The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 61 — All collabs ain't good collabs

And that's OK!

Good morning, folks! Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear. Thank you for giving me a bit of your time to kick of your week.

First things first. Rest in peace to Little Richard and Andre Harrell. Both musical icons passed away hours apart over the weekend and 2020 just continues to be the absolute worst. Cancel this year. Please.

We’re still right on the cusp of 800. Actually, just 9 subscribers away! Let’s get this thing poppin’, y’all. Bring your folks to the Kicks You Wear!

Y’all bout ready? We jumpin’ in.

When the collab ain’t hittin’ like it’s supposed to

We’ve been waiting for months to see what Sean Wotherspoon and Adidas were cooking up and we thought for sure it would be something that would blow us away.

There were so many questions. What model did he pick? What angle is he taking? What materials is he using?

He shot us a few teasers over the last couple weeks on Instagram and, yall, it turns out that the shoe is actually a Superstar! Wait, it’s…a Superstar? It is a Superstar.

One of the most iconic sneakers of all time. Can’t believe I have had the opportunity to leave my mark on the Superstar. This is still an early sample so a lot will be different on the next pair I show you, I’m just really anxious to start showing these off haha @adidasoriginals 🌏♻️
April 30, 2020

Now, let’s be fair. There’s nothing wrong with the Superstar. It’s a classic Adidas shoe that represents its history extremely well. It’s one of the very few shoes that is synonymous with Adidas.

Plus, this is only a sample. And, even then, it’s not just a regular, run of the mill joint. There are some very cleary and very good Wotherspoon touches to this. 

  • The color on the shoe is pretty cool. The Superstar is not a blank canvas like, say, the Stan Smith. One of the hardest things to do is bringing creative design to it and Wotherspoon does that here.

  • The floral pattern on the side with the frills coming down also are a very nice touch. All in all, this shoe is fine.

But that’s not the issue here. You don’t bring Sean Wotherspoon in just to transform a Superstar. You turn heads. This shoe ain’t gonna do that. It’s a boring choice. Especially when we inevitably compare it to Wotherspoon’s Air Max 97/1. 

  • Fusing together the Air Max 97 and the Air Max 1 was a “wow” decision Wotherspoon made with Nike that created something new in Air Max lineage.

  • The Superstar feels like a decision that a higher-up at Adidas would make, not the creative here.

It’s still early, obviously, and things can change — especially with a sample. But it just feels like there’s something missing here.

We live in the age of sneaker collabs. All of the most talked about shoes right now are collaborations. Off-White x Nike. Travis Scott x Nike SB. Beyonce x Adidas. Melody Ehsani x Jordan Brand. The list goes on. 

With that context, it makes perfect sense for Adidas, in a vacuum, to want to work with Wotherspoon and Round 2. His track record with Nike and Asics shows that he can make hits. But this is just a weird marriage.

The history between these two sides isn’t the most decorated. Wotherspoon has absolutely no history with Adidas and, notably, told us he wasn’t a fan. When you see his comments on Adidas from a few years back, you have to wonder what’s changed since then and now besides the new opportunity.

Sometimes beef gets squashed. Sides that we never thought would work together before come and collaborate. It happens. It’s fine. But, in this case, it feels like that lack of history is reflected in the actual sneaker.

In the big picture for Adidas and Wotherspoon, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. Bad collabs happen all the time. More will come — maybe even another together depending on the results of this one.

But this? This ain't it. We know both sides are capable of much, much better. Hopefully, at some point soon, we get that again from them.

In the meantime, more Ivy Park plz? Thanks, Adidas.


The price of the J’s keeps going up

(Photo by Josh Redd via Unsplah)

ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary on Michael Jordan’s last season as a Chicago Bull is a double edged sword for sneakerheads everywhere.

  • On one hand, a lot of us are getting to see a childhood idol and the man whose silhouette is on a bunch of shoes we own in action. That’s pretty dope.

  • On the other hand, good Lord are those J’s I was looking at buying last week getting expensive. Sheesh.

This documentary is surging the prices of Jordans on the aftermarket right now. And that’s saying something because we all know how expensive these things get without an MJ documentary going around. With it? Man, J's are somehow jumping in value.

The price of the J is rising, The Athletic’s Bill Shea reports. Particularly after the 5th episode where David Falk opened up about Jordan’s start at Nike and where they came up with the “Air Jordan” moniker.

Since the series dropped on April 19, Jordan sales on StockX are already up 40%. And that’s saying something because Jordan Brand is notably the biggest mover on StockX and other secondary market platforms.

The price of 2015’s Jordan 1, in particular, is rising fast, Shea writes.

In the days since that episode aired, sales of the 2015 Jordan 1 retro shoe in particular increased 50 percent, [StockX' Data Analyst Jesse] Einhorn said. And the transaction price increased, too. The shoe previously averaged about $800 per sale, but that’s now $1,600 in some cases with an average of $1,200 to $1,400 per sale.

And it’s not just Jordan getting a boost. Einhorn said Pippen’s sneaker line is on the up and up to the tune of a 300% sales increase. Bulls gear is up by 45%, too.

As they say, a rising tide lifts all ships. Jordan is just the gift that keeps on giving. This bump is real.

But listen, y’all, please chill out because I’m trying to get a steal on a good pair of Bred 4’s.

Obscure sneakers need love too

My favorite part of being a sneaker head is seeing a shoe I've never seen before. It gets even better when those shoes get love with a new treatment.

That’s what we’re getting with Virgil Abloh’s Rubber Dunks coming this summer. Those are the joints with the P-6000 upper and the Dunk sole. And I do love them, dearly.

These joints are so weird, y’all. But that’s what makes them so great. The more obscure the shoe, the better. This is the kind of thing that made sneaker culture great in the first place.

At one point, it wasn’t about being able to cop the hyped pair. It was about being able to find a hidden gem. “What are those!?” shouldn’t be a bad question to ask someone. It should be a question molded through genuine curiosity.

That’s what this Virgil joint feels like to me. Obviously, it’s taking an obscure model and pushing it into the mainstream as a hype piece. But that still opens people up in researching other overlooked models. It’s great.

There’s a lot more where that came from. Doing the research is fun. Scrolling through old Eastbay magazine clippings and looking at the Obscure Sneakers IG page is nostalgia personified.

Try it some time. I promise, you’ll start to find more joints you like.

They wanted HOW MUCH for the Royal 1’s?!?

I do absolutely dread the Saturdays where we all come together and take one massive collective L. I really do. That happened this weekend with the Royal Toe 1’s. At least we did it together, right?

With that being said, nobody took a bigger L than whoever is asking for millions of dollars for these sneakers on StockX.

Son. This has got to be a troll.

If I couldn’t manage to pay $170 for these shoes, what makes this person think that I would be willing to pay, uh *squints eyes*, $10.82 million for them. Congratulations, family. You played yourself. Same for the person asking for $100,000 for them.

We may have taken a collective L on Saturday, but at least we got a good laugh out of it. It’s all about the friends we make along the way, right? Right.


What’s droppin’, bruh

Thank y’all so much for giving me a bit of your time to kick off this week! I appreciate you. You’re the absolute best.

Tell your folks to subscribe! We’re literally a handful of subscribers away from 800. Y’all know what it is!

Until Friday, y’all! I’m sure I’ll have some good news for you by then. Stay tuned! As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be well. Be kind.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