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The resale business behind Kanye West's viral sneakers

Fanaticism

This second-hand market has managed to multiply the original value by 6

Ferran Farled

This same month of March, Adidas announced through an email that the new Yeezy Boost 350 V2 were already available. After receiving the notice from the firm, all users registered in the section dedicated to Kanye West's line for Adidas could get hold of the rapper's new sneakers. Although all of them had to previously subscribe to a waiting list to access the sale itself, most of them were unable to buy the product since in a few minutes the website once again posted the sold-out sign.

El negocio de reventa que se esconde detrás de las deportivas virales de Kanye West

Since Kanye West presented his first collaboration with Adidas, the Yeezy clothing and accessories line has become the ultimate synonym of exclusivity, power and luxury for millennials. Beyond the high price of its products, the difficulty in obtaining the sneakers of the moment has aroused uncontrollable fanaticism on the part of the followers as well as the emergence of a powerful second-hand market that has multiplied the value of the pieces up to 6 times more of its original price.

Yeezy is currently a powerful fashion empire thanks to its sales and advertising strategies based on 'hype', social media and unannounced launches. Before presenting his first collection, the firm announced the points of sale where the products would be available and, although nobody knew what the sneakers or the clothes would look like, West played with fanaticism and got thousands of customers to camp around the stores. stores to be the first. Since then, both the rapper and the firm have managed to keep their creations among the most desired products, pushing many of their customers to spend large amounts of money on resales.

Some sneakers valued at 200 euros have been sold for 1,000

When Kanye West presents a sneaker model, all customers know that this design has a minimum number of units that makes it a limited edition line. This situation has caused many young people to see a business opportunity, being able to obtain up to 1,000 euros for a model valued at 200. Although during the first launches, customers had limited the number of pairs they could buy, many of those who spent the night waiting at the opening of the stores they queued to buy some sneakers and resell them in the many specialized digital portals.

Currently this trend has decreased at the same time that the firm has expanded the number of units for each launch, in addition to saturating the market with continuous presentations of new products. On the one hand, some portals such as Klekt or Ebay have a wide range of models, such as the popular 'Boost 700' or the latest 'Boost 350 V2', at prices that double their original value, even multiplying their value by 6 in the most popular specimens. On the other hand, there are also multi-brand online stores such as Farfetch, which includes in its catalog a wide variety of older and exclusive models with prices ranging between 1,000 and 1,500 euros.

Far from encouraging the loss of followers, this situation has greatly increased the craze to get one of Yeezy's products. And it is that the added value of sports shoes is not found in their performance and design but in the social status they provide and that turns their buyers into people with power, who follow trends and who enjoy an exclusive piece limited to the elites.

The sporty aesthetic, baptized as 'athleisure', the emergence of viral 'ugly shoes' and the constant launch of limited edition capsule collections have created a new scenario that has, in turn, favored the emergence of a second-hand market where to earn large amounts of money. In the same way that the Yeezy occupy the top positions in all the catalogs of this type of portal, the Triple S by Balenciaga or the bags and accessories by Louis Vuitton in collaboration with Supreme are some of the examples of how customers are willing to pay the money that is necessary in order to obtain one of the most successful products on the market.

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