the past, present, and future of sneaker brands
The influencers of sneaker: are they what make these sneakers what they are?
64.30 Billion. That how much money the sneaker industry was valued at after 2017. Sneakers all started from this place of athleticism and trying to make a good sneaker for an athlete to enhance their performance, but the purpose of sneakers has changed a lot since then. Today sneakers are the forefront of fashion and if you don’t have a good pair of sneaker, you aren’t standing out. The history of sneakers is what makes the industry what it is today.
Sneakers go all the way back to the romans. They created “sneakers” with studs on the bottom of them so they could climb different terrains. This then kept on from Kings getting customized soccer shoes to having a specialized shoe for basketball players to play basketball in. Sports and athletic activities may have been the reason behind the birth of sneakers, but what really made this multi billion dollar industry what it is today was the influence from people and the culture. Michael Jordan signed a deal with Nike in 1985 and wore the first Air Jordan 1 during his season with the Chicago Bulls. The NBA said that his shoe was not apart of dress code and banned him from wearing them, but he wore them anyways with a $5,000 fine each game. People loved Jordan’s rebellion and saw the impact he was making on the basketball court. People were going crazy not only for his basketball skills, but his never before seen shoes he was debuting. Jordan sneakers were the start to something big and he didn’t even know it. In 2015, The Jordan brand’s sneaker sales were over $3 billion dollars if that says anything. There were influencers in sports, but also a big influence in the sneaker culture is hip-hop. RUN DMC was one of the first hip-hop groups to influence people through their sneakers. DMC was big on the Adidas Superstar and their fans wanted to be just like them. There was a point where everyone would be holding up their Adidas Superstar’s at the DMC concerts. This was the start of a influencer revolution. It wasn’t the sport anymore, it was the people that were making this industry grow. Combining the athletes and entertainers to promote these brands were what really made people want to invest their money in these sneakers. They just wanted to be like the people they saw with their names in lights.
Jordan and RUN DMC may have been the history of influencers for the sneaker industry, but there are more names dropped today in the sneaker world than ever before. You’ve probably heard of a man named Lebron James. Besides the debate of who is better between James and Jordan (which I won’t get into because that could go on forever), James is the biggest influencer in basketball today. He has a $1 billion dollar lifetime sneaker deal with Nike, which is the largest sneaker endorsement deal in history to date. Not only is James an influencer for his basketball shoes, but his style off the court is A1. First off, he gets every exclusive sneaker that Nike releases, and secondly he takes on the fashion world and brings it into the basketball world like it was created there. Crossing over sports, entertainment and fashion is what the culture is now a days. People aren’t just getting their influences from one place, but they are taking from every culture scene. Entertainers, whether it includes singers, rappers, actors, or artist in general, are the people who make these sneakers cool. Kanye West… you probably already know what I’m about to say. The man has crossed the fashion and entertainment world like no one has before. His shoes have almost surpassed Jordan on sneaker sales and Mr. West is just getting started. This is the theme now and companies taking a hold of the trend. Kendall Jenner for Adidas, Rihanna and her Fenty x Puma Collab, and Pharrell Williams for Adidas, all these people are big names and making these brands even bigger. But what does the future hold for big brand names and influencers?
The future is bright for the sneaker world and the non-celebrity world. Brands have taken big names in sports, fashion, and entertainment to boost their brands, but now they are taking your everyday people that just love sneakers. The future of influencers is the normal people like you and me, not celebrities. Instagram has created a place for people to show off their collections, what they are feeling and what they aren’t. Diana Mireles (@dianakmir) and Anna Bediones (@atothebed) are two influencers who started to share their love for sneakers, fashion, and sports through Instagram and blogs. All they wanted to do was share their passions and it turned into something amazing. Now brand ambassadors for Adidas and Nike/Jordan, these ladies are getting exclusive access and products from these brands so they can show their followers and write about them. Big brands know that these ladies are speaking loudly to their communities, so why not give them new products to get everyone else on board? It comes down to being creative and making products look good, and Mireles and Bediones have that down pat. Audiences of these ladies know that they are going to bring them content that they can’t find anywhere else either. Diana and Anna aren’t the only ones though. The Instagram influencers are growing and growing which is making the competition for who has the best content even harder. It’s all about your connections, creativity, and work ethic. But if you have the passion, why not make your lifestyle your job?
From Jordan to Instagram Influencers, the sneaker world is impacted by these people. Exclusivity, creativity, and positivity are making these people, but it is also the personality that is impacting their audiences the most. You notice that they all have a common theme of making their love for sneakers and lifestyles their own. Being different is standing out.
featured photo credit: kacie markle