Economies of Sneaker Culture in India

The sneaker industry is projected to be at approximately US $ 95 billion and is doubling at an exponential rate.
Economies of Sneaker Culture in India

Sneakers are not just worn for sports anymore but have become a must-have in people’s wardrobes. Globally, the sneaker industry is projected to be at approximately US $ 95 billion and is doubling at an exponential rate owing to its success to millennials and Gen Zs who look at the industry as a catalyst for self-expression, freedom of choice, and opinion. 

Indian society is inherently very status-driven, and hype plays right into it. Of course, it has its niche, but considering how hype products work as stocks with price fluctuation, the potential consumer market is way larger than it seems. The last 3 years have seen exponential growth in this space and we’re still about 5 years away from a peak. 

The resale market has grown from a niche space to a multibillion-dollar industry in the last decade, and India’s digital playground has proved to be conducive to this sneaker culture. 

Popular and limited edition sneakers can have people waiting in line for hours. But unique kicks are no longer just collectibles - they're rising in demand and are increasingly being recognized as a form of art. There's a lot of hype around the buying and selling of sneakers, and fewer people are buying to wear, while there is a huge audience who are buying to sell.

The global rise of basketball, celebrity culture, and technology has created the perfect platform for sneakers as a form of status and self-expression. Popular athletes have their own brand of sneakers, and it doesn’t stop at basketball. Famous musicians, hip-hop artists like Kanye West are heavily involved in similar deals, dropping contemporary and sleek kicks at frequent intervals. 

There’s no doubt that sneakers are growing faster than shoes. While the shoe market is projected to grow at a steady 3 percent, the sneaker market is doubling at 7 percent. Huge growth has taken place in the second-hand market, and it's surprising to understand how sneakers have proven to be a better investment than gold. An interesting example is the Off-White Air Jordan 1, which launched in 2018 with a retail price of US $ 190 and is now worth US $ 2,000 to US $ 3,000 in barely 3 years. While gold is not really the best form of investment today, it’s exciting to track how sneakers have outperformed the alternate assets, and that itself is pretty motivational and significant.


- This article is penned by Vedant Lamba, Founder, Mainstreet.

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