Real Street News: 2019 South African Sneaker Highlights
“Youth is about the only thing worth having, and that is about the only thing.”
It’s been a great year for the South African street culture. Many more brands are acknowledging the value of collaborating and co-creating with SA creatives. This development although long overdue, has been welcomed by SA sneaker enthusiasts. They have embraced this bold move in marketing by the Brands. This world-wide trend of collaborations with various established creatives and musicians has become the ‘it’ tool in their marketing kits. It’s a win-win scenario as influencers have great pull in regards awareness. Having South African celebs included in the global space has opened new doors for many. Don’t forget the ever growing sneaker community of resellers and events, there is no doubt that South Africans are hungry for local collaborations and limited edition releases between their favorite creatives and brands. Celebrate this 2019 milestone is a list of SA street culture highlights.
AKA x Reebok #TheSneAKA
The first inkling we got that something was up was when AKA posted a picture on Twitter teasing a sneaker collaboration with Rebook. On 30 January 2017 AKA made it official when he announced the partnership with Reebok on social media. Talking a seven-figure deal, AKA hinted that this would be a very fruitful collaboration. Early 2018 saw the first AKA X Reebok colab released, launched alongside his hit song ‘Practice’. The next colab release was announced 1 October 2019 – the SupaMega, on shelves 26 October. The REEBOK CLASSIC leather silhouette #TheSneAKA, features an embossed “Supa” and “Maga” on the heel collar. This sneaker design is dominated by a ‘white chalk’ upper with the heel collar pops with being a bright ‘hero yellow’. Reebok only released 600 pairs with each box individually numbered and autographed by AKA.
Karabo Poppy X Nike Air Force 1 Collaboration
The Force is finally with us. A first for a South African artist, Karabo Poppy teamed up with Nike for an Air Force 1 collection. The design inspired by both her local roots and our countries rich culture. Focusing on the Nike By You platform, Karabo Poppys’ concept is based on two things; the vibrant colours found in traditional African beaded bracelets and the beauty salon posters found in the streets of South Africa. The sneakers have a rich tumbled leather base that gives the wearer an edge when rocking them. Since Nike By You allows you to play around with the sneaker design. You can choose between a striking red, orange, green or purple for the upper. You could also add embroidered line graphics, grooming tools like combs, scissors or striking patches to any piece of the upper sneaker. You could also equip heel tabs or add custom lace metal dubraes, featuring Karabo Poppy’s signature word-mark graphics. Karabo Poppy’s customizable Air Force 1 collection went live 7 November 2019 and were sold out within a few days.
Sneaker Exchange Hosts a 2-Day Event
South Africa’s biggest sneaker event made sneaker heads happy by adding an extra day to the event. After 5 years of successfully hosting Sneaker Exchange as a one-day event, the founders Zaid Osman and Tebogo Lepito felt it was time to add more meat to the event due to the growth of the sneaker community. This gave them the opportunity to create more of an experience for the visitor. Being the only event where sneaker enthusiasts could buy, sell or trade sneakers, it’s become the place to flex on other sneaker heads for street cred. The event now includes other drawcards like music, art, fashion and more. Enthusiasts enjoyed an event jam-packed with local and international fashion brands, rare sneakers, streetwear, as well as some of the SA’s top live performing acts!
Nike Ultra-Rare Sneakers Sold for 56K
The South African sneaker reselling community has over the past 3 to 4 years has shown steady growth. It’s becoming the norm to witness sneaker enthusiasts camping outside stores and wrestling other enthusiasts to acquire a pair of limited sneakers for their collection or to resell. Although the market is growing, to date, it seems like the spend limit for South African’s was 10K when buying one of these sneakers. But on the 3rd of September 2019 that all changed when Sole Knowledge founder Bernie Wicomb told Business Insider that they sold an ultra-rare pair of Nike Air Max One, Parra Amsterdam sneakers for 56K to a South African collector. He went on to claim that to his knowledge, this is the most expensive pair of sneakers ever bought by a South African. This act alone signals just how much potential for reselling there is within the South African sneaker community.
So, what are your sneaker highlights for 2019? What did we miss? Comment below and let us know your Highlights.