The global sneaker market was valued at $79 billion in 2020 and is predicted to reach $120 billion by 2026. These are huge numbers considering sneakers were once a symbol of athleticism and now have progressed into a symbol of fashion at enormous prices such as in the US and UK.
Makers have been making fortunes by creating limited numbers of styles. A huge industry has now evolved in the US particularly to buy these and sell them at vastly inflated prices. People queue for hours to get hold of them and find easy sales at universities and websites.
But how does the market look for rare sneakers in Cambodia?
Of course, anyone who has lived in Cambodia for more than a week knows that at any market in the country it is easy to pick up a huge array of copied merchandise with sneakers selling for as little as $8 or a copied set of expensive fake fashionable Yeezys for $20. They seem the first choice for many people in the country.
You can also head to Aeon Mall but one reporter who visited there found that the trainer stores within the mall only stock basic trainers with no real “stand out” pairs on sale.
The most expensive pair of trainers on the planet are Nike Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordan’s valued at $2 million, although these were coated in 24 carat gold, followed closely by a pair of GAME WORN Michael Jordan’s Fast Breaks worth $190,373.
Speaking to Bob Mars, the US owner of CamboKicks, a specialist sneaker company in Cambodia, said: “CamboKicks have been operating since 2016. We were one of the first in the industry to set up. I believe over the years the market has grown drastically to where you can see a growing demand in rare sneakers. Sneakers are becoming more accessible and easier to acquire compared with back in the old days. Our most popular sneakers are Nike Air Force 1s. Sneakers can take from seven to 14 days to arrive and our rarest sneaker to source was a pair of F&F UNDFTD Sample Air Jordan 4s. They took around two to three weeks of searching before we even found a pair in the size the client requested. They cost $30,000.”
Xily Ken, owner and founder of Frosty Work, another growing sneaker provider in Cambodia, told Khmer Times yesterday: “Frosty work was established in December 2020 after I fell in love with streetwear fashion and imagined one day I would see this type of fashion in my own country – not just on a TV show or movie.
“The streetwear and sneaker market in Cambodia has grown so much over the past year and you can find people dressing to impress with expensive brands like Nike, Adidas, Balenciaga, Vans, Off-white etc. Therefore, I am very happy to see the market open up for people to own brands such as these and for a reasonable price. Our most popular sneaker is Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High University Blue.” They cost between $320 and $450 depending on size locally.
The Cambodian footwear market is due to reach $8 million by the end of 2021 and projected to reach $12 million by 2025, with most of these sales being driven online.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.