The world of tennis, collectible toys and urban art

The tennis They are that footwear that is used to have comfort in our feet, it is the shoe that will best take care of the bones, tendons and even their skin. The reason for its existence is to do high-performance sports and little by little it was adopted to use it as the ideal shoe for long hours of work or even as the rest shoe.

These shoes originated in 1938 under the invention of rubber – an elastic polymer that comes in the form of a milky emulsion of various plants and that can also be made synthetically based on latex, it is elastic, waterproof and resistant – made by the scientist American, Charles Goodyear, this moldable and resistant material was adopted to the shoes.

“The rise of tennis comes from the basketball players in the days of Michael Jordan and all the players who were at that time began to buy more sneakers to collect more than to use, and in Mexico this happened with the arrival of stores that began to bring selected products “said Kurt Art, Co-founder of Sneaker Fever in interview for The Economist.

The pioneering brands in implementing rubber were the brand of cloth sports shoes “Keds”, followed by “Converse”; This iconic tennis brand brought out the “All Star” sneaker in the 1920s, in collaboration and resounding support of the basketball player, Chuck Taylor, a name that has remained in one of the All Star types of silhouettes ever since. Impressive for the comfort, lightness and size of the footwear that such a sneaker invention was worn by the American basketball team at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

It was in the 70s that the rush to use Converse it was infected to all people and all genders. From there, various silhouettes began to appear under various signatures, for example: Puma, Adidas, Air Jordan, Nike, Fila and Reebok.

Converse: EE Photo: Archive

A collector of sneakers or a sneakerhead, a name given to it in the world of fashion, it is more peculiar than it sounds, it is a fashion that plays with the consumer’s feelings and everything possible is done to be exclusive. A sneakerhead, looks at all the details, from the laces, the sole, the insole, the cut, the collaboration, the colors, the materials with which they were made, even in the box in which the pair comes. There are also sneakerheads that only buy a single brand and have all possible pairs in their wardrobe.

Usually, each week worldwide there are approximately seven releases and many times a ticket is bought that gives you access only to be able to buy one of the exclusive pairs. Such is the case of the recent collection of “Air Jordan 1 High OG“In collaboration with the brand In my way. For this you have to be very attentive to the launches, to the dynamics that the exclusive boutiques bring out, to the schedules, even if there are huge lines of the stores to acquire the ticket that gives the right to the possible purchase of the desired pair.

In Mexico the most representative store is “Lust”, An establishment that always brings the coveted, is located in Mazaryk, Polanco, Mexico City.

This taste is not cheap at all since tennis shoes today range from 1,500 pesos – which would be about Converse basic – up to Adidas Yeezy, which range from 6,5000 pesos and if you are looking for resale they can cost up to 22,000 pesos.

The world of sneakers The tennis, is fused with the aesthetic current of the Street Wear —Outdoor clothing—, the peculiarity of this sector is based on having some fashion or iconic accessory— wearing hype —a concept that is called luxury urban fashion— at all times. In this case we are talking about the hype in sneakers, but this trend is also complemented by clothing, collectible toys or interior decoration items at home. To say that a pair is “hyped” means that some artist of the great influencers in this trend, for example, the American rapper Travis Scott uses tennis silhouettes Air Jordan. Under his collaboration for the shoe and whether the paparazzi see him with that silhouette, plus the launch that he uploads it to his social network Instagram or if he uses them in one of his concerts, this event causes him to go up in price in general and for Stranger than that, the pair can become the sensation.

In Mexico, this wave of tennis collectors has been growing by leaps and bounds, such is the case of a group of tennis enthusiasts, they created Sneaker Fever. Since 2013 this team has promoted their taste through social networks such as Facebook and Instagram and for 4 years they have held two events as an exhibition that bears by name Sneakers N’Toys which takes place the first semester of each year. In this one, the attendees are more niche and in Sneakers N’Trucks, The edition is made at the end of the year, which is more familiar and for the general public, with which, they have had up to a capacity of 80,000 attendees in a whole weekend.

The co-founder and partner of this event, Kurt Art, told us: “It was very curious how we started. We had a collectors meeting, we wanted to do something tiny and we did it at the Mujam (Toy Museum), in a tiny room. We were approximately 15 exhibitors, I remember that there was Lust and Barrio Warrior, tennis boutiques, the circle was very closed, right now whole families are going to look for a pair of tennis shoes without having to be so nailed in the niche “, said Kurt.

Toys to admire and collect

This edition that includes the small version of the year is that of “Sneakers N’ Trucks”, Will take place next Saturday, December 18, at the Monumental Plaza de Toros, with more than 40 sneakers stores and 12 exhibitors specialized in toys from international and national designers, among them we will find the national art of Joe Chip, a brand of collectible toys that this year the street wear luxury collectors market celebrated its first anniversary.

The “Art Toy”Started out strongly in 2002, it was a wave of designers and artists intervening 3D figures, all exploring contemporary art. At the international level, the world of tennis is accompanied by a taste for Bearbricks or the toys of the artist and designer Brian Donnelly, famously known as Kaws. Donnelly makes limited edition figurines and is also known for his t-shirts and collaborations with tennis brands.

The Bearbricks are the most desired toys and are a fusion of Legos – geometric toys that develop motor skills – and the silhouette of bears, produced in Japan by the Medicom company since 1996. These toys have been the canvas of countless collaborations such as have been haute couture brands such as: Chanel when it was under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld and with the Italian designer of the eponymous firm, Salvatore Ferragamo.

On the contemporary artistic side there are collaborations with artists such as: Andy Warhol, the celebrated Pop Art artist; Jean-Michel Basquiat, the American artist belonging to the trend of neo-expressionism; Jackson Pollock, painter belonging to the current of abstract art; and Keith Haring, the artist and social activist and street art icon.

In this edition we will find this type of toy that the co-founder Kurt Art told us that “at the beginning of the year 2000 the strong wave began by the Bearbrick and the Kaws, toys that are important pieces of having at least one small one that belongs to the sneakerhead ”.

This exhibition, which will have access to a previous ticket, will cost 110 pesos, and the entire family is expected, even pets can be taken.

“In this pandemic, people had more time to inform themselves and from my perspective they learned how this world moved and I think that the number of people who are now fans of collectible tennis shoes has increased by 200%,” said Kurt Art.

The growth of sneakerheads and toy collectors have made great strides after two thousand and year after year they gain strength, since the union has already grown and they have formed great ties with the help of social networks, their strength is to show off and create community through from Instagram. With the help of this network are enthusiasts without gender restriction.

Such is the case of the strength of this wave that now it is more common for us to find exhibitions or activations in Pop-up stores (stores that sell various brands), to see a launch, as well as find special pieces from a designer. and in this way it continues to promote and enjoy the tennis and collectible toys industry.

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