Sneaker News: Why sneaker collector Jason Vincent Piperno snaps up rare kicks, 'One to stock and one to rock' - petsitterbank

Sneaker News: Why sneaker collector Jason Vincent Piperno snaps up rare kicks, ‘One to stock and one to rock’

Jason Vincent Piperno is probably lucky his fiancée shares his devotion to sneakers.

That’s because the 32-year-old has spent thousands of dollars on around 250 pairs packed into his Melbourne apartment.
And it appears he is not the only one happy to invest in a fresh pair of kicks, with the global sneaker market projected to be worth $150 million by 2025, according to Statista.
Jason Vincent Piperno and fiance, Stefney Vannasith, who shares his love of sneakers. (instagram)

That’s a $47 million increase from 2020 when it was valued at $103 million.

Piperno’s obsession started when he was a child in the ’90s watching basketball star Michael Jordan, who has become as well known for his kicks as his sporting success.

The six-time NBA champion hasn’t played professional basketball for decades, yet shoes from his iconic Air Jordan range remain some of the most sought-after, some selling for over $100,000.

Piperno, who has sold shoes to find them skyrocket in value, attributed a boom in sneaker interest partly to The Last Dance, a documentary about Jordan’s meteoric rise which also discusses his style and the launch of his very fruitful Nike deal.

Jason Vincent Piperno is a sneaker collection.
Jason Vincent Piperno has spent a small fortune on his 150-strong sneaker collection. (Supplied)

“I was into watching the sport but I never really played basketball, it was more about the fashion,” Piperno told 9news.com.au.

His first pair of sneakers were Nike Air Jordan 5 Metallics which he bought when he was 18.

When he was in his 20s he’d line up overnight to get the newest shoes when they went on sale.

But Jordan isn’t the only contributor to the popularity of sneakers.

An acceptance of casual wear came with COVID-19 lockdowns, while rappers and hip-hop artists also showcase premium sneaker brands.

“Streetwear is more popular in general than it used to be,” the Melbourne man said.

To sell or not to sell? That is the collector’s question

Some sneaker releases are so popular fans have to enter a raffle in-person, or more recently online, to even have the chance to buy them.

Piperno “won” the opportunity to snap up a sought-after $350 pair of Nike Air Yeezy 2 in Solar Red, designed by rapper Kanye West.

Nike Air Yeezy Red October sneakers.
Nike Air Yeezy Red October sneakers are worth up to $60,000. (AP)

Piperno then sold them on to another fan for $3000.

That price seems steep, but if he’d hung onto them for longer, he could’ve made triple.

“At the moment they’re probably worth around $10,000… that’s life,” he said.

The priciest kicks in his wardrobe are the $3000 Air Jordan 1 x Off-Whites, a collaboration the brand did with late fashion designer Virgil Abloh.

He wears most of his sneakers, but some of the more extravagant purchases “just sit there because they’re too nice”.

Jason Vincent Piperno is a sneaker collection.
Air Jordan 1 Retro x Off Whites are worth $3000 and the most expensive sneakers he currently has. (Supplied)

“I wear the majority of them, probably around 75 per cent,” he said.

Piperno is a DJ, but sneakers play a big role in his main gig as a content creator for fashion brands.

The avid collector is currently hunting for an addition worth up to $9000; a pair of Nike x Louis Vuitton Air Force 1s.

But sneakerheads must be wary of fakes.

Some online shops offer authentications, while guides found on the internet can also help fans identify knock-offs.

Limited numbers drive sneaker fans

Melbourne brothers Nate and Alex Orton run a streetwear label and describe themselves as sneaker experts.

They said those who end up wearing their treasured kicks may have splashed out more than once for the pleasure.

“A lot of people buy things in doubles,” Alex said.

“They’ll buy a pair to stock and they’ll buy a pair to rock.”

They said brands, like Nike, are engrossing sneaker collectors as they are releasing culturally significant limited editions, which are “big draw cards”.

“You’re buying a moment in time,” Nate said.

The Air Jordan 1 Chicago was first released in 1985 and pairs have reportedly sold for over $100,000.

A reissue is about to be unleashed to fans, with the familiar Chicago Bulls red, white and black colourway designed to “look old”.

Even the shoe box is set to be “weathered”, playing into the historical value.

While Michael Jordan hasn't played a game of basketball for years, some Nike Air Jordan's remain among the most sought-after kicks.
Michael Jordan hasn’t played professionally for decades but Nike Air Jordan’s remain among the most sought after kicks. (AP)

For most people, a pair of new sneakers start at around $100, but collectors know rare examples can fetch 10 times that on the resale market.

How much do the most sought-after sneakers sell for?

  1. Jordan 1 OG Chicago (1985): $135k
  2. Nike SB Dunk Low Paris: $70k
  3. Adidas x Pharrell x Chanel Human Race Trail: $65k
  4. Nike Air Yeezy Red October: $60k
  5. Nike Air Force 1 ComplexCon: $55k
The sneaker and streetwear convention, SNEAKERLANDis on at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Center today.

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