There is no denying that we are living in an age of collaboration—but more than the team-up between different brands—there is none bigger than the crossover we are witnessing between fashion and art. Case in point: think Kim Jones partnering with Daniel Ashram for Dior Men spring/summer 2020 show, Virgil Abloh with Futura for Off-White, Alessandro Michele with Ignasi Monreal, and Coco Capitán with Petra Collins. Case made.
While all of the abovementioned artists are no slouch, perhaps there is none more prolific than Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami. From brands in the fashion realm like Louis Vuitton, UNIQLO and Comme des Garçons, to teaming up with fellow artists KAWS and Damien Hirst, and working with musicians Billie Eilish, Pharrell Williams and, perhaps the one that launched Murakami into the pop-culture consciousness, Kanye West, Murakami is a master collaborator.
And that's not even the half of it. It seems like Murakami has it all: not only is he highly valued as a collaborator, but his artworks are just as celebrated in the art realm. The reason for the demand for his work lies in his design ethos in his ‘Superflat’ series; where he is able meld both traditional and pop-culture with ease. One never overpowers the other, and both works exist in harmony, all seen through his wonderful strange yet amazing lens.
In light of his recent exhibition, From Superflat to Bubblewrap that is happening right now at Singapore's very own STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery, we will be examining his latest collaborative work with Japanese bag brand, PORTER.
Commodity: Takashi Murakami x PORTER belted bag
The collaboration was first teased when Murakami broke it out during Paris Fashion Week Men's. Unlike the snafu that was him mistaking a Kim Jones designed bag for Virgil Abloh's first effort for the Louis Vuitton, this news holds up. While the capsule collection between the two won't be available at the exhibition, this is what we know.
There will be three variations of the bags launched—a tote bag, a backpack and a belted bag version. Made in PORTER's signature bonded nylon, and available in the atelier's signature olive green colourway, the bags feature Murakami’s signature flowers as well as the logo from PORTER. While the tote bag was given love by rapper, Travis Scott, our favourite is the belted bag version—sleek and easy to style it on.
Where: PORTER’s online store and at their Omotesando, Marunouchi and Osaka stores.
When: 20th July
Price of the Takashi Murakami x PORTER belt bag on the resale market in the last 7 days: None. It seems like there isn't an early release of these bags available, and the only other person who we know got their hands on the bags, Travis Scott, doesn't seem like the kind who will be putting his one up on secondary resale sites.
Recommendation: Go short and prosper.
Ever since the debut of Kanye West's Graduation, Murakami's stock has been consistently rising. While it doesn't seem like it might be falling off anytime soon, his work is never more in demand right now. Couple with PORTER’s own rising stock with their brilliant collaboration with Fendi, you’ve got a power couple in the making with this capsule collection.
But it seems like our attention span is getting shorter, and there is always another collaboration or big drop to spend our cash on. With all due respect to this brilliant team-up between these two Japanese artisans, your chance for getting the most bang for your buck would be to flip it as soon as you get your hands on them.
With it being launched on a Japanese site and store, it will require some skill and know-how to get it to our sunny shores. What that means is limited reseller supply. Expect to be rewarded for your skills and watch this belted bag be sold for a pretty penny.
It has been a hot minute since our last edition of Cop the Drop, and for those who have been waiting for it, we apologise. (We were busy gallivanting around Europe for men's fashion week). But here is how we are going to make it up to you—we are going big. This week, we will be breaking down the most expensive item yet on Cop the Drop, a three-way collaborative effort between luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet, the streetwear maven Matthew Williams, and watch customiser Mad Paris.
Welcome to the big league guys.
There is no denying that Matthew Williams is going places. In a world inundated with collaborations, the founder and creative director of 1017 ALYX 9SM has wielded the art of partnerships that, in our personal opinion, have been better than anyone else in the industry. Williams has teamed up with the usual suspects like Nike and Vans, but it is his ability to translate his aesthetic and signature belt buckle with the likes of Moncler, Mackintosh and, the biggest coup of all, Kim Jones' vision at Dior Men, that really puts him at top of the hill as a master collaborator.
