Sneaker-clad teens and adults lined up for blocks? Check. Chairs, blankets and/or camping equipment on the sidewalk? Check. Chatter of deadstock and OGs and retro Jordans? Triple check.
Big Nike releases are always easy to spot, but the Supreme x Nike Air Foamposite 1 took sneakerhead mania a step too far Wednesday in SoHo.
Shoppers filled Lafayette Street in front of the Supreme store the afternoon before the launch, prepared to shell out $250 and wait hours on end for the release of the newest and hottest shoe on the market.
Rioting and violence have caused issues at midnight sneaker releases in the past, and the scene swiftly got out of hand. “I’m expecting to see someone get stabbed, beat up, or hurt – one of the three,” Carmelo, a 24-year-old Brooklynite who preferred to be identified by first name only, told amNewYork.
After crowds began impeding traffic and over-eager sneakerheads started forcing their way towards the store's entrance, the NYPD stepped in. The store canceled the event soon after.
"Due to concern for public safety, NYPD has forced us to not sell the Supreme/Nike Foamposites and accompanying clothing in our New York Store," Supreme announced. "These items will be available on supremenewyork.com tomorrow at 11am EST."
Carmelo, like many others, said he had planned to resell the coveted shoe for a significant profit. “People are looking to buy them for 6 or $700. I’m not doing this for the sneakers, this is for the money. I could care less about the sneakers,” he said. The last time Carmelo attended a release was back in 2012 for the Nike Foamposite Galaxy, which he was able to sell for $1,000.
“You can resell them for $1,000,” confirmed Lou Elgh, 19, also from Brooklyn. She had arrived a little after noon with a gaggle of devoted pals. “My friends are hype beasts,” she said, delving into the complex world of sneakerheard culture and explaining that they were there to make a profit off the excitement. But why is the Supreme Foamposite worthy of such hype?
“This is the first time Supreme is doing foam shoes,” 16-year-old Connie Zhang, of Queens, explained before the drop was canceled. Supreme, a company known for its skateboarding shoes, drew attention from a wide variety of sneaker fans for teaming up with Nike.
“These shoes are different, this has never really been done before,” Zhang said.
"Originally launched in 1997 as a signature model for Penny Hardaway, the Nike Air Foamposite 1 assisted a generation of basketball players and pushed the boundaries of what athletic footwear could look like," Supreme says on its Facebook page. "High performance met an unorthodox appearance with a game-changing shell-like exterior... released in iridescent colors to showcase the innovative features and revolutionary seamless build of the shoe."
The sneakers sold out on Supreme's website almost instantly Thursday morning in both black and red, as did the coordinating basketball jersey. The basketball shorts lasted the longest, but they're now sold out also. The shoes are being sold on eBay for as high as $2,500.