The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 88 — Beating the game

Telfar figured it out, y'all.

Good morning, folks! Happy Monday! Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear! Thanks so much for rocking with your boy this morning. Truly appreciate your time.

Also, thanks for showing love on the last edition! I was super thrilled without that conversation turned out and what came from it. You all also seemed to really enjoy the format, so maybe we’ll run it back soon! We’ll see.

Alright, let’s dive in.

The code is cracked

(Photo by Basil James on Unsplash)

For years now, the sneaker community has wondered when someone was going to do something about the price scalping on the burgeoning resale market.

We finally have a solution. Pre-orders. Duh. The best part? It wasn’t a sneaker company that cracked the code as expected.

It was Telfar the genderless fashion label created my fashion mogul Telfar Clemens. Telfar’s bags are notoriously hard to get. They’re both reasonably priced, quality and super fashionable — the holy trinity for bags. But they hit a snag.

  • The problem was they just didn’t have enough supply to meet demand, which is a great problem to have. But that’s just where it begins.

  • As demand grew, so did the hype. Resellers started botting them and selling them on the aftermarket at three and four times the retail price. Sounds familiar, right?

Not only were loyal customers not getting bags, but they were also being forced to go to a price gouging secondary market. And it’d be the same after every restock. Clemens hated it.

Telfar fixed it with their“bag security programthat launched for 24 hours last Wednesday. It let customers pre-order as many bags as they wanted and gave a guarantee that they’ll receive their bag by January 15, 2021.

It’s absolutely brilliant. It deconstructs the resale game in two ways.

  • First, it guarantees every single customer who wants a Telfar bag will get one. They no longer have to rely on the secondary market.

  • Second, it also shatters the resale value of the bag. Supply will meet demand. And when that demand is served, the aftermarket price deflates.

This is what it looks like when a brand is truly looking to serve its customers. They could’ve used this to hype their product. Instead, they valued accessibility over everything else.

Now, imagine Nike doing this. There are so many situations it applies to.

  • Imagine this strategy for Mamba week (more on that later) or if Yeezy did this with, say, the Foam Runners.

  • These are insanely hyped products that people would be willing to wait 6 months for. Yes, filling an insane number of orders may be a snag, but that isn’t something that Nike or Adidas or whoever else can’t handle.

  • Plus, it’s not like they wouldn’t make a profit. And, on top of that, product wouldn’t sit on shelves.

We’re already seeing this strategy used on a smaller scale for some sneaker companies. Reebok is doing it with their First Pitch program. Aime Leon Dore did it with their 1300 pre-order. Those are programs that can be replicated and expanded.

But they have to want it to work. As things stand, the sneaker game runs on hype. Brands use it to siphon consumers to other less exclusive similar products. It’s an advantage. They don’t care that you took the L. Remember, they're counting on you to.

So will we see this at some point? Maybe. Probably not anytime soon, though. So don’t get your hopes up.

But now, at least, we have a blueprint.

Nike is making a mistake with the Kobe’s

(Photo by Olivier Collet on Unsplash)

Speaking of the Kobe drop, it looks like things went just about the way we expected them to go for Mamba Week.

  • The Kobe 5 Protro “Big Stage” dropped on Sunday via the SNKRS app. It was the first of five sneakers to drop for Mamba week from Sunday through Saturday.

  • To no one’s surprise, the shoe sold out in minutes on the app. It even went quickly on the footsites (Footlocker, Eastbay, etc). Supply was limited, as it had been rumored to be.

We should expect no different with the Mamba drops throughout the rest of the week. They’ll be gobbled up by bots and taken to the secondary market where people will have to pay an arm and a leg for them.

It’s extremely unfortunate that this is the case and a big mistake on Nike’s part. As we said the last time we discussed this, they’re going to leave so many of Kobe Bryant’s fans on an island here with these limited drops.

These are just people who want to appreciate Bryant and were hoping to do so by copping his kicks or his jersey. A lot of them won’t be able to, and that sucks.

And, look, I don’t necessarily blame resellers here. Is it gross to profit off of a dead man’s legacy in this way? Yes. Absolutely. But the table is being set here by Nike. This didn’t have to happen. They could’ve flooded the market with Bryant’s gear and it all would’ve sold out anyway. Instead, we’re here.

And in a year where we just lost this legend, it’s pretty disappointing to see his legacy being carried out in this way.

Anyway, good luck on the rest of the drops this week. You’re going to need it.

The Gel-Lyte III’s are retiring…sort of

If you want a pair of OG Gel-Lyte III’s you’d better go snag them within the next few weeks. They’ll be gone soon.

The four OG colorways we’ve come to love from the Gel-Lyte III series are retiring alongside their creator, Shigeyuki Mitsui. After 35 years with the brand, he’s hanging things up.

Though Mitsui-San is leaving the game, the Gel-Lyte III silhouette will still remain. So we’ll still be able to get the collabs and updates we’ve been getting to the classic shoe, per High Snobiety.

Thirty years and countless collaborations with the likes of Patta, Ronnie Fieg, Afew, and many more later, the ASICS GEL-Lyte 3’s four OG colorways are being put into the archive. The silhouette itself will live on — as it has for the past 30 years — but collectors that still need to add the original colorways to their rotation should look to do that sooner, rather than later.

It’s been a long time coming for the classic sneaker. This kick has so much history that comes with it — it’s sort of sad to see the OG colorways go. They’ve had a good run and, of course, will continue to.

But, Asics fam, if you’re like me and you don’t have them part

The pettiest signature shoe ever

There are mad Philadelphia 76ers fans that subscribe to this newsletter, so I’m going to apologize in advance.

But, fam, Kawhi Leonard’s latest signature shoe drop has to be one of the most disrespectful kicks ever. New Balance dropped a new KAWHI colorway called the “4 Bounces.” And, uh, I’m sure y’all can guess why.

But just in case you don’t know this shot is why. SORRY SIXERS FANS.

The blue, gold and black colorway is the same as the OMN1’s he wore when he hit the shot last year. AND they threw in an 850 on top of that.

Fam. This is extremely petty. It’s on the same level as Jordan creating a “Double Nickel” colorway for the 10’s. Just MAD disrespectful on so many levels.

You absolutely love to see it. Unless, well, you love the Sixers. Then you probably just want to fight.

What’s droppin’, bruh

Alrighty, folks! That’s a wrap for Monday! Thanks so much for giving me your time. I hope you enjoyed it today and that you have a fantastic rest of the week.

See y’all on Wednesday for the thread! Until then, my good people!

As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be well. Be kind.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