Science of the Drop

Chris Gibbs, Union
Apparel: Kaws x Union Tokyo collection
Sneaker: Off White x Nike Presto

“The thing about a ‘drop’ that really makes it work to perfection is, it needs the following ingredients: well-designed product; limited quantities and distribution as compared to the demand; special/unique product; specific targeted customer; specific targeted marketing. Both the Off-White x Nike Presto and the Kaws x Union Tokyo collection had all of those ingredients. Some drops have less so they don’t do as well. That’s not to say they are a failure. They just they aren’t as good as when you have all of these.”

Treis Hill, Alife
Sneaker: Adidas Originals by Pharrell Williams/Nike Off-White Collection 2.

“It’s all about marketing, design and star power. There is so much excitement and energy around Virgil [Abloh], Pharrell and Yeezy at the moment that most of what they produce with Nike and Adidas is certain to keep the registers ringing.”

Bernie Gross, Extra Butter
Apparel: Extra Butter Kappa World Cup collection
Sneaker: Off-White x Air Jordan 1 “UNC.”

“For the apparel capsule, we tapped into the high anticipation and energy leading into the World Cup, which tends to captivate our audience at a global level and brought in Kappa, which not only has roots in soccer to make a genuine story, but also has just been a hot-selling brand for our consumer right now. We added our Extra Butter twist and storytelling to produce more fashion lifestyle pieces, which helps differentiate it from the typical performance sports-oriented apparel fans are limited to buying.

Virgil Abloh’s partnership with Nike and Jordan Brand has been phenomenal and we knew we had to create energy for our consumers who have been eagerly waiting for these to release. We created a special in-store installation by converting one of our entrances with a full “Off-White” utilitarian label makeover, as well as a giant Off-White x Jordan shoe box that functioned as a light box. After customers make their purchase, they were able to actually walk into the box and have the lid open for a reveal photo op. We found it to be very engaging and customers appreciated that there was something special waiting for them other than just a register transaction.”

Andrew Raisman, Copdate
Sneaker: Nike x Virgil Abloh’s “The Ten”/Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 1/9

“If a successful sneaker drop is measured in total dollars and its sheer impact on global fashion, footwear and pop culture, then there’s no question that Nike x Virgil Abloh’s ‘The Ten’ would be one of the top sneaker drops in recent memory, 2018 included.

However, if we’re looking at success from a ‘purists’ perspective, in terms of its impact on sneaker culture, then Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 1/97 was definitely one of the most popular drops of 2018. The design won Nike’s Vote Forward competition, was the first collaboration of its kind, and dropped on Air Max Day backed by tons of activations in cities all over the U.S. and abroad. Wotherspoon himself drove around in a van painted to look like the sneaker and made special appearances to release pairs at different locations. Sneakerheads haven’t been this enthusiastic about a release in a long time.”