death.

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Adidas shell toes: still superstars on social networks

The Adidas Superstar shell toe shoe was the pinnacle of culture in 1986 when American hip-hop group Run-DMC released My Adidas, and a survey found that the past 35 years hadn’t done much to reduce it. impact of the iconic silhouette of the Three Stripes.

Shell Toes were at the top of the list of most published shoes on Instagram in 2021 according to an eBay survey, with more than four million posts, one million more than the Air Force 1 designed by Nike in 1982.

The old school has clearly seen some revival this year, as evidenced by the boom in sales of Vans slip-ons following the hit Netflix Squid Game.

Yeezys breaks auction record

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The indefatigable Kanye West has made headlines this year, whether it’s changing his name to Ye, parting ways with Kim Kardashian, or releasing a new album.

The former sneaker designer also found time to set the record for the most expensive sneakers ever to be auctioned.

His prototype Nike Air Yeezy 1 he wore at the 2008 Grammy Awards sold for US $ 1.8 million at an April auction at Sotheby’s, almost triple the previous record of US $ 615,000 paid for the Air Jordan 1 “Shattered Backboard” sneakers last year.

Save our soles!

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Perhaps the most controversial sneaker release of the year was the so-called “Satan Shoe” collaboration between design group MSCHF and musician Lil Nas X in March.

The Nike Air Max 97 has been personalized with details such as a drop of human blood in the air unit and pentagrams, with the run limited to just 666 pairs.

In addition to immediately selling out, they sparked religious outrage in Central America and led Nike to sue the Internet collective design group – just as they were sued for using the Air Max 97 model for their designs. “Jesus Shoes” in 2018. The “Satan Shoes Trial” was quickly settled.

Mom is the word

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The ‘West Coast Joe’ sneaker dealer grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons this year after Bloomberg Businessweek reported that his mother, Ann Hebert, had quit her job at Nike after 25 years after the youngster was revealed. 19-year-old had used her mother’s. discount privileges to furnish his inventory.

It wasn’t the only accusation of nepotism this year, with Michael Jordan’s son Marcus accused of reselling his Trophy Room x Air Jordan 1 designs for more than retail before their official release.

Made in Meta

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The sneaker space was quick to enter the NFT, cryptocurrency, and metaverse world this year, with RTFKT dropping the first NFT sneakers – and raising $ 3.1 million – in March before Nike did not buy the company in December.

Other big names in the NFT space include SNKR Project, AI Sneaks, and CryptoKickers, while celebrities such as Bobbito Garcia and French Montana have taken to the act with their own NFT sneakers.

So chase me

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Kanye West and Walmart have set the court on fire this year as they sued each other.

The retailer sued the rapper over a disputed logo, before West retaliated against Walmart by selling counterfeit versions of his “Foam Runner” shoes that divide well below the retail price of US $ 75.

Later in the year, Vans followed suit with Walmart over fake discount skate shoes on the Walmart market, while Nike sued a number of shoe customizers, including a former employee. It turns out that there is no such thing as a footwear business.

Become public

Two of the more recent names in the sneaker market went public this year, with the Allbirds IPO in October, following On Running in September.

The latter, a Swiss brand backed by Roger Federer, raised $ 746 million, while sustainable shoe maker Allbirds raised more than $ 300 million.

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The rapid rise of the two brands – One started in 2010 and Allbirds in 2014 – has seen the two valued as multi-billion dollar companies, giving hope to others who want to follow in their footsteps.

If the shoe fits

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Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao made Oscar history by becoming the first Woman of Color and only the second woman to win the Best Director Award.

The Nomadland director also became the first to take home the award in sneakers, after wearing US $ 790 Hermès Avantage shoes at the ceremony.

Zhao isn’t the only one who wears sneakers to work – designer or otherwise; about two-thirds of Britons admitted to doing so in a survey conducted by Shoeaholics in November. His report also said they spent an average of US $ 628 on their sneaker wardrobe.

This article first appeared in South China Morning Post.


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