Jordan Brand is once again having another collaboration with a big brand. This time it is OFF-WHITE. OFF-WHITE is a brand based in Milan that symbolizes high-end streetwear. The head designer and founder of this brand is no other than Virgil Abloh (shown to the left). Abloh was born and raised in Chicago and grew up learning about fashion. He has since created OFF-WHITE which has been one of the strongest and most expensive streetwear brands out there. OFF-WHITE’s symbol is either multiple straight lines or a big X on the back of the shirt. OFF-WHITE has grown ever since opening in 2014 and has collaborated with brands such as Nike, KITH, and now Jordan. They also have had many famous artists wearing their apparel such as Tyga, Justin Bieber, and Kanye West. As you can see in the image to Virgil Abloh, he is wearing the teased Jordan 1 collaboration with OFF-WHITE, he hides half the shoe under his pants while having a pop of color with the lime green shoe laces.
With this collaboration with Jordan, OFF-WHITE is taking the Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” colorway and making it more unique and giving it more details. It comes with deconstructed details, text graphic overlays, oversized Swoosh, OFF-WHITE branding, and various text structures in quotes. They have done this with the Nike Air Max 90 with various text structures in quotes to make it more unique in its own way while keeping the silhouette the same. The shoe comes with white, black, lime green, and orange shoe laces so you can be even more avant garde with this unique sneaker. This new shoe has everyone in the community going crazy for them. The price is steep retailing at $350. However, to some people the price makes sense due to the high-end materials being put into the shoe and how big the collaboration is. There has been no release date stated so that gives you time to save up for this hyped shoe! For more information, click here.
Gucci began as a fashion brand made to be known for it’s luxury and elegance. This company was founded in 1921, or 97 years ago, by a man named Guccio Gucci. As this father took most of the credit, the brand was actually built up with the help of his sons. There were three of them in total. By 2008, this brand grew so widespread that it had made a total of 4.6 billion US dollars by the year of 2008. Along with being the largest Italian brand at this time, Gucci opened a total of 278 stores worldwide according to their statistics in 2009. Think of this number compared to the slim 76 stores Gucci only had during the year 1997. With their never ending success, as of 2013, this company’s trend kept growing and was worth 12.1 billion US dollars.
Gucci became so popular and trendy even after all of these years because of their design. Every year they are releasing new and unique styles that have never been seen before. Clearly, the typical person would not wear clothes with these exotic colors and patterns because of the retail price. It is indeed a luxury brand and it always has been. Specializing in fashion, specifically Gucci sold watches, purses, ties, bags, jewelry, etc. Their clothing lines were one of a kind because of the colorful fabrics such as pigskin, calf, ranging to many other animals. Their bags and purses consisted of top of the line leather. Sometimes there would be floral prints or a butterfly pattern made for silk only. Gucci’s styles have changed throughout the years according to the latest trends, but generally, they have stayed their luxurious, unique selves since the start of it all.
Currently as of 2017, there are many rumors as of what will be included in this year’s future up coming Fall 2017 Collection. It has been predicted that there will be bombers with colorful floral prints, tigers, dragons, other animals, and even including space themed backgrounds. This new and different design would be embroidered into the bombers which are an in-trend style. Many embroidering can also be seen on shoes. Designer Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director, says that he envisions this new collection to have a fairy tale like vibe to the clothing. He also states that there will be a long coat with dragons embroidered on both sides of the back. All of these exotic street wear will make you stand out from everyone else because of it’s popping colors and designs. However, since this is a high end luxury brand, Gucci clothing is always expected to sell for expensive and sell out quickly.
Last week, Lonzo Ball of the Ball Brothers, released his first signature shoe with his family brand, Big Baller Brand. Lonzo Ball is about to be drafted into the NBA as a lottery pick, coming straight out of UCLA. Him and his brothers have been star players of the Chino Hills High School basketball team and have constantly been making sports news due to their talents. They have even been nicknamed the Ball Brothers because of their skills in basketball and their last name. The brothers include LaMelo Ball, the youngest, who is a sophomore attending Chino Hills High School, LiAngelo Ball, who is a senior attending Chino Hills High School, and of course the oldest, Lonzo Ball who is about to graduate UCLA. However, what is controversial with the brothers is their father, LaVar Ball. In some perspectives, LaVar is a supportive father who is just looking out for his sons’ futures. However, on the other hand, some believe the father is crazy and is instead, destroying their futures. Personally, I believe LaVar is a supportive father who just wants best for his children.
