Demand is so high for the latest sneaker collaboration from Adidas and rapper Kanye West that most intending buyers will need to win a ballot to be offered the chance to pay $260 and secure a pair.
Selected stores on Saturday will each have just 12 pairs of the Adidas Originals Yeezy 350 Boost to sell, and most are expected to allocate them to customers via a ballot system.
One retailer, Marais in Melbourne's Bourke Street, has already taken more than 100 registrations, with the 'winners' to be announced on Saturday.
Chaotic scenes and hysteria have greeted previous 'drops' from the Yeezy range. Melbourne's Little Bourke Street was blocked earlier this year when hundreds of buyers flocked to retailer Sneakerboy where just six pairs of the Yeezy 750 Boost shoe were being sold for $450 a pair.
Those who missed out paid upwards of $US2000 ($2720) on eBay for the more desirable sizes. There's every reason to assume those who score a pair of 350 Boosts will also clean up on the resale market.
"These are a collectable investment," says Marais founder and managing director Hiromi Yu. "While some people love wearing them because they are so comfortable, a lot will be keeping them on a shelf, or display table. I have customers who keep their sneakers in a glass cabinet in the bedroom, almost like a trophy."
Yu says secrecy around the new sneaker has been tight. "We didn't get to see them until delivery a few days ago," she says. "There's a lot of anticipation around this release."
Yu says West has been a loyal client of the Marais boutique. "He knows exactly what he wants," she says. "Last time he was in he picked up some products by Givenchy and Balmain."
Cool and comfortable
As for his sneaker design, she says he prefers cool and comfortable over bling. The Yeezy 350 is a low-top sneaker in 'Pirate Black', featuring a tonal Primeknit material and colour-coordinated outsoles.
She says there is still a very healthy market for collectable high-fashion sneakers by the likes of Adidas and Guiseppe Zanotti.
"A lot of our sneaker customers are high-net-worth individuals, such as executives and CEOS," she says.
The Adidas Originals Yeezy 350 Boost in Pirate Black will be available at Marais, selected Adidas stores, Incu, Sneakerboy, Republic and Espionage (Sydney). They will retail for $260 to those who win the right to buy them.
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