But the great ones never rest on their laurels. Williams further cements his hold on the throne with the debut of the Audemars Piguet x 1017 ALYX 9SM x Mad Paris Royal Oak timepiece. While details are still scarce, and the watch is still in the prototype stage, the buzz that it has caused it a testament to the midas touch of Williams.
Commodity: Audemars Piguet x 1017 ALYX 9SM x Mad Paris Royal Oak
So here is what we know: the watch is not an official release from Audemars Piguet, but rather, a customized version of an authentic Royal Oak with actual hardware from 1017 ALYX 9SM. The watch is completely matt black with the Audemars Piguet signature grand tapisserie dial and the traditional watch clasp will be replaced with the rollercoaster bucket from Alyx. But our favourite part of the watch and, one perhaps intentionally highlighted by Williams, is the screws on the case that he left untouched.
Not only does it add a nice contrast to the visual impact of the watch, but it also shines a light on the expert craftsmanship of Audemars Piguet. If you take a closer look, you'll notice that the screws are perfectly aligned to form a perfect circle. What that means is that the case was precisely machined so that when the screws are placed in, it sits in perfect orientation. It might be a small detail that might be easily glossed over, but for a designer like Williams who is just as obsessed over functionality as he is with details, it falls perfectly in line with his design ethos.
How: First come, first served
Retail: Price upon request
Price of the Audemars Piguet x 1017 ALYX 9SM x Mad Paris Royal Oak on the resale market in the last 7 days: None, that's how early in the game we are. But there is some information for us to estimate the price of this timepiece. Other Royal Oaks that have been customised by Mad Paris goes between SGD108,380 to SGD127,497. With the limited number that would be released by Mad Paris, we can expect it to go within the range of SGD150,00 to SGD200,000.
Recommendation: Swing big, miss big. Avoid as an investment piece.
Remember what we said earlier at the start of this week's column, this is the big leagues. We are talking about serious coin, guys. Money that can easily buy you a nice car, or put a down payment on a house. While the pieces are expected to be super limited, so are the pool of people with the means to afford it. It is an ultra-exclusive crowd. If you operate as a consigliere within the ultra-wealthy, then short it. For the rest of us mortals, we will be happy just to observe from afar.
Drake might have thrown shade at Adidas with the bar "check over stripes" in the Travis Scott 'Sicko Mode' record, but we at Cop The Drop prefer parity. So in this week's column, we are going to take a close look at the Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 V2 ‘Tephra’. But before we get into the value of it, it is time for a bit of history lesson—I mean, you got the know the context for your Yeezy flex and how Kanye West got to this point—if not what kind of sneakerhead are you?
Kanye's relationship with Nike and Adidas is well documented, but way before that, he had a sneaker collaboration called ‘Don’ with the French luxury giant Louis Vuitton. In a way, Kanye paved the way for Virgil Abloh to be the disruptive force that he is today in both the streetwear and luxury fashion scene.
There is no denying that Kanye has mad cultural currency and for a young man growing up in Chicago–where Michael Jordan was starring as a superhero in a Bull's uniform–Kanye and Nike seem like a perfect fit. In fact, in an interview, Kanye likened Nike to Obama: “perfect” but also “not really going to change anything”. Ultimately the split between the two boiled down to royalties for the sales of the Air Yeezys and Kanye feeling slighted by the design team at Nike.
But it is not all bad, since the debut of the Adidas Yeezy Boost in 2015, the sneaker line gave a huge shot in the arm for the German sporting giant. Remember the NMDs and the Pharrell collaborations coupled with the frenzy over the Yeezy Boosts? For a moment it looked like stripes had the upper hand over checks.
Kanye wanted to ride that momentum, but flooding the market with your stock is not always the best idea when launching a product, but neither is artificially creating scarcity by limiting qualities for prolong periods of time.
What Adidas did was to launch a limited amount of the Adidas Yeezys at first, before slowly increasing the number of sneakers that they put out. You get the cult-ish buzz of a big launch while still riding that wave for the sell through. While this writer is a tad bored of the onslaught of the same silhouette with different colourways, the demand for Yeezy doesn't seem to be waning.