With Lonzo Ball going into the NBA, brands like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor are looking into partnering with him for a signature shoe. LaVar Ball turned down all of their offers because he was looking for creative privileges with the brands and having them partner with Big Baller Brand overall, not just Lonzo. He wanted to show what Big Baller Brand can bring to the table which was not just the brothers but the brand’s apparel and engineering. Many people believe LaVar is crazy for turning down all of the offers that were presented to Lonzo. Despite all the comments made, LaVar Ball didn’t care, he decided to create Lonzo’s signature shoe with the family brand rather than other big brands like Nike and Adidas. That is where the ZO2 Prime comes in. Lonzo’s new signature sneaker is out now retailing at $495. However, if you’re a size 14 and above it will cost $695 and if you want the premium pack, you can get the ZO2 Prime signed by Lonzo and encased in a glass case with LED light flooring for $995. Also you can get slides for $220. These prices in my opinion were crazy and it totally changed my opinion on the Ball Brothers and Big Baller Brand overall.
Everyone was outraged by these crazy prices and the model itself. People accused Big Baller Brand for copying a Ohio State football coach’s logo called “Zone 6.” People accused them for stealing a Kobe Bryant signature shoe model and the Adidas Boost mold on the midsole. Some people defended him saying that the price makes sense since they are a small brand and they had to create their own mold and technology for the shoe. All of these accusations and insults made toward Big Baller Brand did not stop LaVar Ball from tweeting, “If you can’t afford the ZO2’S, you’re not a BIG BALLER!” Now people just think LaVar is going crazy. From the stealing of logos and molds to insulting the community of sneakerheads and ballers. Lonzo Ball even had an interview recently and he said that he believed people would buy his sneakers despite the prices. It was difficult for many people seeing this controversy with Big Baller Brand because some were fans of the Ball Brothers. Some will stay loyal believing that LaVar is just watching out for his kids but some will believe that he is crazy and just ruining their future in the industry. Despite all those opinions, I believe LaVar Ball is still a good father but he could just be trying to live his basketball dream in his kids’ shoes. If you’re looking to get someone new basketball shoes for Christmas, the ZO2 Primes can be pre-ordered now and will be shipped on November 24th, 2017!
I never truly realized how expensive sneakers could really be. Growing up, exclusive sneakers were not really exposed to our family, especially being just an average income family. Most of the time me, including peers at school brought casual shoes. This included shoes like Vans or Converse. Most of the time, these type of things would only cost maybe ranging around 50-70 dollars. The most expensive shoes I ever saw were maybe at Foot Locker where the athletic shoes there maybe went up to 200 dollars. For the most part, in the past at a younger age, shoes did not seem to be very expensive or a big deal at a young age.
However, as I grow up and the friends around me did also, we began to get into social media. We expanded our knowledge about sneakers and started to learned more and more about it. The first I remember hearing about an exclusive, high priced shoe was Kanye West’s Yeezy many years ago. Due to the low supply and high demand, these shoes sold out quickly. There was reselling online for up to 2,000 dollars. My thinking changed recently, a new shoe was released which brought a lot of attention. Lonzo Ball, an upcoming NBA star has released a shoe called the ZO2. This basketball sneaker is priced at 495 dollars but will probably resale for much more. The limited edition ZO2 WET is selling for 995 dollars.
After growing up and being exposed to all of these social media trends, I then began to realized how expensive shoes could truly be. From all of these shoes and many more, there was an endless list of sneakers that were priced beyond an average income family. Of course, these shoes were not commonly seen among peers and around school. However, if there was that one kid with expensive shoes, everyone noticed it. As time passed, I began to learn of many people who collected shoes. They valued their shoes like children and kept them very clean and spotless. Everyday they would clean their shoes.
After realizing the world of sneakers beyond my past knowledge, I now tried investing
my time and money to find some expensive, quality sneakers. This could be anything
from Jordans to Adidas. Hopefully someday I will have a sneaker collection of my own to show off to my peers. I would love to have a shelf displaying all of these sneakers in the future, but I would have to keep every single shoe clean. Maybe I will not collect thousands of dollars worth of shoes like those big time collectors with walk in closets and fancy lights. This would be something small to do on the side, probably saving a couple hundred dollars now and then to add to my new, small collection.