From the ground up

We teamed up with the data wizards at StockX to present the numbers behind six big trends that dominated the sneaker world in 2017.

These days, retail collaborations are not only a tool that bigger sportswear brands use to tap into local communities, but co-branded kicks are a vehicle for the retailers, in turn, to engage in unique storytelling that is packaged around new and exciting colorways.

Below, we dissect the numbers behind the biggest retail collaboration releases of 2017.

Also, don’t miss our data-driven analysis of YEEZYsNike Air Force 1s, and luxury sneakers in 2017.

Retail Collaborations by Popularity

Undefeated’s take on the Air Max 97 accounted for 28% of all retailer collaborations (retail x brand) in 2018, with 16% of sales represented by the black version, and 12% of sales represented by the white version. One of the most beloved Air Max collaborations of all time, the atmos x Nike Air Max 1 “Elephant” was re-issued for Nike Air Max Day 2017, and chalked up 7% of all sales for the retail collaboration category. The matching Air Jordan 3 from the same atmos pack also landed in seventh.

New York City retailer Kith also secured spots in fourth and eighth on our list, for the nonnative x Kith x adidas Ultra Boost Mid and Kith x adidas Football ACE 16+ Pure Control Ultra Boost respectively. Retailers like California-based Bait and Berlin-based Overkill also managed to secure significant portions of the 2017 market share for retailer collaborations.

Retailers By Popularity

In 2017, Kith and Ronnie introduced a broad range of sneaker collaborations and exclusives, including drops with Moncler & ASICS, Converse & Coca-Cola, Naked & adidas, in addition to many more, allowing the retailer to snag a 29% overall share of the retail collaboration segment. Kith founder Ronnie Fieg has developed a reputation as one of the most prolific collaborators in the industry, in fact, Fieg and Kith served up a total of 45 different pairs in 2017, so Kith’s ranking shouldn’t come as much surprise.

Coming in at a very close second, Undefeated secured 28.6% of the market share, even with far fewer actual collaborations than first place’s Kith, implying that a great number of Undefeated’s Air Max 97s ended up on the resale market.

atmos sits firmly in third place, again thanks to its successful re-issue of the Air Max 1 “Elephant” in 2017, arriving ten years after its original release in 2007.

Also interesting to note, is the fact that this graphic shows there are two very distinct strategies when it comes to retail collaborations. Some boutiques, such as KITH, Bait, and Concepts, put out a much higher number of collaborative efforts, while the likes of atmos, UNDFTD, and Sneakersnstuff manage to secure a relatively large share of the trend with much fewer sneaker collaborations.

Of course, it is important to note that production numbers would normally have to be accounted for too, however, since very few brands and retailers communicate this, it does not factor in to our data analysis.

Retail Collaboration Market Share

The chart above shows total volume of all retail collaboration sales in 2017 represented by the grey chart, with specific colorway releases called out through the year. The stats confirm once again that retail collaborations from Kith, Undefeated and atmos were the most successful of the year, generating the biggest spikes in sales.

Early June saw a spike to coincide with the release of the Overkill x adidas Consortium EQT Support Future “Coat of Arms” pack, as well as the Kith x ACE 16+ Pure Control Ultra Boost “Flamingos.”

Bait’s adidas Consortium collaboration featuring florescent details also created buzz in the Fall of 2017, stealing a share of the trend after the release.

To stay updated, follow @Highsnobietiysneakers on Instagram.

  • Main & Featured Image: Eva al Desnudo /

Vancouver-born, Berlin-based writer, photographer and editor with a steady hand on the keyboard.

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