Watching TED Talks is a popular pastime at CN&CO. We visit TED.com regularly to clear our heads, have a laugh or get inspired. TED Talks open our minds, spark new ways of thinking and can lead to some very interesting conversations. Each week we pick a favourite and publish it on a Tuesday, because we like how “TED Talk Tuesday” sounds. You don’t need to guess which CN&CO’er put together this week’s talk…

That’s right, it’s our resident Italian, Gianluca. 

Ever since I could walk, kick a ball or get dressed for that matter, the right sneakers had to be on my feet. 

From my LA gear’s that illuminated every time I took a step, to the Adidas predators I wore on the football field, and now to my Yeezy’s or Jordan 1’s, my sneakers have taken many steps with me.

Nike Jordan 1 Rookie of the Year edition

On the 30th of  August 1985 (the year I was born) Michael Jordan (one of the most iconic and greatest basketball players and athletes) accepted the award for the NBA Rookie of Year.  23 years later,  to represent this achievement, Nike and the Jordan brand released the Nike Jordan 1 ‘Rookier of the Year’ edition.  A pair of shoes I now proudly own and apart from looking sharp on foot, represent more than just a shoe or something on my feet. They are a passion and a culture.

The author of this TED Talk, Josh Luber is a massive “sneaker-head”.  A collector of many rare kicks (a term for sneakers).

Josh explores the unregulated and ever-expanding world of sneakers. He looks at how the culture of sneaker buying and trading has formed a market for commerce, making for vast amounts of data to be available, and the hype around some of the world’s most renowned footwear brands like Nike and Adidas.

It makes you understand why in the present day, a massive culture has formed.  Answering the question asked so many times as to why people queue every Saturday for the latest drops and releases. 

In South Africa we’ve seen the emergence of popular streetwear clothing and shoe stores like Shelflife and Court Order (a concept store launched to allow sneaker-collectors the ability to consign shoes and streetwear, others to buy one’s they may have missed on release) take flight and popularity.

Key sneaker and fashion influencers have also emerged. People who share the passion and provide insight into what shoes are out there and their popularity.

One of my favourites, with his awesome weekly stories on Instagram, Mr @sneakerstories.tv (aka Chris Jack), looks at the latest hype and shoes available. He reviews his personal (incredible collection) by looking at each shoes material, make up, origin, story and even previewing how they look on foot.

If you ever wondered about the hype (and culture) around sneaker collecting… This talk is for you.