Collaborations back then were earned and given to rather than being easily sought for and bought from the shelves. It used to be so rare that even camp outs, ballot or raffles are not guarantees in getting them. Rather having a purpose of just simply selling more pairs, often collaborations were some sort of a reward to a designer or an artist or a brand who had a connection to a particular brand. A sneaker collaboration allows an opportunity for each party involved to utilize creative input from an outside source as well as to tell their own stories behind the design to the specific model. Even though great designs can sell itself, but it works better when there is a story behind it. What makes a collaboration so special then was that the story behind that specific pair was so dearly and significant to the designer or artist.
But over the years, how many collaborations has that story that attracts its buyer? With the numbers of collaborations releasing every year, chances of having that personal connection between the designer/ brand/ artist has decreased. It becomes an easy way of building hype around a particular model and thus, most are not as special as it supposed to be. A good collaboration should provide extra value and not just being part of a hype.
One of the example is the Aape x Reebok Ventilators that were released in local stores early this week; which had probably been wiped out from the shelves within a few hours.
A collaboration, initially thought to be difficult to own, became a pair that most sneakerheads in the local scene own. The number of pairs released were just enough to allow this collaboration pair to be categorized under the “GRs”.
In conclusion, collaborations these days are not as precious and meaningful as before, comparing to the ones back then. Collaborations now are more easily sought and bought as most are produced accommodate to the hype. Is “Hype” spoiling the market and leading collaborations to be next ‘GRs”? This is yet another matter to ponder about.