Feet Firmly Planted: Sole Academy's Founders on Sneakerhead Culture and Big Business - The Scene

It’s past testing the waters at this point.

Nascent but by no means complacent, sneakerhead culture has stepped foot in the Philippines. And isn’t going anywhere soon.

READ ALSO: First Steps: Sneakerhead Culture In The Philippines Is Still In Its Infancy—Where Else Can It Go?

The local sneaker industry can be measured in terms of two categories, according to Michael Maglipon, president of lifestyle sneaker boutique Sole Academy.

On one hand, there are performance-based sneakers, which have an average of P6,500 per pair. On the other hand, there are lifestyle-inspired sneakers that usually cost P5,500 a pair.

The executive says that for the basis of assumption, these metrics project to an industry worth at least P2 billion for performance-based and another P1 billion for lifestyle-inspired sneakers.

Sneaker addiction

“Sneakers, which have a predominantly male market, hinge on this reseller rationale. Males in particular will have a limited array of items they can tag as their personal hobby or vice. Of which are not limited to but more commonly sought after: automobiles, watches, clothing, and sneakers,” Maglipon tells Lifestyle Asia.

He explained that even if clothing were the cheapest of these four item categories, sneakers are still the logical and affordable vice with reselling value.

This corresponds with the experience of pandemic-time collector and self-described “late bloomer” Job Corpuz. The relatively newfound sneakerhead has spent just as much on new stocks as he has reselling them, at an estimated P25,000 minimum each.

“I do not have the biggest collection, but there’s always a spark of joy whenever a new pair arrives. The smell, the DS feeling, lacing it up,” Corpuz describes the “vice” appeal.

Supplying demand

Sole Academy found that Jordans, Yeezys, and any of the brand releases that have low quantity and high demand (hype) are typically the most sought-after pairs.

“Majority of high-tender, limited-edition releases are allocated in higher numbers across different regions globally, therefore, making it very relevant for resellers to capitalize on such. The resale game is part and parcel of the whole sneaker industry cycle,” Carlo Trillo, marketing director of Sole Academy, explains.

The sneaker boutique finds that demand creation and community building are just as important as following the latest product trends.

“Gone are the days of exclusivity. Nowadays, inclusivity is highlighted and championed throughout. In the early days of the sneaker industry, there used to be a huge clamor for collaborations. And limited-edition releases for a sneakerhead. Today, we put more value in curating a pair of sneakers for every human being. Not just limited to a sneakerhead,” Trillo concludes.

Banner Photo via Sole Academy’s Instagram

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