As time pass by, the collection of sneakers became more inculcated in the culture and society that we live. With the help of the Internet, there were endless possibilities and opportunities in the world of the sneakerheads. Sneakerheads, nowadays, use the social media sites namely: Facebook, Instagram, and even in Twitter. If in the earlier periods, one must exhaust in order to communicate with other collectors, with the help of technology, the sneakerheads are just one click away on finding the perfect community for them.
As you scroll through your social media accounts, you can see that there are photographs in which a sneakerhead with his sneakers on. In line with this scenario, advertising became much easier for them. History, information, rumors and releases can be searched and be seen all over the Internet. People would create facebook groups that would support their needs as a sneakerhead. Through that, they can sell, trade critique and collect various brands of sneakers. Because of this, it helped to heat up the world of sneaker lovers.
The internet also influenced on how these sneakerheads transact with each other. The time came when sneakerheads would buy, trade and sell with the help of peer-to-peer websites and social networking sites. Because of this, the game of collecting sneakers drastically changed. Rare styles, collector’s items, retro styles and alike would usually sell multiple times their original retail value. One perfect example of this is the trending Yeezy which was produced by Adidas. Most of the Yeezys would come from the United States. Because we are in the Philippines, the resellers would sell it multiple times their original value. Yeezys would usually cost Php 40,000.
Credits: Mr. Jed Oblenida
Finally, brands began to do collaborations with artists, musicians, and celebrities, creating specially designed, extremely limited edition styles. The brands intended for such shoes to give them further hype and credibility within the sneakerhead community. Because collaborations were very limited in quantity, they became highly desirable. Collaborations created yet another market for collectors. (Powell, 2017). Some of the notable sneakers that is in the mainstream are:
Adidas Yeezy (Kanye West)
Credits: Mr. Jed Oblenida
Adidas NMD Human Race (Pharrell Williams)
Adidas Superstar (Pharell Williams)
Supreme x Nike Air Max 98
Reebok Ventilator (Kendrick Lamar)
Very quickly the sneakerhead world went from collecting for fun to profiteering. As resale prices escalated on limited edition shoes, a new type of “sneakerhead” came into being: the speculator. Looking merely to make a quick buck (or hundreds of quick bucks), many more buyers got into the game with the sole intent of flipping limited edition shoes, sometimes on the same day they bought them.(Powell, 2017). We can see how technology affected the culture and society we live in. We did not expect that all of this would drastically change, but with the help of a medium all of a sudden a huge game changer happened.
To support our study about the sneakerhead community, we have interviewed friends and acquaintances. From their own perspectives and experiences, it is nice to know their points listed below:
- In your own perspective, what is a sneakerhead? In line with this what is a hypebeast?
- How do you usually transact?
- What type of dress do you usually wear?
- What terms do you usually use in transactions?
- Do you earn money from this? If yes, how much?
- What type of shoes do you usually buy, trade and collect?
I have interviewed Mr. Jed Oblenida, a friend of mine. He graduated from the same school I was in when I was in high school. Since when we were in high school, I could see that he is into collection of sneakers. When we play basketball from time to time, he would wear variations of the Kobe Bryant signature shoes. He would post on his social media accounts about the sneakers that he and even advertise the line of sneakers he wears and support.
According to Mr. Oblenida, a sneakerhead is a person who loves shoes and has a big knowledge about the history and significance of a shoe. Meanwhile a Hypebeast is a person that has money and always cops what is “Hyped up” or what’s expensive and has small to none background at all. In our society they thought being labeled as a hypebeast is a compliment, but in the real culture, it ain’t because it only tells that you have the buying power but no knowledge. In the present times, especially the so called “Millenials” often relate the word hypebeast and sneakerheads simply because hypebeasts also wear eye catching “hyped up” sneakers. Mr. Oblenida also does business through his hobby of collecting sneakers of his likeness. He transact through meet-up because he likes to inspect the item before he buy, trade or sell them. Because of buying and selling sneakers and hyped up clothes, he earns an average of Php 40,000 to Php 50,000 a month if the market is up, but if the market is down he sometimes earn Php 20,000 to Php 30,000 only. With his statements, we can see how powerful sneaker can be used as a tool to compete in the market. It gives a lot of opportunity to people who want to start a business.
They also use a lot of terms to state the condition of a pair:
- BNDS-Brand New Deadstock
- DS- Deadstock
- Beaters- The shoe’s condition is low
- VNDS- Very Near Deadstock
When it comes to the dress he wears, he dress accordingly based on the weather, occasion, company and alike. He likes to put on trackpantseverytime because it is comfortable and it compliments his current rotation. Jed also likes to buy designer shoes because the price is right and the quality that you will have is the best. He also suggest that if you are going to spend a lot of money in sneakers, might as well buy the best quality possible to get the most out of your money. Jed also added that his fondness of sneakers started when he was still young. Everyone in his family was into basketball. They like shoes as well as his cousins had the best shoes. Every release they would have the freshest kicks offered in the market. They are not well off back then compared to them, but when Jed grew up, he discovered that He can flip money on his own so he started saving up for few pairs. He also started with the right and consistent mindset.
