The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 220 — More of the same with Nike and Kobe
What a mess.
Gooooood morning, family! Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear! I missed y’all! Thanks for being patient.
I’ve had a pretty eventful break. I watched one of my closest, best friends get married and we actually started our own YouTube channel for Special Delivery! Make sure y’all go subscribe here. Thanks!
Now, without further ado.
Nike could’ve kept this
The Kobe Bryant estate’s return to Nike could not be off to a more tumultuous start.
What happened: Nike decided to drop the “Mambacita Sweet 16” Kobe 6 on May 1 to honor what would’ve been Gigi Bryant’s 16th birthday.
What followed was a complete mess.
The details: There were 3 ways to get these joints. Through a Los Angeles exclusive SNKRS, via Exclusive Access on the SNKRS app or manually via the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation website.
Each way was a complete disaster in its own right.
The SNKRS pass was exclusive to LA, so many of the fans of this literal global icon weren’t even eligible to get that.
For those that didn’t get access, there was always the website that also dropped at 10 a.m. ET (awful timing, btw). But many folks hit checkout with pairs already out of stock.
Nothing about this seemed transparent, well coordinated or organized. And the end result was ultimately this.
These shoes, made for fans to honor the 16th birthday of Gigi Bryant more than two years after her tragic death, were on aftermarket platforms being resold at a marked up price about 7 times its retail value.
That’s gross. And, honestly, that’s on Nike.
Between the lines: We’re dealing with an allotment here on this sneaker that was already created. The pairs were already made and were sitting around. They’re just finally being moved and that’s why this feels so helter skelter. It’s literally a plan that is running months behind at this point.
But there are just better ways to do this if everyone operates with a little more patience.
Here’s a solution: I’m partial to a pre-order system. And before you shut it down, yes I’m aware that quantities would still be limited and things would still sell out. You literally cannot meet demand on these Kobe drops.
But I still think it’d be a system that works better long-term. A few reasons why:
You’d know what you’re working with. Nike would know exactly how many orders need to be fulfilled.
It’s flexible. Nike can restock this whenever it chooses to. There’s less pressure to have the product set and ready to go.
It’d keep people happy. There’s less pressure if people know they have shoes on the way — even if it takes a while for them to get the kicks. It’s already been two years. What’s another if you’re guaranteed a pair?
That’s also more money raised for the foundation. Folks would go crazy for Pre-orders.
Aimé Leon Dore has done it. Telfar has done it. GAP did it with Dapper Dan and Kanye West. I think Nike could do it here with Kobe and I think it’d work well.
But that’s just one solution. There are many more out there. And they all take a little bit of patience and care to execute. But, honestly, that’s exactly what this situation has always needed. Patience and care.
At every turn, it’s felt like all parties involved have been pretty short on that.
Marcus Jordan and Ben Kickz are only symptoms of the problem
Over the last week or so, the sneaker community has been up in arms over two things.
First, we saw sneaker reseller Benjamin Kickz surrounded with pairs of Union Air Jordan 2’s in a warehouse somewhere. He implied that Nike was his plug which, honestly, is a pretty ridiculous claim on its face.
Then, following the uproar from that, we all rehashed the Trophy Room Jordan 1 debacle where pairs were allegedly backdoored to resellers. After more denials from Marcus Jordan, photos surfaced of the actual alleged meet-up and sale happening at a hotel.
That’s a lot to take in. Lots of accusations. Lots of denials, too. But — you know how the saying goes — where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And there’s a whole lot of smoke to go around here.
I don’t really want to dive too deeply into the details on both of these situations because, honestly, I don’t have enough space here to do so and we’d have to go full Charlie Day here. Honestly, the homie Sockjig did a great (and pretty accurate) job of diving into it on his podcast last month.
But what I do have some thoughts.
Both of these situations are just symptoms of bigger problems that we have with Nike and the sneaker game at large.
And that problem is that hype runs the sneaker game. It always has, really. But now, it’s commodified hype. These sneakers are assets now which inserts a ton of cash into the equation.
Where there’s a ton of cash there will always be bad actors who will do whatever it takes to get their hands on it. Especially when there’s no regulations or public policy preventing it.
The bottom line: This is the sneaker industry’s version of insider trading. And without a swift hammer from Nike and other companies rooting this out, the problems will continue to persist.
Personally, I’m not holding my breath waiting on that.
Rest in peace, Peter Moore
The sneaker game lost a real pioneer last week. Peter Moore, the man who created your fave’s favorite sneaker, died at 78 years old on Saturday.
When people talk about all the OG designers that have influenced the game in major ways, you typically hear them talk about folks like Tinker Hatfield and Virgil Abloh and Kanye West. Maybe you’ll get a Eric Avar mention or a Marc Dolce.
But Moore was the beginning:
The two most popular Nike silhouettes people are in today are the Air Jordan 1 and the Nike Dunk. Moore designed both of them in the early to mid 80’s.
He also designed the Air Jordan Wings logo that we love so much. The story behind them is crazy, by the way. Moore talked about it with SLAM here.
He didn’t just work with Nike. Moore was the creator of Adidas’ Equipment line that he originally developed alongside Rob Strasser in 1990. He redesigned the logo and gave the entire brand a makeover.
Moore’s work is the root of all of your favorites and that’s pretty incredible, if you ask me. Rest in peace, Peter Moore.
The 2002R mule is here and wtf
Hey, folks. These are bad. Very, very bad. This clog version of the 2002r can be described as nothing other than nightmare fuel.
If y’all see me in these, do me a favor and call the police. Either I’m in imminent danger or I’ve turned into a serial killer.
Regardless, someone needs to be jailed.
What’s droppin, bruh?
Air Jordan 1 “Stash” — Tuesday, May 3
Aime Leon Dore x New Balance 650 — Thursday, May 5
Nike Dunk Low “Court Purple” —Thursday, May 5
Nike Air Max 1 “Treeline” — Saturday, May 7
Yeezy 450 “Sulfur” — Saturday, May 7
Thank y’all so much for rocking with me, fam! Appreciate you for the time. Y’all are the absolute best. We’re still on the climb to 5,000! Tell the homies to come along, too. The more the merrier (and also the sooner I can get these sneakers off)!
Til next time, fam. Peace and love. Be easy, be safe and be kind. We out.