Supreme x Nike Air Foamposite One sneakers, released Thursday April 3 at 11 a.m., retail for $250. They sold out by 11:05 a.m. April 3, but you can cop a pair on eBay for $900.
That sort of appreciation rate explains why a crowd of sneakerheads and sneaker investors and the kind-hearted girlfriends/boyfriends of sneakerheads packed the sidewalk in front of Supreme New York in SoHo on Wednesday afternoon. By Wednesday night, the crowd had spilled into Lafayette Street. Most of these folks were too late. The line had started forming on Monday, when Supreme announced the release date.
Pack that many people, in that tight a space, fiending for a product in that high demand–there’s bound to be some pushing and some shoving and some “watch where ya steppin’!”
So, maaan, you gotta feel for those poor guys camped out on lawn chairs for three days. Because at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Supreme posted the following message on Instagram:
Due to concern for public safety, NYPD has forced us to not sell the Supreme/Nike Foamposites and accompanying clothing in our New York Store. These items will be available on supremenewyork.com tomorrow at 11am EST.
Supreme put up a similar message on the store’s front window:
Yu-Ming Wu, founder of SneakerNews.com, which first reported the shut down, posted a video on YouTube showing how nutty the scene got before the sun had even set on Wednesday–barricades in the road… people congregating across street from the store…:
Next: economics of the sneaker boom.
As we noted in our July story about the new economics of sneakers, America is in the midst of a sneaker boom–or perhaps a sneaker bubble–and Foamposites are at the center of it:
Foamposites are emblematic of the sneaker boom. When Nike first unveiled the line in 1997, the company marketed it as an innovation in shoe design: a sturdy hightop coated with a hardened, lightweight foam that formed sleek ridges around the laces. But people thought they were ugly and overpriced, and the shoes flopped.
Now, more than a decade later, Foamposites have inexplicably emerged as the hottest shoes on the market.
While Air Jordans have been popular and pricey for decades, Foamposites are the sneaker of the moment. Look down at the kicks on the group of Cool Kid high schoolers next to you on the subway and you’ll see Js or Foams. Sneakers that re-sold for $300 or $400 when they were in middle school now go for upwards of $1,000.
Sneakerheads had been anticipating these Foamposites, a collaboration between Supreme and Nike, for a while. Some of those people lining up really wanted to wear them. But others–probably most of the early arrivals–were in it for the hustle. Fast cash just sitting there for anyone willing to wait a day or two or three, or able to muscle ahead of those who waited.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 3, 2014