"Buzz is created by the presence of critical substance. Hype is manufactured in the absence of any proven substance." - Steve G., RDQLUS CREATIVE
On the eve of Christmas Eve 2011, Nike & Jordan Brand re-released one of the most iconic, revolutionary designs in all of footwear—athletic or otherwise. The much-anticipated, over-hyped, yet stunningly worthy Air Jordan XI "Concord" (so named for it's color-code designation in the Nike lexicon) dropped on the public with expected fan-fair and what should-have-been-expected mayhem. The perfect storm was in the cue, as retailers were supplied with short "runs" of product far below the demand, mall security was uninformed and understaffed, and the final tumbler to unlock Pandora's sneaker box; the idiot nature of human beings when hype is involved.
Be it a $2 toaster at Target on "Black Friday" or a pair of shoes that are made for $12 and sold for $180, our nature makes us prone to being sheep for the hype of things we only supposedly need. Spare me the rhetoric of race or socio-economic standing. Suburban soccer-moms beating each other down for WalMart swag or set-tripping gang members fighting in line for Jordans, the brush that paints the "hypebeast is a broad one. What saddens most who are passionate about anything is the vacuum of the blow-back when those who have created the problems go into hiding, say nothing or simply fade back into the landscape of the disinterested, leaving a massive clean-up effort in their wake. Nike/Jordan, retail outlets, security & law enforcement, and yes—sometime'y consumers and fair-weather fans; I fix my gaze squarely on you. Nothing more need be said but that the source and actions surrounding are completely unnecessary.
All who know me have asked if I have a pair, and if so—what I had to do to get them. Yes, I have a pair—two, if we're being honest—of these incredibly designed sneakers and pop-culture icons of performance and fashion; a rare mix in their time and today. But I fought no one. I punched, bit nor kicked anyone. I formed relationships and cemented lines of communication. Paved paths to ease my approach to procurement. And in the end returned to show concern for the cultivated landscape I've worked at building within this small subculture. Why? Because I have a brand and identity like any other entity out there, and when all is said and done, and the hype has died down leaving whatever traces there might be of substance, I hope to be one of those standing. All things that take investments of time, money and a rising above the human nature of playing sheep to the hype's shepherd.
Love you… Say it back.