The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 38 — O R E O

Supreme has done it again

Goooood morning, folks! Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear. Thank you all so much for giving me a bit of your time on this glorious Friday morning. I hope you had a fantastic week and an even better weekend ahead of you.

Today’s shoutout goes to Washington, D.C. and it’s black ass culture. It looks a little something like this. Man, I love this city.

With that out of the way, let’s dig in.

Supreme x Oreo thing…makes sense

(Photo by Rachael Ren on Unsplash)

Never in my life did I think that I’d be writing about a collab between a streetwear brand and a Nabisco cookie, but here we are.

Supreme is dropping Oreo cookie packs to go along with its Supreme Season 2020 look for Spring and Summer (you can peep the rest of the look book here).

People’s reactions basically ranged everywher from “wow, we really DO live in a simulation” to “wow, I really gotta cop that.”

And that’s the genius in Supreme dropping an Oreo cookie. It’s not about Oreo or any other wild product they drop. It’s not even really about Supreme. It’s about getting people to talk about something.

There’s probably not a better company at viral, word-of-mouth marketing than Supreme. They’ve perfected it over, basically, the course of three decades. To understand why this makes sense, you have to know Supreme’s history.

  • 26 years ago Supreme started as a small skateboard shop and clothing store out in SoHo. Over that span, they’ve very rarely shoveled out the big bucks for paid marketing campaigns to the same degree other big companies would.

Their philosophy is essentially hype > paid advertising. And it’s worked! Think about it — how’d you first see the Oreo? You either read about it here, somewhere else or saw it shared on socials. But you’re in on it now, one way or another.

  • By now, you’ve shared it with a friend — either about how much you hate it or how much you need it in your life. They’ve probably done the same.

Supreme is also self aware. It knows how ridiculous we think it is that they’re selling Oreo cookies, but they also know how bad you want to be apart of that moment one way or another. This is how they get people to stand in crowded lines for hours, waiting on wild shit like an Oreo or a brick or some nunchucks.

You remember where you were when that Supreme brick dropped. If you bought it, you remember how pressed people were to get it. The more ridiculous an item seems, the more hype it generates.

They treat those products like any other clothing item they’d sell, too. Supply is limited, generating more hype. They sell out quickly and they hit the aftermarket for big bucks.

  • Oreo packs are already going for $500 on eBay. The clay brick is still selling for $170+ on StockX years later. It’s hype that lasts — it doesn’t just go away. The more random the thing is, the more people want it.

So, yeah, is it wild that Supreme is selling a cookie? Absolutely. Does it make sense as a marketing strategy? You bet.

Do we live in a simulation? Boy it sure does feel like it sometimes.

Inside Yeezy’s problem with the 350 V2

(Photo by Michael Browning on Unsplash)

Written by guest writer Justin Gage, with some special data from StockX.

The Yeezy brand has been in a tough spot for the last year or two.The decline of average resale prices has been well documented, and we’re seeing a brand learn to straddle the line between hype and scale. 

That’s not the issue, though. Yeezy doesn’t really have a problem dropping pairs that go sky high on the resale market — its real problem is with the 350 V2s. 

The current Yeezy brand has been built mostly off of 350s. The 700s and 350 V1s got the brand started off and still sell for 3x-5x what they cost at retail. But the 350 has been Kanye West’s canvas. 

By the numbers:

  • The 350 V2 is the best selling sneaker on StockX in 41 out of 50 states

  • Yeezy has put out 40+ different colorways of the 350 V2, compared to 4 of the 350 V1

  • The 350 V2’s average resale multiple has tanked from 4x in March 2017 to 1.5x this month

Most of the story of Yeezy’s expansion at the expense of resale prices has centered around the 350 V2: the Butters were the first drop with more widely accessible stock, and the Cream White restock kicked off this whole saga. The thing is, though, that the brand’s other recent models have been doing great:

It hasn’t all been peachy. The 700 MNVN in Triple Black is only going for 1.6x retail — but, generally speaking, things have been on the up. 

That begs the question — why are we still going with the 350s? It’s possible Yeezy is diversifying, and the 350s will be accessible while others (700s) won’t be. The number of 350 V2s released by quarter has only been going up over the past few:

The damage to the brand has been palpable, whether public sentiment is fair or not. The hype has taken a hit and so has Yeezy’s rep, largely because of the availability of the 350 V2. So, basically, Ye has a decision to make on this shoe.

