Sneakers have undoubtedly crossed the line of high fashion multiple times over the last decade. It is becoming more apparent that streetwear is thus becoming intersected with the realm of high fashion luxury and collectables. Due to trailblazers such as the late Virgil Abloh and Nigo, the latter having recently assumed the role of creative director at Kenzo, the confluence of streetwear and luxury markets has become sort of a tradition and cliche.
Although the visual style of streetwear and sneakers diverges from that of traditional luxury, the shared culture of producing highly exclusive items coveted by discerning collectors seamlessly integrates them with products such as handbags and fine art. As this merging continues over the years, the demand among luxury consumers for exceptionally rare, specialized, and distinctive items has only intensified.
The ascent of streetwear and sneakers into the realm of luxury items has not only elevated other forms of collectables. StockX, initially recognized for its sneaker resale platform, has expanded its reach in recent years to encompass categories such as trading cards, collectable toys like Bearbrick and Funko Pop figures, and comic books. A notable product on the platform last year, standing shoulder to shoulder with items like the Nike Dunk Panda and the Omega x Swatch Moonswatch, was a Lego "Stranger Things" set, experiencing a remarkable 355% year-over-year growth in sales. This brings the weird “triple intersection” of cultures that we have seen recently. Streetwear, high fashion… and geek/pop culture?
There is one thing that holds these three cultures together-  Resellibility
For numerous purchasers, these items hold significance as investment pieces. Whether it's a KAWS doll or a pair of sneakers donned by a prominent NBA player during a game, these items not only store value but also increase in worth over time. Even for those at the upper echelons of luxury spending, the most affluent customers desire assurance that what they're investing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in will maintain its value over the long term. At the end of the day, cash is king and exclusivity is enviable. A pure product of drop culture.
Kollectible Kings: Supreme  
Since 1994, Supreme has used drop culture to generate widespread consumer excitement through street culture, embellishing skate decks, five-panel hats, and hoodies with their unmistakable box logo. However, the brand's reputation extends beyond just streetwear. Throughout its 25-year history, Supreme has marketed an array of products ranging from stickers, tool kits, and money guns to key knives and inflatable chairs. These subcultural accessories, alternatively viewed as either functional items or display items, enjoy a consistent cycle of purchase, resale, and collection.
James Jebbia, the founder of Supreme, has successfully channelled the vibrancy of the downtown New York skate scene, transforming it into what is widely recognized as a global luxury brand. The brand's collaborations span a spectrum, including skate decks crafted by Damien Hirst and fanny packs envisioned by Kim Jones for Louis Vuitton.
Undoubtedly, Supreme's integration into the broader apparel establishment can be attributed to its transformative influence on the industry. As a former scrappy skate shop, Supreme redefined the rules of the game. Today, numerous luxury brands follow suit by releasing products through limited-edition drops, and our screens and cityscapes are saturated with unconventional fashion advertising and endorsements, a phenomenon shaped significantly by Supreme's innovative approach. Brands such as Corteiz have taken massive inspiration from Supreme’s early days in marketing but added a rough guerilla-style approach to their own brand. At the end of the day, hype sells a product faster than any sort of quality can and Corteiz is shaping up to be the young Padawan with Supreme as Jedi Master.  
It helps that skate gear and streetwear have been fully absorbed by the luxury establishment, too, and the types of surprising and ambitious collaborations that Supreme does better than anyone else are an accepted part of fashion’s commercial logic. 
“Every fashion brand these days are just trynna do what Preme has done for 30 years now”  - Tremaine Emory
A surprising change in strategy: Kith
On the other end of the streetwear collectable spectrum, there is Kith. 
 Ronnie Fieg's vision, inspired by a passion for sneakers and a commitment to craftsmanship, has propelled Kith beyond the traditional boundaries of retail. The brand has become synonymous with exclusivity and cultural prestige, drawing in a diverse community of sneakerheads and collectors. Where Supreme excels in hype, Kith excels in contemporary addiction and craftsmanship. Instead of slapping the Kith logo on almost every accessory known to man, Kith prefers to produce a well-made product that could be seen on the glass table of a mansion in Tuscany… artisanal, refined and boutique. From bottle openers to ashtrays and cutting boards, each piece remains of a high-quality standard. 
In 2023 Kith dabbled into geek and pop culture for the X-Men’s 60th anniversary. 
The Marvel | Kith collaboration with ASICS GEL-LYTE III Remastered saw the introduction of a captivating element of mystery with its seven colourways dedicated to iconic Marvel characters. Packaged in a co-branded collectable blind box, each pair is accompanied by a Marvel | Kith Deck trading card, each varying in rarity. Notably, the Black, Green, Gold, Blue, and Red cards are presented in co-branded PSA-graded slabs, marking a historic moment as the first instance where another brand's logo shares the grading on the tab alongside PSA's. In contrast, the Orange, Pink, and Silver cards are housed in one-touch cases, adding an extra layer of exclusivity to this unique and highly collectable collaboration. Each one of the seven colourways has an extremely cool design inspiration and story all relating to the X-Men comics. From honouring Storm’s silver and grey hair to Drawing inspiration from Wolverine’s X-Men Vol. 1 #139 appearance, this collab is one of the most exciting expansions of the Streetwear x Collectible culture yet and alot of people cannot wait to see more. 
Christmas is right around the door in 2023 and many streetwear collectibles are great gifts and stocking fillers. 
You can shop all Accessories and Collectibles here at Story.
Adam Jordan Moosa