Sneakers are unequivocally large business these days. In June, ESPN reported that a span of boots ragged by American basketball good Michael Jordan during a 1984 Summer Olympics was sole for US$190,373 during auction. That sum will buy we a residence or a Lamborghini supercar.
Businessman Yu-ming Wu, who admits to owning thousands of pairs of sports shoes, is co-founder of Sneaker Con – a world’s premier uncover for sports boots that provides venues for vendors and enthusiasts to buy, sell, and trade in footwear.
He was in Hong Kong final month for Sneaker Con Hong Kong, featuring 200 vendors offered some-more than 60,000 sports boots during AsiaWorld-Expo on Aug 26.
The eventuality is routinely hold any year in US cities, including New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami, though Wu is now expanding a strech by entertainment a successful Hong Kong uncover and another eventuality hold in May in London.
Wu, who is also owner and editor in arch of Sneakernews.com, a news and information website dedicated to sneakers – is regarded as one of a community’s many successful “sneakerheads” – someone who admires, collects or trades in sneakers.
While he was in Hong Kong we asked him a blazing questions – accurately many sneakers does he own? – and how his hobby incited into his business, and what he thinks of oppulance conform brands teaming adult with sports shoe makers.
So, how many pairs of sneakers do we indeed own?
I have cut down utterly a bit. At my top spin we had around 13,000 pairs of sneakers. Today, we consider it’s left down to about 700 pairs. You have to solemnly inform in sequence for some-more to come in. This week, we have total about 15 pairs of boots to my collection. They were sent to me by my friends in a sneaker and sell industry.
What are your favourite sneakers?
For charity, we bid for and won a span of Nike Air Mag sneakers, a [limited book 2016] boots [based on those ragged by Michael J. Fox[ in a Back to a Future film. That’s not my many cherished possession, though it’s one of my favourite things.
How does Sneaker Con work?
Our tagline is buy, sell and trade. We have built a height for a earthy marketplace for sneakerheads to come together, hang out with like-minded people, and also do a buying, offered and trade of sneakers. So it’s both a blurb and amicable event. Sneaker Con has now spin a tellurian village of sneakerheads, generally now we have staged events in London and, for a initial time, Hong Kong.
What encouraged we to start Sneaker Con?
My partners and we indeed met on eBay. we had started a website, Sneakernews.com, during that time and wrote a story on a span of boots that they were offered on eBay. We realised a offices were within 5 blocks of any other on a same travel in a Chinatown area of Manhattan. We motionless to get together and speak and we became good friends. They told me they wanted to do a sneaker uncover with me.
Later we told them: ‘In 2005 we indeed purebred a name Sneaker Con, meditative that one day there competence be a gathering for sneakerheads, so if we were to do this, we would like to call it Sneaker Con. So that’s how we got started.’
How was organising an eventuality in Hong Kong different?
The differences were essentially to do with a logistics and business aspects of doing a uncover like this in a unfamiliar city. Coming from a United States, it was a unequivocally large training knowledge for us as we suspicion about how to put a uncover together – engagement a venue and reckoning out a licences.
Marketing in Hong Kong is a small bit opposite obviously. But we were unequivocally astounded that, once we motionless to do Hong Kong, a lot of people from China [contacted] us to say, “We didn’t realize we are doing to a uncover for a initial time in Asia, and we wish to be involved”. We were astounded since a primary selling is on Instagram and they found us on Instagram, though we know Instagram is criminialized in China. It was incredible.
I was vehement to see what forms of sneakers a Asian village would move for sale. In a US, for a longest time a Air Jordan line was a many popular. Slowly we have seen a Yeezy [the Adidas-Kanye West collaboration[, a [Adidas] Ultra Boost regulating boots and a Adidas NMDs [nomads] take over.
What encouraged we to enhance Sneaker Con over a US?
I adore a village aspect of sneakerheads and wanted to enhance it. We wish to try to uncover a universe that [having an seductiveness in] sneakers is a cold small enlightenment that is also fun and interesting, and that people can suffer any other’s association when they take partial in it.
How did we spin ardent about sneakers?
Like any teenage boy, we only desired sneakers. In 1989, we was a youth high propagandize tyro in New York, and for a unequivocally initial time watched Michael Jordan play basketball on TV. we was vacant by his performance.
The unequivocally subsequent day during school, what was engaging was that one of my classmates was wearing a same [Air Jordan] boots that Jordan was wearing, and so everybody surrounded him and talked about a shoes. That was my initial knowledge of sneakers. But my relatives had emigrated from China to a US and we grew adult flattering poor. So shopping sneakers was not an option.
Eventually we finished my possess income and was means to indeed buy a sneakers myself, that is when we got unequivocally ardent about them and began solemnly reckoning out how to spin a seductiveness into a business.
How has a sneaker enlightenment total with high-street fashion?
If we demeanour during sneaker and travel wear cultures, solemnly a high-luxury conform brands have begun to steal [ideas] from travel wear.They’ve also finished unequivocally identical things of borrowing successfully from sneakers. we wouldn’t contend it’s copying, it’s [more] influence.
Sneaker brands are shabby by any other and, during a same time, these conform companies are also shabby by sneaker companies. In reverse, sneaker companies are also looking during oppulance brands and holding impulse from them. For instance, [Nike’s] Air Jordans embody a high-end oppulance line of sneakers that cost US$400 compared with a low-end US$100 shoes. So it has looked during high-end oppulance brands and thought, ‘We need to unequivocally have a possess high-level sneakers that conform people competence like’.
Does it worry we when sneaker companies combine with oppulance brands?
No, we consider it’s unequivocally interesting. We have seen Riccardo Tisci [design for] Nike and Alexander Wang do Adidas. It’s implausible for these normal conform designers to take on sneakers. we consider those are some of a many engaging designs actually.
Looking back, Nike’s Air Jordan line was designed by an engineer [Tinker Hatfield].He sculpted boots that became mass-produced personal sculptures. Tisci is simply an artist sculpting a sneaker regulating his ability set. we am not annoyed during all. we adore it when things like that happens. we would adore to see some-more architects take on sneakers. Puma has contracting a few architects to pattern a shoes.
[Fashion brand] Alexander McQueen has worked with Puma. [Japanese conform designer] Yohji Yamamoto has finished Adidas’ Y-3. A lot of a stream Adidas models are shabby by a Yohji line, that is incredible.
Do we consider these collaborations are quite creative, or are oppulance brands wanting to daub into a sneakerhead market?
I consider sneaker companies are drumming normal conform engineer brands to do something engaging and incredible, and they share that selling together. So now we have Nike and Tisci, Wang and Adidas, who come together and we have this implausible spin of hum around these lines of attire and sneakers.