Sneaker Head Industry, Collecting Subculture and its Impact

• Collecting Subculture – the sneaker head industry
     a sneaker head is a person who collects, trades, or admires sneakers as a hobby. The birth of sneakerhead culture in the United States came in the 1980s and can be attributed to two major sources: basketball, specifically the emergence of Michael Jordan and his eponymous Air Jordan line of shoes released in 1985, and the growth of hip hop music. The boom of signature basketball shoes during this era provided the sheer variety necessary for a collecting subculture, while the Hip-Hop movement gave the sneakers their street credibility as status symbols. Sneaker brands such as Nike and Adidas started a collecting subculture by releasing limited edition pairs, which makes the value of the footwear higher after the release date.
     While the boom of the sneaker collection industry is happening, footwear companies are slowly becoming a symbol of abusive labor practices. The business affects workers in developing countries, arguably negatively, and positively in some aspects. The outcome of this project is to give light to this subject.
Social commentary on a materialistic, consumerist society
Consumerist society as a social status
Limited edition products inflate their value because these companies control them/not necessarily superior in quality in comparison to non limited edition counterparts
Fur, crocodile skin, snakeskin as a social status
Precedents, case studies, research = condition, situation, problem – topic keywords = design action, intervention, disruptions, design outcomes – audience, users, demographic – outcome research = effects, implications, outcomes, goal, change, impact
Look into the production of these products
     Collectible sneakers
     Product Design
     Print will consist of children, pollution, low wages,
     What if there was a tangible object for sale, something not very valuable and the proceed goes to charity?
     (series) Children in a playground building things
     How much do we know about the products we buy?
     collectibles – limited screen prints?
     -look at sneakers/patterns and turn them into something more impactful and communicates the message

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