Over the years, I’ve come to realize that Jordan sneakers are the Apple of footwear. For many sneaker lovers, also known as sneaker heads, Jordans are highly coveted and you aren’t considered a true sneaker head or Jordan connoisseur unless you have close to all of them. Apple is seen as the holy grail of technology and the products are highly regarded by technology aficionados, also known as tech heads. Every product whether it be a MacBook, iPad, iPod and of course the iPhone are greeted with much fanfare and the Apple website even has a countdown to a product’s release day.
On December 23rd, the Jordan XI’s, also known as the Concords were re-released to much excitement and anticipation instantly making them the hottest Christmas item. The Concords made their debut in stores in 1995, and even then people went crazy over them. What has become a traditional Twitter hashtag when new Jordan sneakers are released, #butyougotthemconcordstho is supposed to be a funny take on people who may not be able to afford their necessities, but somehow came up with the $175 to buy the Jordan XI’s. I admit, some of the jokes were genuinely funny and made a lot of sense, however, some people were really taking sneaker heads to task for being willing to wait in long lines outside in the cold for the shoes.
Now I’ve never been a sneaker head and I don’t even own a pair of Jordans. I have never wanted anything to the point that I waited outside, but to each his own (it’s not my money or time). But seeing some of the online slander aimed toward those who were willing to wait outside for the Jordan XI’s made me realize that they were being unfairly singled out. Yes, they’re waiting outside in the cold to buy sneakers that everyone will have and that some can argue as being overpriced. But don’t people do the same thing when new Apple products are released? People lost their minds over the iPhone 4S and couldn’t get enough of Siri. I saw countless Twitter and Facebook updates with sayings: ‘I can’t wait to get that new iPhone,’ or ‘Trying to get the new iPhone the day it comes out, I got my money ready.’ Also, I clearly remember when the first iPhone debuted in 2007, people waited in long lines, some up to 20 hours, outside the Apple store for a phone that everyone would have and didn’t mind paying the $500 retail price.
The fact of the matter is that we live in a society centered on consumerism, and the holiday season is when it rears its ugly head the most. Many were questioning how Michael Jordan was feeling knowing that people were stealing and causing harm to others just to get their hands on a pair of his Jordan XI sneakers. Honestly, I ask myself how the owners and executives of Target and Walmart feel every Black Friday when shoppers stampede their stores at ungodly hours just to get a discount on flat screen televisions that’ll be marked down to even lower prices after Christmas. I don’t condone people engaging in violent and illegal acts just so they can be one of the firsts to have a material item. Nothing is worth jeopardizing your life and future.
What makes Brand Jordan and Apple similar is that they are two companies that have been able to create loyalty amongst their consumers and that’s been sustained even in a dismal economy. In other words, they follow the mantra, “If you build it, they will come,” and judging by sales, customers aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.
However, if you’re going to criticize sneaker lovers for waiting in long lines for hours for shoes with a high price tag, you must do the same for shoppers that stampede into stores on Black Friday trampling people, and those who may not be able to, but come up with $500 for a phone that is so fragile if it’s dropped on its screen, you’ll need to get another one. This isn’t just about sneakers, it’s about society and our desire to have the hottest items on the market.
Yes, people need to have their priorities in order, but when you criticize, be consistent.
What are your thoughts?