Sneakerheads are getting attention from auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christies’ that have taken notice that the sneaker market has been attracting collectors for years. Are sneakers works of art or are the auction sales all part of a marketing strategy for sneaker brands? Ask a sneakerhead and he is likely to declare his sneaker collection as an assembly of art objects.
Who are the Sneakerheads?
Sneakerheads may be construed as consumers who will go to any length and pay any price to become owners of the latest designs of their favorite brand of sneakers. Yet in the most accurate sense, a sneakerhead refers to a person who is not only into collecting sneakers. As a sneaker connoisseur, he also compiles information about sneaker editions, their origins, their original owners and other significant characteristics that make a particular pair of rubber-soled shoes a worthy component of their sneaker collection.
Apparently, auction houses saw the viability of collaborating with sneaker experts and retailers to establish a legitimate platform that panders to sneaker collectors. Doing so simplifies the discovery and buying process for sneakerheads, since the auction houses take on the responsibility of authenticating a pair of rubber shoes and the corresponding history that makes a pair of sneakers a valuable collector’s item. .
What Auction Houses are Saying About Their Sneaker Collections
Last July, Sotheby’s auctioned off 100 pairs of vintage sneakers that belonged to different eras, such as the 1972 Nike track cleats used by the U.S. Olympic track athletes in the same year. The whole lot was sold for $1.29 million to a Canadian businessman/art collector named Miles Nadal who plans to include them in his Toronto-based private museum.
In becoming part of the sneaker collection movement, Sotheby’s corroborates with Stadium Goods, an e-commerce sneaker retailer who assumed the task of authenticating sneakers for the auction house. After all, the sneaker business has more than its fair share of fakes and knockoffs.
At Christie’s, the head of handbags and accessories sales Caitlin Donovan, said she has now included sneakers in her department’s responsibilities, as they are now actively looking for sneaker consigners. She considers sneakerheads as an educated consumer base that is fresh and largely youthful.
Collectors come in many forms and from different locations. Some wear their sneakers at least once; taking care not to wear them out lest their resale value goes down. Currently, durability is a key attribute as some sneakers tend to crumble while kept in their original boxes. Apparently, some chemical reaction happens to the material; an occurrence presumed to be connected with present day warmer temperatures. What may have been the room temperature a decade ago is no longer the same room temperature we are experiencing now.
As an aside, for those looking to invest on a brand and model that’s been tested for long-term durability, you might be interested in checking out the new balance 993