Commodity: Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 V2 ‘Tephra’
Now you know how the Yeezy line got here, it is time to take a closer look at the Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 V2 ‘Tephra’ colourway. The sneaker leans more towards the chunky variant, with a patchwork of different grey tones in various materials like leather, nubuck and suede, finished with reflective details throughout.
Where: Adidas Pacific Plaza and adidas.com.sg/YEEZY
When: June 15
How: First come, first served
Price of the Yeezy Boost 700 V2 on the resale market in the last 7 days: Peaking at SGD556, with lows of SGD450. Average price is SGD534.
Recommendation: Hole onto your pretty pennies.
While it took a while for Kanye to deliver on his promise on Yeezys for everyone, he actually delivered on it. While the retail price remains high (even at SGD450, it is more than twice the retail price of the Sacai x Nike Blazers), Adidas has released an unprecedented amount of the Yeezy Boost. While the early release pairs have driven the price up, once the 15 June comes by, expect the price of the Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 V2 ‘Tephra’ to drop and hold at SGD40-50 above retail price on the secondary market.
But then again, why spend SGD450 just to make SGD50 dollars? You might run the risk of liquidating the sneaker too quickly, copping a loss and eating into your cash to invest into other sneakers.
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i love all my children equally, but this one has his own room in my heart… the best version of our original idea… the tonal summertime sail launches globally this saturday… the story and tones dive back directly into the dna of our proposition with the @nike x @fearofgod journey… we took a small break to recognize where i played college ball and honor @famu_1887 with modernized colorways mint and shoebox orange which was originally designed for their womens and mens hoop teams, but like all things in fashion/production we missed the delivery window and missed the season… be that as it may, i’m proud of that moment and just as excited to move our story back on track with the summer-time sail colorway… a nod to summers in the hood when all you needed was crispy white nikes to set off any fit or hit the court… where fashion and sport collide without compromise. 🖤
For every recognisable name that Nike has collaborated with—take for example Off-White, Comme des Garçons, Sacai, Undercover and Kim Jones—a large part of the credit goes to Fraser Cooke, Nike's global influencer marketing special projects senior director. Cooke is the gatekeeper of the some of the most influential and hype-worthy collaboration that the Swoosh has been pushing out in the recent years. Most of the time, the process begins with a conversation with the various designers, where they talk about music, sub-culture, and life. Eventually, the conversation leads back to the first memory of a Nike sneaker.
Now, why did we bring Cooke up? First, it would be nice to give a shout out to the man who brought us all these awesome sneakers. Second, it is a nice peek into the collaboration process; where designers get to fulfil their childhood dream of designing a sneaker for Nike.
But if you pay close attention, most of these Nike sneaker collaborations usually see the designer putting their own twist on a classic silhouette. But for Jerry Lorenzo, the man behind Fear of God, when the opportunity came knocking, he didn't want to revive a classic, but rather, he wanted to explore the notion of how classic performance sneakers became a part of streetwear culture (see: Air Jordans).
Commodity: Nike Air Fear of God 1 'Summertime Sail'
Now, the Air Fear of God 1s are not the first original silhouette born out of a collaboration; remember Kanye West's short-lived partnership with the Swoosh that resulted in the Air Yeezy 1s and 2s? But the Air Nike Fear of God 1s is a throwback to the idea that a performance sneaker which, in this case, was made for basketball, is able to make a smooth transition into casual wear. As successful as the other basketball sneaker lines have been for Nike, the rigours of the new NBA have players demanding for more technology incorporated into their sneakers; in the battle of form versus function, form wins every time if it means that the sneaker is going to prolong the said NBA player's career.
So while the rest of the basketball sneaker designers zigged, Lorzeno zagged. I mean, who else is better equipped to design a basketball sneaker than a fashion designer who actually played basketball at a college level—creating that sneaker that doesn't compromise on either form or function.
The Air Nike Fear of God 1 'Summertime Sail' is the fifth colourway, following the 'Black', 'Light Bone', 'Orange Pulse' and 'Frosted Spruce. Made with a breathable mesh upper, the tonal sneaker comes with a light grey suede toebox, TPU cage overlay, midsole and laces and is contrasted by a black Nike Swoosh and double Zoom Air sole unit seen through an icy blue window (a nod to the first Air Max 1s).
