The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 19 — Big men don't sell sneakers

Anthony Davis wants a signature shoe but he probably won't get it

Good morning! Happy Monday! Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear. As always, I appreciate y’all giving me a bit of your time to start your week.

Today’s shoutout goes to the Peleton Lady who somehow managed to escape her personal dystopia and grab a drink. You love to see it.

With that out the way, let’s dig in.


Anthony Davis doesn’t need a signature shoe

(Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash)

Lakers’ star Anthony Davis wants a signature shoe. “Obviously as a basketball player, an athlete, you always want your own shoe. So, hopefully it gets to that point,” he told The Athletic last week (subscription).

If he was ever going to get one, now would be the time. He’s one of the three or four best players in the NBA and looks like he could be Defensive Player of The Year this season. Plus, he’s playing in a top market in Los Angeles now instead of New Orleans.

But if we’re being honest about Davis, having a signature sneaker just doesn't seem like it's really in the cards for him.

He missed his window. He spent most of his career in New Orleans as a Pelican, which isn’t the league’s biggest market and not a place known for it’s sneaker culture.

  • Davis is also a big man and big men tend to struggle selling shoes. Like with LeBron James, a shoe for the Brow probably comes out a bit bulky at 6'10. That doesn’t connect with the consumer.

  • On top of that, basketball just isn’t making money right now. Basketball sneaker sales have dipped 13% this year, per retail analyst Matt Powell of the NPD group. A new AD shoe wouldn't change that.

Even once you get passed all of that, there’s still the issue of him being signed to a stacked Nike roster. That makes having a signature model so much harder.

  • The roster is packed right now with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo headlining it. That’s a lot of money and making room for Davis is tough.

  • On top of that, Nike has only had 22 signature athletes in its illustrious history. It’s not easy for anyone to break into that fraternity. Think about the ones who have — they all have postseason success. Davis doesn’t…yet.

On the flip side Anthony Davis serves as a great case study for athletes and their off-court aspirations. There are lots of players in the league who want their own signature sneakers, but not all of them are talented enough to have them.

Davis is certainly talented enough to get one but he made the choice of signing with a company that already has a rich history with signature athletes and an already stacked roster.

  • If Davis was with someone like New Balance or Under Armour, he’d have a much better shot at a shoe. That's the same route Steph Curry and Kawhi Leonard went. Even someone like Allen Iverson back in the day.

  • Some have even elected to go with their own independent brands. Think Spencer Dinwiddie, Langston Galloway and Lonzo Ball. They made their own signature sneakers.

It’s not always easy making that choice. Some care about brand history and how much they connect with what they wear. It’s clear that Davis has a deep affinity for Nike and Jordan. He re-signed with the brand in 2017 — right before Puma and New Balance hopped in the game.

Sometimes, sacrifices have to be made though. It’s hard to believe Curry thought he’d be Under Armour’s number one guy. Same with Leonard and New Balance. But they’re both thriving with their own signature models. Anthony Davis clearly can’t say the same.


The fight against fakes is going to Capitol Hill

(Photo by Alejandro Barba on Unsplash)

Late last week the Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act of 2019 was introduced in the senate. It's a bipartisan bill that would allow Customs and Border Patrol to seize imported merchandise that infringes on design patents.

  • The bill was supported by Nike, other companies and major intellectual property and trade associations when it was introduced before the senate.

  • Other supporters were 3M Company, Wolverine Worldwide, Decker Brands and Columbia Sportswear.

Long story short, the bill exists to close a loophole counterfeiters consistently exploit.

As it stands, Customs and Border Patrol have the authority to seize products that infringe copyrights and trademarks that come through the border, but it doesn’t have the same authority with design patents. This bill would give it that authority.

Counterfeit business is booming, as we’ve discussed before. Nike has been one of the companies at the forefront of trying to curtail it — so much so that they thought it was necessary to dump one of their big business partners in Amazon to try and make a dent.

The counterfeit industry is still growing. The estimated value of the international and domestic counterfeit goods trade market is projected to jump to $2 trillion by 2022 after sitting at $1 trillion, according to an International Trademark Association study.

The bill hasn’t been passed yet, obviously, as it has only just been formally introduced. It still has a long way to go in the legislative process.

  • We all know how these things work. It’ll go to committee, some lobbyists will be paid big money to oppose this for foreign powers, and they’ll debate it endlessly before it’s amended some.

  • Still, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which actual U.S. Senators would say no to empowering big businesses in their own country. But…anything is possible I guess.

If this all ends up passing, it’s a big win for the big brands and it likely means less fake merch for you. Keep your eyes glued to this one.


Adidas giant plan with Beyonce for 2020

(Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash)

There’s a lot to look forward to in the sneaker world for 2020 and beyond in the next decade, but Adidas has some really big plans for the next year.

They’re doubling down on the celebrity endorser once again. They’ll have Beyonce and her Ivy Park collection join their already star studded roster of entertainers. And there’s apparently going to be a lot of range to that, Adidas North America President Zion Armstrong tells Footwear News.

“In terms of range, there are two collections. There is Beyoncé and Adidas and then there’s Ivy Park. And this is not just athleisure product. We [will also] have performance product. She is a phenomenal creator athlete and is helping us push the envelope in performance product with materials and fit.”

It sounds like Ivy Park is going to be Beyonce’s Yeezy. She helped launch the Activewear brand back in 2016 as an independent operation and she’s giving it a new platform with Adidas.

  • We don’t know what’s coming with it yet, but it sounds like it won’t just be an activewear or athleisure product if what Armstrong says is true.

  • She could very much so have a sneaker coming. She’s dabbled in shoes before. She had a Reebok deal before she walked away from it because of a lack of diversity (shoutout to her for that).

Adidas is the perfect landing spot for Beyonce. They’ve got a rich history of it from Run DMC to now, obviously, names like Kanye West, PUSHA-T and Pharrell. If anyone is going to do this the right way, it’s them.


Good news: You’ll probably be able to get the Bred 11’s

I know a ton of y’all missed out on that Bred 11. But don’t worry — it looks like you’re definitely going to be able to cop the 14th when they drop full scale.

The J23 app Twitter account posted the locations Footlocker would have the shoe at on the 14th and it’s going to be available pretty much everywhere.

Sucks for y’all who were planning on copping these just to resell ‘em. But for the folks who are going to actually be wearing these out? Y’all are in luck. You love to see it.


What’s droppin’, bruh


That’s it for Monday! Tell a friend to tell another friend about The Kicks You Wear. We’re inching closer and closer to 500, y’all. It’s gonna be a blast when we get there.

Thanks for reading, as always! Be easy. Be kind. Peace and love.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