Here are some of Mr. Jed Oblenida’s photograph:
The second interviewee was also a friend of mine, former classmate, church mate and batchmate. He is Mr. Gabriel Jerome Lachihca. When we were in high school, I did not see any potential that he would be a sneakerhead someday. He would wear baggy pants and oversized shirts simply because he was a fan of FlipTop battle. When time came, I could see his transition to being a sneakerhead from his facebook and Instagram accounts. He and Jed would usually collaborate to create perfect shot of pictures in order to advertise and show off the line of sneakers that they wear and support.
Gab stated that a sneakerhead is an individual who has the love and passion in collecting different kinds and stuff. On the other hand, Hypebeasts are individuals who are always up for the latest trend on clothing, shoes, and other related acts with respect to the street culture. In his case, he transact retail customer to person. He purchase items sometimes in stores and shops but sometimes, he purchase goods from the sneakerhead community who resells similar things. Gab also does business by being a sneakerhead and hypebeast as well. In his experience, he earns money from selling stuffs. The amount varies on the stuff the he sells. In an average, the highest amount the he earned in selling is Php 6,000.
He also said that in the streetwear scene, there are certain codes and languages that they usually use. Some of these terms are:
- FT- For Trade
- LF- Looking For
- LP- Last Price
- LFAF-Looking For In Behalf of A Friend
- BN- Brand New
- DSWT- Dead Stock with Tags
- BIN- Buy It Now
- WTB- Want To Buy
As a sneakerhead and hypebeast, Gab likes to wear streetwears and urban clothing to support the identity that he established. He prefers buying sneakers such as Asics, Adidas (Yeezy’s and Ultra Boosts) and Nike Air’s. He does not usually sell or trade sneakers but only when it is needed.
Here are some Instagram posts of Mr. Gabriel Jerome Lachica:
Our third interviewee is Mr. Elle De Vera from Pila, Laguna. He said that in his own perspective, sneakerheads are people who are obsessed in shoes that are trending. Sometimes, sneakerheads do not use the shoes, but instead they collect them and sell it in a higher price. He admits that he is a sneakerhead. He showed me some of his collection of shoes. Hypebeast, based on him, is a sneakerhead that is collecting shoes, but not typical shoes but shoes that are expensive. We asked him what kind of transaction they do if they buy online. He said that they do meet ups or deposit. He explained how the deposit happens. The buyer will text or chat the seller then the buyer will ask where will he deposit the money. After the buyer deposited the money, he will notify the seller. The seller then will be shipping now the shoes that the buyer ordered. But he claimed that the safest and common transaction is the meet up. Safest because the buyer will be able to check the pair of shoes is legit or not. We all know that we define people by their type of clothing but based on our interviewee, sneakerheads do not have specific type of dress they are wearing but it is based on their own personality. Below are some of the “codes” used in online buy and sell that are given by our interviewee.
- Deadstock (DS)
- “Legit bayan?”
- Pa-VOUCH – means that you are asking if the seller is a legit seller and sells legit shoes.
We asked him if he earns in this type of hobby. He said that sometimes he earns but most of the time no because collecting is his hobby. He said that he buys shoes for him to collect or wear. He said that he collects Jordans, LeBrons and Yeezy 350 even though it is not rare or hype. He also said that he buys shoes based on his budget. Here are some of his collections that he sent:
Our last interviewee is Mr. Mirko Lunar from San Pablo City, Laguna but now he is in Italy. He stated that sneakerheads are people that are collecting shoes. Sneakerheads are more on shoes unlike hypebeasts. Hypebeasts are people who buy expensive shoes, shirts, shorts, pants and accessories. He said that the transactions are thru text or chat, after that they are going to meet, but if the seller is trusted or the seller and the buyer are far away from each other, transaction thru shipping is possible. We asked Mirko about the type of clothes that sneakerheads or hypebeast wear. He said that there are no exact type of clothes they are wearing, it is just based on what celebrities wear or what is trending worldwide. He shared some of the words that are usually used by sneakerheads.
We asked our interviewee, Mirko, if he earns in “buy and sell”. He said that today, he does not do buy and sell anymore but before he earns almost PHP 10,000 for every time he sells his shoes because he sells his shoes as a group, not per pair. Today, Mirko is a fan of Vans and Nike Flyknits. Although mirko is not in the Philippines, he allowed us to take a screenshot of some of his posts in instagram.