Yeah, Nah: Death to Red Octobers
After a couple of weeks spent taking advantage of social polls to finesse user data, we’re surprised: who knew anyone still cared about ball shoes?
Over All-Star Weekend, we posed a series of questions about retro lines, retro models and new-wave signatures. We half expected expecting a tribe of Triple S wearing adolescents to tell us that basketball's wave has crashed, but we got the opposite. In fact, the one sneaker polled that sat on the bulk spectrum (Dior Homme’s Trainer, aka the best high-fashion sneaker in existence), got shot down.
Our most staggering find was this: people aren’t down for Kanye to bring back one of his most sought-after designer ever. We’re for Kanye as much as anyone, but we couldn’t agree more: death to 'Red Octobers'.
News broke recently that Kanye was fighting for his 'Red October' rights, leaving hypebeasts hopeful of an adidas adaptation. We found some examples of what that might look like (thanks to a Shoe Surgeon custom) and posed the question: should we just let the Red Oc die? Thankfully, most realise that a revival would land about as well as a Super Bowl Prince hologram, and voted not to tarnish the Air Yeezy’s memory.
We acknowledge that we’re in the minority when it comes to flying flags for Dior Homme’s Trainer, but we were hoping it would be closer.
The sneaker is the best shot any fashion house has taken at clunky couture — Balenciaga included — because of its honesty. It’s well known that Vetements et al’s tank-inspired sneakers are little more than subversive memes, so it’s comforting to know that these are made by designers who aren’t trying to mock you. They’re under appreciated, but with fans like A$AP Rocky and Bella Hadid already repping, we think the public will come around.
The numbers don't lie: there are a bunch of people out there who think Kobe’s retro line will put numbers on the board. Even though Undefeated’s camo Protro was a banger, we’re not sure whether to believe you or whether it’s just fun to say ‘Kobe!’ There just doesn’t seem to be a market for early-2000s basketball retros revamped for performance, but time will tell.
This one was so close it almost went into overtime, but the results are don't clear: the majority aren't going out of there way for Jordans. Still, given the current climate, more people voted in favour of these Jays than you'd expect.
Even with weapons-grade nostalgia factor and the return of ‘Nike Air’ branding for the first time since 2001, this release was crack for Jordan heads, but not so much for everyone else. Woeful Jordan Brand sales in 2017, and it seems that even a release of this calibre isn't enough to sway youth in their favour. The times, they are a-changing.
Vocal Big Baller Brand supporter JAY-Z likes to say that that ‘nobody wins when the family feuds’, but that doesn’t ring true here. Lonzo wins when the Ballers go one-on-one, and does so convincingly. Odds are, Hov won’t be ordering three pairs this time around.
You can check out LiAngello's signature here and see for yourself.
Though people weren’t out in force buying Nike’s latest AJ3 retro, they did think that the Swoosh outdid adidas with All-Star Weekend releases.
This is controversial because adidas really went to work this year. Their 747 Warehouse event featured star-studded performances on court and on stage, the AlphaEDGE debuted, Kanye dropped his Yeezy 500 runner and even Dame Lillard’s BAPE colab had Shibuya locals lining up in one of the most impressive/insane queues you'll ever see.
Come to think of it, we’re not sure we agree with you here.
This isn’t a debate: influencers are the way forward for Jordan Brand. Timberlake debuting Jordan 3s at the Super Bowl was worth $2.86 million USD for the Jumpman, and Kylie Jenner wearing unreleased AJ4s will do more to stoke Jordan hype among young women than any pink blush pack ever could. These are facts.
You can dispute the legitimacy of the term, but think of it like this: Jordan Brand got to where they are because of influencers. Spike Lee’s It’s Gotta be the Shoes commercial is probably the single most effective use of an influencer in sneaker branding history, and if the Jumpman wants to get back on top they need to align themselves with similarly engaging personalities.