A Look at People of Influence, the Sneakers they Wear, and How it Affects You

During the Fall of 2017 it was announced that Adidas passed Air Jordan as the number two sneaker brand. A monster move for the 3 Stripes that has been in the works for some time now is no doubt due to the popularity of the ultra boost sneaker and the influencer power of Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.

A brand that was falling to the wayside in the world of hyped Jordan releases and innovative technology from the minds of Nike basketball found a way to distinguish themselves and shoot to the top. In 2013 when Adidas poached Kanye from Nike and paired their new boost technology with the occult following surrounding Ye, the Adidas Boost 350 “Turtle Dove” dropped onto the scene and began a long line of success between the two.

Although Forbes Magazine probably has some other things to say about the formula behind Adidas’ business savvy, the main point of focus here is that Adidas was able to leverage the virality and popularity of one of culture’s biggest stars to achieve business success. This move tells us a lot about how we, the consumer, choose to make purchases. Our perception of people like Ye and the things they are aligned with help tell us if we like it or not. Very simply put, there’s this primal ‘connect the dots’ concept in our brains where we like the things that the people we like, like. Like, get it?  One brand taking full advantage of this is Converse.

A rather underwhelming sneaker brand, the Boston based company has relied heavily on the classic Chuck Taylor All-Star and One Star silhouettes to keep the lights on. Purchased officially by Nike in 2003, the once niche sneaker brand has recorded unexpectedly high profits in recent years. The short answer to their success is that they have been partnering with the right people.

Recent deals with young, cool, alternative influencers like Tyler, The Creator and more recently West coast rapper, Vince Staples have helped to solidify Converse as a brand that understands the culture and is in touch with the pulse of the sneakerheads. Even more recently Converse has teased images around two new collaborations with A$AP Mob member A$AP NAST and underground Swedish rapper, Yung Lean. The two latest editions to the list of Converse collaborators has shown that the brand is paying attention to the culture and is definitely making the right decisions.

 Their ability to truly capture current talented and sought-after social figures has been their cornerstone in marketing to today's consumer. Without collabs with people like Vince and Tyler, Converse would still be a boring, monochromatic, archaic basketball sneaker. Now it's a brand with more depth, influencer power, new colorways and a brand that has its fingers tight on the pulse of sneaker culture.

Of course Converse isn’t the first brand to pull this off, but they undoubtedly are executing some of the best collabs in the sneaker game right now.