Watching this “reseller” documentary is fitting for a #tbt. I know most will view the piece as an introspective on hypebeast thirst but I’ve digested the videos as a blast-from-the-past and reflection on how much this game’s changed. But first off, I won’t front like I’ve never flipped anything. In fact, I’ve done my share of “reselling”. However, I’ve never lined up with dreams of posting for eBay wealth. Most of everything I’ve sold has been a result of simply unloading what I didn’t need, hooking up friends, or even buyers remorse. But more on that later.
So what do you mean the game’s changed? To sum it up, the major difference between now and the past was who actually lived the life vs who emulated it. Sneaker culture, streetwear, and its associated brands all came together because that was the culture you lived, not because it was the look you wanted to front. But unfortunately, that’s what I see today. The appearance without the knowledge or history backing it. I’m talking about life experience and how that culture built you from the ground up. For me, I can easily say it was skateboarding and Hip Hop music. I feel both of these areas shaped the streetwear game in major ways today’s cats don’t realize. Skating and Hip Hop exposed me to brands such as Conart to X-Large to even Stussy during their rasta/surf era.
It was about personal connections and those were mine.
These same connections had me feeling ways about sneakers. More specifically, that feeling I got when I held a fresh pair of military 4s and begged my parents for it. Or maybe it was the constant Spike Lee voice in my head telling me “it’s gotta be the shoes”? Whatever the case was, these were my personal stories and how I lived that life.
Question is, where is that today? Watching the Complex documentary, I don’t see any stories relating to their love of the game and why they’re in it. And that’s what perpetuates the underlying problem of resellers in their film. We have a proliferation of hypebeasts creating a demand for a product they have absolutely no clue or connection to. Enter the reseller. The economic supply and demand answer to this lifeless culture. When Nike launched their inaugural retro program in the late 90s it was a god-send for kicks-fiends world-wide. No line-ups, no re-selling, just straight up cop if you were down. That’s the heritage right there and that’s the heritage we’re missing today.
Were you really about that life? Forums such as NT and SF soon emerged, which was cool because heads still traveled to be true grail hunters. And if you really fiended, you would refer to Japanese magazines such as Boon or Street Jack to satiate your appetite. No blogs, online Supreme shops, and the word “hypebeast” had not become part of the cultural vernacular, yet. Reflecting on today, its all just mind-boggling and perhaps even trivial. So with that said, I hope you take the time to watch the Complex documentary and perhaps reflect what exactly the culture you prescribe to be a part of really means to you. Let me know in the comments below how you feel about the current state of fashion and sneakers. If this article hit home or not? and how you feel about resellers.