A few days ago, I went by my local Gabe’s and spotted two pairs of Rocawear sneakers that bore a lot of similarities with the Nike Air Jordan 1 High. They were pretty much a rip off/replica version of the Chicago & Fragment Jordan 1 high. I actually took pictures of both shoes, a recording as well and posted it on youtube, see video below
I thought the shoes were going to be the object of heavy criticism but I received mixed reviews, some were actually approving of the shoes ( but were only disappointed with the quality of the materials used) and others were against it. But to my surprise , one of the individuals that was watching the video ended up asking me to pick up two pairs on his behalf. A few years ago, this would have been intolerable in the sneaker community, and folks selling or wearing sneakers like these would be excommunicated from the sneaker community. As I was reviewing the comments, one of the people mentioned the Air Kiy; I had never heard of that shoe before so I took to google and ebay and was flabbergasted with what I found. Ladies and gentlemen, sales are booming on eBay with a myriad of a new breed of Nike and Jordan lookalikes. I wrote a post last year in which I made the observation that eBay was flooded with openly fake sneakers, see link below
Because of legal issues associated with selling replica sneakers, counterfeiters have figured out an ingenious way to market their prototypes. They’ve invented a new breed of replicas by creating their own derivatives of the Nike/Jordan Brand sneakers. They found a very interesting loophole that is serving them well. Instead of selling blatant replica Nike or Jordan sneakers with the Nike swoosh logo on them, they are recreating silhouettes and colorways of the legitimate pairs with their own logos on it…This is brilliant and it ‘s working, let me show you how much sales these shoes are generating. We’ll start look at each brand separately.
This shoe is called the Reves Paris X Air Kiy Black Toes and is currently listed on eBay for $415. The shoe was certainly inspired by the Jordan 1 Black Toe, see picture below
This isn’t even the retail price of the shoe, this is the RESALE price, which is astonishing. I counted about 106 pairs of assorted Air Kiy sold on eBay between December 1 and January the 10th and prices ranged anywhere from $300 to $800. You can verify my numbers by visiting eBay completed listings yourself ,CLICK HERE
The chart above gives you a breakdown of the average resale value of the Air Kiy Reves Paris edition by size. The shoe has a retail value of $190 and its resale value sits between ($320-$500). Basically if you have a pair of the Air Kiy Reves Paris and resell it, your profits will sit within the ($80-$250) depending on the size you have in your possession, the mark up is between (40% and 120%). This is insane for a Jordan prototype.
I went on the Air Kiy website and it’s still under construction. The owner doesn’t even have a fully functioning website at the moment yet he/she is still able to generate sales to the point where his brand has value on the resale market. now let’s jump on to the next brand.
Now this brand’s owner is more audacious, he/she actually camouflage the front of the Nike logo with a very vulgar gesture , basically defying the brand. The picture above is again a replica version of the Jordan 1 Red toe, but this brand is also munching off the Nike Air Force 1, see picture below
The level of subversion is mind boggling, let’s see how many sales these shoes generated. 146 sales were generated from these sneakers ranging from $160 to $495
You can double check my findings by visiting eBay, CLICK HERE
Now we’re on to the last brand amongst the ones that I spotted.
This is again another prototype of the Jordan 1 with a very ironic name ” fugazi” ( fugazi means fakes). The swoosh logo was replaced with a revolver. Let’s see how many sales these generated
Are you ready for this, the Fugazi one generated about 326 sales ranging anywhere from $270 to $350. Fugazi actually has a website and here is their disclaimer
If you’re wondering how they are getting away with it, let me give you some thoughts that came to my mind.
Consumers mostly care about the look, the cool factor and the quality of the materials used on these sneakers. I bet you that most of the folks selling these prototypes have a large social media following, and let’s face it, the sneakers look amazing. They come with incredible packaging, they are built with premium materials and they have a ” cool” factor attached with them. Talking about the “cool factor” , let me expand on that. When the NMD was introduced, what made it popular was the free spirited/ rebellious feeling it brought with it. It quickly caught on because people love to defy and resist the status quo, they system in place and big corporations. These prototypes serve that purpose, those that are making and wearing them are basically rebelling against Nike, and somehow they are viewed as heroes because society loves to root for the minority. This is why this is working so well. And honestly I do not blame them because Nike has been getting away with too much i.e. their shoes are almost inaccessible now because the market has been flooded with bots. People are tired of missing out on shoes on release dates. So they’ve created a better alternative by recreating the models they are seeking after. Look at the pictures below
The picture above is the epitome of defying Jordan Brand ( mimicking the SNKRS app reservation message) , this is incredible, they even have a release date for these replicas, see screenshot below
The shoe above is called the Air Kiy Reves Paris and a total of 2207 pairs were made and completely sold out.
One thing we can be sure of is that the Jordan 1 is highly coveted. Am I mad at people that are munching off the Jordan 1? I would be a hypocrite if I said I’m appalled with what I’ve seen. I ‘m just mad I didn’t think about recreating my own version of the 1’s before they did. Is Nike/ Jordan Brand going to do anything about it. I don’t know and I don’t even think it’s going to work. But frankly, it will be useless for Nike to try to do anything because as soon as the manufacturers in China realize how good these replicas are doing, they are going to start making them and that is going to kill the market of the prototypes.
Don’t be surprised if you see very soon a pair of Air Housakicks 1.