Highsnobiety Q1 is the first in a series of quarterly insights weeks dedicated to the business behind youth culture and what makes our market tick. For full Q1 coverage, head over to our Q1 hub.
With limited-edition sneaker releases coming at us on a near weekly basis, the growth of the resell market is showing no sign of slowing down. StockX data values the secondary market at $6 billion (significantly more than the $1 billion widely reported), so it makes sense that the likes of LVMH, Farfetch, and Foot Locker are making moves to get a slice of a pie previously reserved for only the most dedicated of sneakerheads.
Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, the wheels of the global sneaker resell market are still turning. StockX’s business has taken a 4 percent hit, which is negligible compared to stock market indexes like Dow Jones dipping 30 percent. Other reports showed that around 700,000 jobs were lost in the United States in March, while StockX employees are permitted to stay at home without recourse, and those working in authentication facilities are offered a 25 percent pay increase through April.
With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with the data wizards over at StockX, with illustrations by Ryan Haskins, to bring you a detailed breakdown of the most valuable shoes to hit the resale market from January 1 to March 31 this year.
Stay posted for more data-driven findings from Highsnobiety and StockX.
Miami-based retailer SoleFly has an established record of producing some of the most covetable, limited, and expensive Jordan collaborations, including the two Jordan 1s from SoleFly’s 2018 Art Basel pack, as well as 2014’s “Lotto” Jordan 3, and many more. Coinciding with Super Bowl LIV in Miami and SoleFly’s 10th anniversary, a white, orange, and black Jordan 10 was given to friends and family to celebrate the occasion. Landing in the top spot of our most-expensive category, the Jordan 10 resold for an average of $4,100, and was accompanied by a cleated version that was given to South Florida’s top high school football recruits.
In second, we find CLOT’s “Rose Gold” silk Air Force 1 with special packaging, consisting of a custom-made wooden shoebox, engraved with Nike and CLOT co-branding, plus ornate frog knot closures. CLOT and Nike’s silk Air Force 1s consistently demand high after-market prices, going back to the duo’s first red silk Air Force 1 makeup in 2009.
Another special-edition box of Travis Scott’s Nike SB Dunk low lands in third, while the general-release box lands in sixth. Scott’s global star power has made him one of Nike’s influential collaborators, and Nike has given the emcee unprecedented access across Swoosh product categories like SB and Jordan. Leading up to the release, Scott been an avid supporter of throwback Dunk colorways like Freddy Krueger lows and FLOM highs. Scott’s unreleased Nike Air Max 270 also fills in the eighth spot.
Fully dominated by Nike and Jordan, our top 10 also includes Nike’s special “New Beginnings” pack, which contains the brand’s first-ever Air Ship retro, plus a remastered white and red Jordan 1. The pack was only available stateside for 2020’s NBA All-Star.
Jordan’s contemporary silhouettes typically don’t fare as well as icons like the 1, 3, 4, or 5, but for 2020 Q1, a Paris-exclusive Jordan 34 did climb the ranks with its average resell price of $1,254.
A special pair of buckled 1017 ALYX 9SM Air Force 1 high-tops was released exclusively during Paris Fashion Week in January, and went on to land in ninth position on our ranking.
Following the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020, Nike released a special “Big Stage/Parade” colorway of the Kobe 5 Protro, which went on to secure the 10th spot on our list. Reportedly, the resell prices of Kobe models skyrocketed following the death of the retired athlete.
For our second category of sneakers with the highest price premiums above retail, the Swoosh-stacked leaderboard is much the same, including three spots occupied by Travis Scott models.
We find three special packaging-edition Nike releases, including the aforementioned CLOT x Nike Air Force 1 “Rose Gold” (1,460 percent premium) and Travis Scott x Nike SB Dunk low (1,084 percent premium) in first and second respectively, followed by a limited-edition Strange Love x Nike SB Dunk low in third.
Limited packaging or a special-edition box remains a fail-safe marketing tool to further consumers’ perception of exclusivity, despite the sneakers inside being the exact same. Nike SB consumers have a particularly keen eye for boxes, as different colors (pink, gold, blue) signify different eras of the SB brand.
An outlier, a general release “Python” Vans Era in US7 sold for $450, as a 718 percent premium above its retail price of $55. Although this example constitutes one sale, it’s a reminder that certain sneakerheads are willing to take their collecting to extreme lengths.
Nike’s “New Beginnings” pack appears again in 6th, and a friends and family Jordan 34 lands in 7th, which represents an interesting contrast between the very beginning of Jordan’s career, and the 34, a model that was created over 20 years after Jordan won his final championship
Most Commonly Sold
In contrast to the previous two categories, our ranking of the most commonly sold sneakers sees an influx of YEEZY models. A total of 5 colorways — “Earth,” “Tail Light,” “Cinder,” “Desert Sage,” and “Yeshaya” — show that the 350 V2 is still holding its own on the resell market, despite the high quantity of releases in the quarter.
While recent YEEZY 350 V2 releases have not reached the same price premium as other Nike models in the previous categories, we see the volume of YEEZY sales still stands, as YEEZYS occupy 45 percent of the top 10 most commonly sold.
The iconic Air Jordan 1 also occupies the 7th, 9th, and 10th spots on our ranking of the most commonly flipped sneakers, while the Off-White™ Jordan 5 lands in our number one spot, proving that Virgil’s latest sneaker design was flipped more than any other release of the quarter.
As the statistics from 2020 Q1 indicate, YEEZY has not quite jumped over the Jumpman as Kanye West often likes to claim, but both brands retain their ability to move the resell needle in a big way.
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