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21st March 2023

Where do sneakers stand in 2023?

The sneaker/ trainer industry has a strong grip over the street style economy and influence. We reviewed Kikikickz’s ‘Sneaker Obsession: A peak into the weird and wonderful sneakerverse’ to find out why and where the sneaker-verse is going next.
Where do sneakers stand in 2023?
Photo: Kikikickz, All Rights Reserved from Sneaker Obsession by Kikikickz (Flammarion, 2023)

We all have that one friend that is absolutely obsessed with trainers, and for good reason! Trainers have been a staple in the fashion industry since the 1980s for their streetwear style, comfort, and practicality. Now nearly every model-off-duty look features a classic pair of trainers like the Adidas Samba or New Balance 550 which become the hottest trend for a few months.

Since the pandemic, there’s been a significant increase in loungewear and more casual styling overall, making sneakers even more prevalent in everyday fashion. At the moment, we’re seeing a lot of neutral sneakers to go with the trending Copenhagen girl/Matilda Djerf vibe that’s all over Pinterest and TikTok, but more bold trainers are still seen in streetwear.

So how do you get your hands on such trainers without paying a fortune? How do you tell the difference between a fake and the real thing? French sneaker resale brand Kikikickz has all the answers for you in their book Sneaker Obsession, which we were lucky enough to get our hands on recently.

Photo: Nike from Sneaker Obsession by Kikikickz (Flammarion, 2023).

Sneaker resale is a huge industry that was worth $10 billion in 2021 and has been estimated to increase to $30 billion by 2030. The process involves reselling sneakers that are in perfect condition i.e. fresh out of the box and unworn as that’s when they have the highest value.

Whilst there are consignment stores, raffles, and events, there are also platforms such as Laced, StockX and Kikikickz which are “the most significant in terms of sales volume.” The latter is a French company that ships authentic sneakers internationally. Each pair arrives in its original packaging with the accessories and includes a certificate of authenticity from Kikikickz. They have collections like ‘Top 50’ and ‘La Parisienne’ meaning there’s something for everyone whether you’re a sneaker newbie or a long-term lover.

Trainers didn’t make much of an appearance in this year’s fashion month, with Spring/Summer 2023 being all about ballet flats, Mary-Janes, wedges, and cowboy/knee-high boots. However, they have been hugely popular off the runway; the trending brands and styles currently are Chloé Nama sneakers as worn by Katie Holmes and Lucy Boynton, neutral and subtle colour block sneakers, and futuristic kicks leaning into the Gorpcore trend (think chunky, colourful, and metallic!)

Sneaker Obsession recognises the ephemerality of sneaker trends and so has a whole chapter on the future of sneakers. It covers developments in the industry in terms of innovations and ecology with the rise of eco-friendly trainer brands, as well as market inclusivity and big brands’ commitments to major issues including sustainability and manufacturing.

Overall, the book covered a large breadth of information with chapters on how to spot fakes, the history of the sneaker’s breakthrough into the fashion industry, as well as spreads on classic brands and the hottest collaborations. It looks at the sneaker industry from a fairly neutral perspective given that the book was produced by one of the leading sneaker resale platforms, acknowledging that, like many parts of the fashion industry, it isn’t a perfect world.

I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in trainers whether that be as a lifetime fan or as a newcomer – the book has something for everyone.

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