Versace is aligning itself with sneaker enthusiasts.
For the release of its Chain Reaction sneaker, which will be available on April 26, Versace tapped Goat, a sneaker resale app, to be the only third-party retailer to sell the shoes. They will retail for $920, come in seven different colorways and were designed in partnership with rapper 2 Chainz. The sneaker will also be available on versace.com and in Versace’s SoHo store in New York.
“Goat has done well to disrupt the way people can find and buy authentic shoes,” said Salehe Bembury, head designer of sneakers at Versace who previously worked on Yeezy sneakers. “Goat not only allows us to extend the Versace brand to a passionate community of enthusiasts who appreciate sneakers, but we’re also able to showcase the design efforts behind the Chain Reaction and the preservation of the Versace details incorporated within the shoe. The Chain Reaction represents the rich heritage of Versace and we believe the silhouette is one that will resonate with sneaker fans everywhere.”
According to Daishin Sugano, the cofounder of Goat — who said the app’s founders had been in conversation with Versace over the past few months — the new sneaker and its distribution strategy are a clear attempt to align the brand with the sneaker-buying community; Goat currently has 7 million active users. Sugano explained certain details that would resonate with that community, including the Versace chain outsole, the shoe laces dipped in plastic, the braille that translates to “love” and the cupped insole, which is typically used in athletic sneakers to prevent lateral movement and promote comfort.
“The industry is changing,” said Sugano. “But I don’t think this is unnatural for us. People are looking for a one-stop shop and I think brands in general see us as being complementary and able to tell a story for our consumers who love sneakers.”
On the app itself, the Versace sneakers are currently on the release schedule with styles including the Air Vapormax Plus in silver gradient and the Air Max 97 CR in university red.
Sugano said there will be no restrictions to prevent buyers from reselling the sneaker on the app after they’ve purchased them at the retail price. Other luxury sneakers that are doing well on the site include the Gucci Rhyton leather sneakers, which have sold for $970 (they originally retailed for $820), and the Balenciaga Triple S sneakers, which retailed for $850 and have sold on the site for $1,040.
The sneaker resale market continues to grow and align with non-resale entities. Stadium Goods, which received backing from LVMH Luxury Ventures, is set to have a selling space within Nordstrom’s new men’s store in New York, and earlier this year Goat merged with Flight Club and raised $60 million in a series of funding led by Index Ventures.
Sugano believes these types of arrangements will only increase and at some point other sneaker brands will start to work directly with sneaker resale platforms.