Has The Streetwear Resale Market Gone Too Far?
The streetwear resale market is booming more than ever before but how long it can continue to grow?
The concept of streetwear resale has been going for quite some time as brands try to get the upper hand by releasing the most exclusive collections they can dream up. However, more recently, the amount of items appearing online and in stores for resale has increased dramatically. Brands such as Supreme have actually built a reputation for exclusive releases in very limited quantities and other brands have followed suit such as such as Yeezy, Gosha Rubchinsky and Palace to name a few. Although this may just be healthy competition between different brands, the question in more recent times must be asked, is the resale market now becoming too saturated?
Above: Yeezy mania, streetwear enthusiasts wait to get their hands on the latest Yeezy trainer outside the 18 Montrose store in Nottingham.
As with any resale market, some people treat it as a business and there are even stores and online retailers who stock only limited edition and exclusive items. The concern is that these items in particular are often sold to people at hugely inflated prices, almost triple or quadruple what the original RRP was. This could be considered unfair as there are people who would certainly take advantage of this and buy up as many of these releases as they can get their hands on. What was once traditionally the streetwear enthusiasts, and still predominantly is, queuing up for releases etc now has an element of the ticket tout mentality behind.
Taking it to extremes, there have been stories of people actually paying teenagers as little as £10 just to stand in line for hours at a time to get their hands on the latest releases for resale. As the demand gets bigger than ever before drops are also becoming increasingly harder to control with the latest Stone Island x Supreme AW17 drop in October last yeat seeing the Police getting involved, having to close the London Stone Island store.
Above: Old Bill on the scene at the Supreme x Stone Island AW18 drop.
Streetwear resale sites such as grailed.com, which really show the sheer size of the market as a fully fledged buying and selling platform. Like the ebay of the streetwear world, streetwear fanatics can purchase anything from sought after Supreme, Stone Island Reflective Jackets and the latest Snow Beach drop generally fetching for more than the original price. Launched in 2014, the Grailed concept is unique and proves just how the big the resale market really is as well as becoming the biggest and the first ‘go to’ platform of its kind.
Another problem facing the resale market is the sheer amount of releases these days that seem to be limited edition or exclusive. The danger with this is that exclusive may well become more and more normal as brands release more stuff to keep up with the demand. In turn people will be paying silly money for items that will be yesterdays news when the next drop is announced.
Above: On the rooftops with the grailed.com team.
The resale market will probably never be properly regulated, with brands being able to sell their limited edition drops in minutes and the people that buy them making more and more money off the subsequent resale. As with any unregulated business there are other problems that it faces such as counterfeiting with the likes of Supreme just winning a lawsuit in Italy over counterfeiting.When you imagine paying hundreds for something that is a ‘knock off’ you’re likely to by put off ever trying to buy similar items again.
At the moment the streetwear resale market is going through something of a boom, however, with more and more frequent releases by brands who know exactly what they’re doing on a weekly if not daily basis, and people hoovering up everything in sight to resell for profits, something will eventually have to give.