When: June 8
How: Purchase online
Price of the Nike Fear of God 1 'Summertime Sail' on the resale market in the last 7 days: No recorded sales, but it is currently listed at SGD2,734 on StockX and Grailed.
Recommendation: Short it immediately.
As much as it pains me to say it (only because of how much I love this silhouette and would hate for it to perpetuate this insane cycle of hype and greed), sell the sneaker immediately if you manage to get your hands on a pair at retail. Based on the four previous colourway drops, the 'Light Bone' (which is the most tonal and most fuss-free colour) has proved to be extremely popular and thus the most lucrative on the secondary market.
The average resale price of the 'Light Bone' is SGD1,179 compared to the second highest iteration, 'Black', which is going at SGD1,088, while the 'Orange Pulse' and 'Frosted Spruce' were sold at SGD711 and SGD782 respectively. Using the sale history of the 'Light Bone' which sold at SGD2,177 on the secondary market on the drop date as a reference, we recommend that you sell the 'Summertime Sail' quickly before the value of the price stabilises. You are talking about a profit of SGD1,698 compared to SGD700.
Don't snooze guys. Or be a baller, and actually hoop it in.
The previous week was a big one for the sneaker community with the drops of Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1s, Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard Overshoe, Cactus Plant Flea Market x Nike Vapormax and Sacai x Nike LDWaffle all happening within a span of a few days.
That's an abnormality, akin to a lunar eclipse. While we won't see that happening for a while (our wallet thanks us), the sneaker gods are not unkind. Because this week, we will be talking about the follow up to the Sacai x Nike LDWaffle with the…
Commodity: Sacai x Nike Blazers
Now before we dive into Chitose Abe's take on the iconic sneaker from Nike, we will take a little jaunt down memory lane with one of the oldest models from the American sportswear giant. The Blazers were first launched in 1973 as a basketball sneaker; made popular by NBA legend, George Gervin. Now for those who are unfamiliar with his name, Gervin was one of the most prolific scorers in his prime, and boasts one of the coolest nicknames in sports: "The Iceman".
Much like Nike's Air Jordans and the Converse's Chuck Taylor, which were first worn as basketball sneakers, the Blazers found a second life, adopted by skaters who prized it's high cut silhouette's ability to protect the ankle and streetwear enthusiasts for its pared-down silhouette.
Now for Sacai's take on the iconic Blazers, it follows the similar ethos of Abe's way of creation, where she deconstructs two different items before amalgamating it back together. Much like the Nike x Sacai LDWaffle sneakers, which combines the Nike Waffle and Daybreak silhouette, the Nike x Sacai Blazer Mid takes elements from both the Nike Dunk and Nike Blazer silhouette, fusing them into one.
Available in two different colourways—the black/blue and the yellow/navy—the Sacai Blazer Mid carries elements of the double laces, double-padded tongues, double Swoosh logos as well as the double midsole mudguards.
Where: Dover Street Market Singapore
When: May 30
How: Raffle system
Price of the blue/black colourway on the resale market in the last 7 days: Peaking at SGD1,377 with a low of SGD704. The average price for a size US 10 is SGD895.
Price of the yellow/navy colourway on the resale market in the last 7 days: Peaking at SGD1,379 with a low of SGD551. The average price for a size US 10 is SGD663.
Recommendation: Short the blue/black colourway, and short it fast.
If you are one of the lucky ones that got a pair of these blazers early, sell it immediately. You are looking at a profit of SGD676 if you sell it at the average price. Based on the trend of the previous Sacai LDWaffle, which is currently going on the secondary market at SGD536, a drop from the average of SGD1,228, the Blazers should see a sharp decrease in price after the general release.
As an overarching trend, low-cut sneakers tend to do better on the resale market than high-cut ones. And with the announcement of the Sacai LDWaffle and Sacai Blazers Mid in monochrome arriving for the fall/winter 2019 season (which is much easier to pull off), this means a shrinking pool of buyers who might be holding off until the next drop.
Great news for fans of the silhouette, bad news if you are looking to make some serious coin from the drop.