Editor’s note: This piece isn't endorsed or sponsored by StockX and doesn't represent their views

Russell Westbrook on the signature shoe game

Russell Westbrook and James Harden did a pretty dope spread for GQ this week and pulled off a bunch of outfits I couldn’t even dream of wearing. It was dope.The interview was great and wide ranging — you should check it out here.

What stuck with me from the piece, though, were their thoughts on signature shoe athletes. A while back, Harden said that there were too many athletes in the NBA with signature shoes.

Russ was asked about Harden’s comment in this interview and he agreed. He gave a thoughtful explanation on it, too. Here’s what he had to say to GQ’s Mark Anthony Green.

“I would say about the same. Four or five. You can't just be one-dimensional. I didn't deserve a signature shoe for a while, because I didn't earn it. But I've earned my way, and now I have my own. I'm realistic when it pertains to that. Some players just get a shoe. Like James said: You gotta have the package. The fan base. Your play gotta speak, obviously. Outside of basketball, whatever else you got going on. You gotta be ‘that guy’ to be able to have a shoe. Because nowadays everybody got a shoe.”

I thought about this paragraph all week long — are they right? Should there only be three or four guys with a signature shoe?

The answer I kept coming back to ways “maybe.” They’re right and wrong at the same time.

  • They’re right because not everybody can sell a signature shoe. You’ve got to be the creme of the crop to do so — both on and off the court. Everybody who has one isn’t. And that’s fine! It’s supposed to be an honor reserved for the exceptional. By rule, everyone is not exceptional — well, relatively speaking for NBA basketball players.

  • They’re wrong because who are we to say who deserves what? Somebody “deserving” something is such bullshit. It’s cool if we’re talking about morality. But when we’re talking business, the market determines who deserves what. If Nike has a signature shoe contract waiting for you tomorrow then, guess what? You deserve that. Because it’s right there waiting for you. Sign it.

It’s a really fascinating point that drives home a particular conversation about signature shoes and market saturation that we need to have. It just typically doesn’t come from an NBA player’s mouth — especially not a high profile one like Westbrook.

The ironic part about the whole thing? Westbrook says that only four or five guys in the league deserve a signature shoe. Are we sure…he and Harden…are in that group?


Breaking Bad is not better than The Wire

You literally cannot have a shoe this bad and expect me to respect your television show. I’m sorry. These are hideous.

I get the aesthetic that K-Swiss is shooting for here. But, uh, fam, ain’t nobody trying to be Walter White. He ain’t that cool. Plus, I’m not wearing a shoe that looks like I just came from my local meth lab.

….I don’t even know if there IS a local meth lab. Good Lord, I hope there isn’t.

Anyway, listen. I know a lot of y’all are going to hate me for this section. I know a lot of y’all love Breaking Bad to death. But don’t you ever — I mean EVER — compare this show to The Wire again.

At least not until they burn these shoes.


Y’ALL KNOW THE VIBRATIONS. This is my favorite section of the week because y’all always show the hell off. I love it.

Let’s start with the better Mike who came through with the Vapor Street Flyknit joints in blue flavors. So clean.

My boo Jasmine (WHO DID NOT FORCE ME TO DO THIS) came through with RiRi’s Fenty Creepers on. Don’t I have good taste?

The homie Adrian came in with the Winterized AJ4 — boy that joint looks good when it gets a little beat up.

The homie Jummy flexed on us with the Undercover Daybreaks. This shoe is soooooooo underrated because of the Sacai joints.

My man Sumeet popped out with the Rookie of the Year AJ1. This joint is killer. Feels like the homie is dropping heat from Round 2 every week.

And speaking of Supreme, the homie Chim came through with the Supreme AF1s. A slight flex.

Then the homie Jalen…well…Jalen shut the damn house down lmao. 3’s and 4’s? I’m going HOME.

As always, man, y’all showed out. I need to catch up. Next week I gotta come with something serious.

That’s a wrap for this week, y’all! Thank you so much for reading. Every week, writing this newsletter just becomes more and more fun for me.

I love the community that we’re building. Y’all don’t know how much it means to me that you’re here and you’re enjoying it. Y’all sent me so many kind words this week and I just want you to know I see you and I appreciate you.

Love y’all. As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be kind. See you Monday.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