Sneaker culture and hip hop culture have been synonymous since Run-DMC first scored their game-changing deal with Adidas in the late 80's. The association made Run-DMC the first non-athletic entity to be endorsed by an athletic apparel company.
Since then, the sneaker game and its influence in fashion has always been spearheaded by major hip-hop artists, including giants such as Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Pharrel and Kanye. The way in which hip hop has come to dictate sneaker trends, and to a large extent even fashion trends, is a testament to the power that the musical genre (once an underground art form) now yields over a major business enterprise.
Popular sneaker brands such as Nike and Adidas along with other luxury footwear brands such as Gucci and Balenciaga have also increased the frequency of release over the past decade from a few times a year to a monthly or weekly basis.
This helps create a huge buzz in the sneakerhead/hypebeast community, and with social media enabling customers to hear about releases all over the world, shoes fly off the shelves within days of launch. The sneakers then enter the resale market where they can often go for double or triple the original price. The rise of resale culture has only further solidified the status of sneakers in the fashion world.
Today, the focus on footwear means high-end European shoe brands are as popular as Jordans or Yeezys, leading to tremendous impact and scope for disruption in the ever-changing world of fashion.
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