It's only the second edition of 'Cop the drop' but we are going big—literally and figuratively—with the breakdown of the "Keep Off" rug from Virgil Abloh's collaboration with Sweedish furniture giant, IKEA.
The team-up between the two is part of the larger IKEA art event. Abloh is part of a star-studded roster of eight different artists including fellow fashion designer Craig Green as well as other artists like Noah Lyons, Seulgi Lee, Misaki Kawai, Supakitch, Chiaozza and Filip Pagowski.
Commodity: "Keep Off" rug from the coveted Abloh x IKEA capsule collection.
Measuring 200cm x 300cm, the massive piece features a dark navy paisley print (which is reminiscent of the classic Persian rugs) with the words "Keep Off" in Abloh's signature quotation marks. Ever the master of generating hype, the rug, which is the first drop of the massive collection that Abloh created with IKEA, was actually announced two years ago. The capsule includes other rugs, furniture, and his take on the iconic IKEA blue bag. If you're looking to get your hands on the "Keep Off" rug, there is going to be fierce competition for it; only two pieces will be made available in Singapore, and the only way to get it is to enter a lucky draw exclusive to IKEA family members. Snore.
Where: IKEA Tampines
When: 16 to 20 May
How: Lucky Draw
Price of the "Keep Off" Rug on the resale market in the last 7 days: Peaking at SGD3,094 with a low of SGD846, with an average price of SGD1,300
Recommendation: Go long if you actually enjoy it. Short it before the release of Abloh's full collection with IKEA.
Sure, there is a potential capital gain of $2,595 if you happen to know someone that works at IKEA and get lucky in the lucky draw, but for the rest of us plebs, we're probably buying it online. So, even though it is the first release from the much hyped about capsule collection, its sheer bulk and size will drive up shipping costs. In short, if you're buying it to make coin, it doesn't seem like a smart way to park your money in a product that is difficult to move. That being said, it is one of the pieces that actually look great hung on the wall (which means wear and tear is cut down to a minimum), and it's fairly easy to maintain.
Welcome to our inaugural post of 'Cop the drop'. We love sneakers, and the key to landing yourself a pair, besides using back channels and a healthy dose of luck, is to collate enough information about the latest cult pieces and be well-informed. We've talked about the rise of streetwear and lucrative secondary market that has turned savvy sneakerheads into full-blown business moguls, but what do you do when you get your hands on a highly valuable pair? Do you rock it, stock it or sell it?
So every week on 'Cop the drop', we will keep you up-to-date on our favourite new releases and fill you in on the history and inspiration behind the sneakers (or streetwear, it's not just going to be kicks).
And here where it gets fun—we will also be breaking down the retail price, the trading price on resale sites, and if the market for the said sneaker is bullish (prices going up) or bearish (prices going down). Since sneakers and streetwear are being traded like commodities, we will keep you informed so you have the best chance at staying ahead of this game.
It's fine if you have been taking Ls, all you need is one W to get it going.
Commodity: Nike x Sacai LDWaffle sneakers
Since debuting on the runway of the Sacai men's spring/summer 2019 show, one of the most anticipated sneaker drops this year, the Nike x Sacai LDWaffle sneakers is finally getting a release date. Chitose Abe of Sacai is known for her cut-and-sew aesthetics, often deconstructing pieces before rebuilding them up again. For this collaboration, she turns her attention to Nike's Waffle Daybreak, applying the notion of stability and betrayal through the double Swooshes, stacked tongue and elongated midsole. The sneaker will be available in two different colourways—the green multicolour and the blue multicolour.
Where: Dover Street Market Singapore
When: 16 May
How: Raffle system
Price of the green colourway on the resale market in the last 7 days: Peaking at SGD1,847 with a low of SGD944. The average price for a size US 10 is SGD1,098.
Price of the blue colourway on the resale market in the last 7 days: Peaking at SGD2,044 with a low of SGD985. The average price for a size US 10 is SGD1,228.
Recommendation: Short the blue colourway.
While we think that the green colourway is the superior option, the blue colourway has a higher demand. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a pair, sell it. We’re talking about a potential 855% ROI on the grey market.