The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 112 — Lockdown is coming. Again.

Be safe out here, y'all.

Good morning, family! Happy Monday! Thanks so much for taking a little time out of your day to spend with me. You’re the dopest.

GIVEAWAY TIME. Y’all know the vibes. I’m buying a couple of y’all a pair of kicks. More details below on that and some other housekeeping stuff. I’m so excited, yo!

Before that, though, let’s jump into business.

Here we go again

(Photo by visuals on Unsplash)

Eight months ago in March I wrote about how coronavirus was impacting both the sneaker industry at large and, moreover, how it was really collapsing things around the globe.

To put things bluntly, we’re at that point again.

It’s dangerous out here and it’s only getting worse. The safety net that we should’ve had was never built out. Essentially, when the weather got warmer, states quickly opened everything back up and now we’re seeing the consequences. Stores, restaurants, businesses, schools. You name it, we acted like it was business as usual. And now, unfortunately, we are here.

That brings us to the footwear industry. Huge corporations in the industry are already starting to brace for impact with store closures.

  • On a Footlocker earnings call last week, CEO Richard Johnson said 10% of their global store fleet is already closed due to regulation around the country and that they may have a “broader wave” of closures in the coming weeks.

  • Adidas was cautious as ever in their third quarter earnings call despite big losses and said they expected store closures to come in the fourth quarter due to COVID.

You best believe that as cases continue to rise across the country and across the globe, we’ll start to see more and more of this as time goes by. Nike, Under Armour, whoever. Just name the company. The same way businesses buckled at the knees in March, it’ll happen again here in November.

This stinks. Not because these businesses are shutting down. Not just because of company losses. But, more importantly, but because of the impact this will have on regular folks like you and me.

There are lots of people who work at these stores that need those paychecks because there’s no form of government relief — like another rent freeze, for example — coming in the near future. There are lots of small sneaker boutique owners who’s stores may be in danger because of this. There are many jobs because of this, inside the industry and out, that may be laid off permanently because the company sees it as more efficient. Unemployment rates will rise again.

We shouldn’t even be in this spot. But we are here. Now, we’ve got to do everything we can to help each other get out of it.

That means continuing to stay home as much as possible, if you can. It might mean skipping out on Thanksgiving. It might mean 100 more Zoom calls to the people who you love. It’s all garbage, quite frankly. But if that gets us out of this? Bet.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel here. Hopefully, a vaccine is coming soon. But, until then, we’ve got to do our part. Then I’ll never have to write about this again.

Cardi B deserves better

Cardi B is a flat out star. No ifs, ands or buts about it. And if you’re going to attach a star like her to a sneaker, it should be a special sneaker fit for a star of that magnitude.

That is not what Reebok did with Cardi B. In fact, they did the complete opposite. Her new Club C joint feels more run-of-the-mill than some or the originals.

Just look at this thing. I mean, it’s not awful. But does anybody actually get a Cardi vibe from this thing? It’s just kind of…well, boring.

A post shared by Cardi B (@iamcardib)

Now, granted, that’s not the best colorway available — for example, it’s all-red silhouette feels much more Cardi. But this, overall, wasn’t it.

The more interesting part was the packaging. It felt much more her speed, per SoleSavy’s Unboxed. Here’s a bit of detail.

So when it came to Cardi B’s Reebok launch, naturally the brand went all out for delivery. It packaged up her collab in a bootie shaped box with a tongue that came out upon opening. Quite the unveil for what ended up being some pretty basic takes on the Club C.

That take is spot on. Here’s a look at it via her IG. That packaging and the rollout were both so much more interesting than the actual shoe. They did so much for this campaign — way too much, honestly — that it just feels like they forgot what was at the heart of it.

In a sense, that’s understandable. This is Cardi B’s first signature shoe launch. Clearly, Reebok chose to play it safe with the design here. And that’s OK. And it worked to some degree — the shoe sold out.

But they can do better. There’s lots of potential here. And if they want to reach it, of we’ll need a bit more next time.

Don’t buy Travis Scott’s Playstation Dunks on resale

I don’t know who needs to hear this but, yo, those Travis Scott x Playstation Dunks that you’re trying to buy off of StockX? They are not real.

There were only five pairs sold from Scott’s giveaway on the PS5’s release day. Ridiculous, I know. But that’s what it was. So, of course, pretty much all of what you’re seeing from this shoe on the resale market is fake.

People have been getting scammed by this, per Complex’s Brendan Dunne.

The site shows that six pairs total have sold so far, their prices averaging $5,150. The Travis Scott x PlayStation x Nike Dunk Lows should easily sell in that range once people actually get the sneakers, but these are not legitimate sales. According to a StockX spokesperson, several of the sales were already canceled. The company expects most, if not all, of the rest to be canceled as well.

So, yeah, y’all. Don’t fall for the game. Also, StockX, just take that down, fam.

Here is the good news you’ve been looking for

YERRRRRRRR IT IS GIVEAWAY TIME. Just in time for the holidays, too! I cannot wait to buy a couple of y’all some sneakers.

Here’s how it works.

  • On Wednesday at 2 p.m., I’ll be putting all of the e-mails from the first 2,000 subs into a virtual pot. I’ll draw two out of that pot.

  • The two e-mails I draw out will be our winners. I’ll e-mail those people on the spot for them to claim the prize. They have 5 days to claim it. If they don’t, I’ll move on and redraw. I’ll notify everyone through the newsletter if that happens.

  • The winners can pick any pair up to $150 for me to purchase for them. Or we can donate your win to a charity of your choice — it’s all up to you how we do it.

So that’s that on that. But wait! There’s more. Here are details on merch.

  • On December 4, we’ll finally be dropping the KYW merch. I’ll tweet the link out and include it in that day’s newsletter as well so you’ll know where to find it. We’ll have hoodies, crewnecks, t-shirts and more. It’ll even come with some stuff for the kids!

  • If you get the link and you can’t find something, just give me a shout and I’ll see if there’s anything I can do on the back end to accommodate you. I’m making mad stuff, so this probably won’t happen. But if it does, just let me know.

Here’s a quick look.

CANNOT WAIT, fam. Y’all are going to love these. This is just the beginning.

What’s droppin, bruh

Thank y’all so much for rocking with me, again! Have a fantastic week!

I will talk to y’all on Wednesday. To our future winners, you will be hearing from me personally! Until then, family.

Until next time, folks. Peace and love. Be easy. Be well. Be kind.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