James Bond of Undefeated: “true (sneaker) head has become almost non-existent”

408 60

Published yesterday in Issue 006 of The Trade, a journal published by Boylston Trading Company, James Bond, the Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Undefeated went on record about what is next for the brand including a move eastward.  One answer about the sneaker community or sneaker heads has caused some conversation on twitter and other social mediums.

When asked about how the consumer has changed citing the events of the limited Jordan 4 collaboration and the recent Undefeated Foot Locker deal, Bond responded:

Our business landscape has changed and the majors are going to move with or without you…. The ?sneaker head? so to speak is no longer a viable business model as the true (sneaker) head has become almost non-existent. You have to learn to appeal to the masses in a creative and tasteful way. Converse has allowed us to do just that with the program we are doing with Footlocker.

Check out the interview in its entirety and see the new Undefeated collection at Boylston Trading Company.

About The Author

Founder + Publisher
Nice Kicks
sz 11

60 Comments on "James Bond of Undefeated: “true (sneaker) head has become almost non-existent”"

    • ?@JoshuaOconer?Word. ?Although, I still don’t really understand his statement. ?I read the interview, think there was some context that would explain it better. ?He says the sneaker heads aren’t a viable business model, and if we’re talking stupid limited releases like the UDFTD IVs, I would understand how that’s not viable, you can’t make 100 pair of shoes and make money, but he acts as if things changed, I don’t see how things changed. ?From a business standpoint there are just more people, who are all more willing to buy any release from a brand like UDFTD, ignoring merit, because of the hype. ?He says they expanded to the release with Converse for Footlocker, due to the growth potential, which makes complete sense, but I don’t understand what that has to do with the death of the “head” so to speak. ?How does that make a difference either way? ?Just because there are more kids running around lusting after the limited release SBs, etc? ?Seems like that’d be a net positive for the industry, money wise… it means the product becomes diluted, and it certainly has done that, but from a business perspective, seems like it worked out pretty nicely for Mr. Bond.

    • ?@JoshuaOconer?Word. ?Although, I still don’t really understand his statement. ?I read the interview, thinking there was some context that would explain it better. ?He says the sneaker heads aren’t a viable business model, and if we’re talking stupid limited releases like the UDFTD IVs, I would understand how that’s not viable, you can’t make 100 pair of shoes and make money, but he acts as if things changed, I don’t see how things changed. ?From a business standpoint there are just more people, who are all more willing to buy any release from a brand like UDFTD, ignoring merit, because of the hype. ?He says they expanded to the release with Converse for Footlocker, due to the growth potential, which makes complete sense, but I don’t understand what that has to do with the death of the “head” so to speak. ?How does that make a difference either way? ?Just because there are more kids running around lusting after the limited release SBs, etc? ?Seems like that’d be a net positive for the industry, money wise… it means the product becomes diluted, and it certainly has done that, but from a business perspective, seems like it worked out pretty nicely for Mr. Bond.

      • mushroomphysics

        ?@joel oliver?I agree. The gist of things is that limited edition runs aren’t a good business model anymore because demand far outweighs supply. More money can be made selling the shoe to the masses and completely ignoring the collector. This eliminates the sneaker ?head from the market, as there isn’t anything that they own that couldn’t be had by visiting your local foot locker or finish line.

    • Sam_NoIAm

      ?@omarellis I hate to say it but you’re right. I personally do appreciated Nice Kicks, Sole Collector, etc. for giving good insight on a variety of shoes and not just Nike or Jordan.? There is still some hope our there though

  1. Curtis Reine

    I hate to say it , but he’s right. Been collecting kix for 20yrs. It used to fun, now it’s been ruined by resellers, hype beasts, poor quality , and greedy shoe company’s . It’s pretty bad when u can’t buy a 150$ shoe for less than 300$ after the resellers buyem out…..

  2. JerusaReem

    The internet crushed all of us real sneakerheads who have been collecting for more than 5 years….as well as all these stupid kids nowadays who created the hype….the game is so dead now every shoe sells out within seconds its disgusting….also the quality on sneakers has gone donwhill….RIP

  3. TheFakeLou

    Times change and people change. Those who fail to evolve with the movement gets left behind. Every generation of people think theyre the best for biased reasons. OG sneaker heads think theyre better for whatever reason and they dislike the newer generation of sneaker heads because of things they didnt have ( internet, flight club, forums, etc). Its just the way things are ( as of now).?If you dont like it, dont participate in it.

    • DLQ1

      ?@TheFakeLou? I think you got it twisted a bit. OG heads don’t like newer heads because newer heads don’t know the essence of the find. The newer heads have it quite easy living in the internet/information age. Just because this is the way it is now, doesn’t mean its correct. You seem to be just accepting and tolerating. More and more society is becoming half ass because of technology, and to accept things for what it is seems to be half ass answer.

      • TheFakeLou

        ?Of course im accepting it! i know its fucked up, but i rather have sneakers in my life than no sneakers at all. I accept the sneaker game’s essence instead of imposing my beliefs in what is should be.

  4. CedricQuartey

    Nothing wrong with anyone buying a pair of shoes that they like, that’s the reason shoes are sold. Its the resellers that are causing the problem in my opinion. You are doing something rite if people of all ages want to buy your product.

    • ShaBB

      ?@CedricQuartey?Thats the problem bro. Most of these cats today just buy the shoes because of the hype. I can guarantee that 85% of those that buy Jordans and foams now and days have no idea of the history about the shoe they just buy them because of the brand name. Its pretty pathetic if you ask me

      • jleeang

        ?@ShaBB?What I’m a bit confused about is all this “they don’t know the history” talk going around. At the end of the day, the shoe is a consumer good, regardless of whether MJ played in it when he had the flu or hit a winning shot against the Cavs. So sure, it may mean a lot to someone (and i respect that) but why do you expect someone else buying the shoe to have the same knowledge and appreciation as you? Do you have the same historical background and knowledge when you go to to purchase other consumer goods? Or did you buy that branded t-shirt because it looked good? Like @CedricQuartey? said, Jordan brand have figured it out if they release a product that attracts a big target audience. What most of these sneakerheads on this forum saying ‘oh, i remember there was a time where lines were non-existent’ are essentially bitching about is that they have to get up earlier or camp out to get some heat. But hey! I’m sure that McDonalds line was shorter ten years ago too.

        • ShaBB

          ?@jleeang?A real sneaker head knows his or her shoes and the history of what it is that they are wearing and any true sneaker head will tell you that. You’re talking about the business aspect which is good I can dig your business lesson but this isn’t business class. I know about the business and thats not the debate. The debate is about these so called “shoe heads” thats buying the shoe because of the next man or because of the name of the brand. I don’t expect anyone to know as much as I know, but I do expect those that don’t know their history on the shoe not to put themselves in the same category of a sneaker head like I or any other shoe head because they aren’t a shoe head. They are what we call “hypebeast”.?

        • jleeang

          ?@ShaBB?I take your point and if the debate is solely about classification, then I agree that ‘hypebeasts’ shouldn’t categorise themselves as a ‘sneakerheads’. However, I do believe that there is a certain degree of dedication for someone to camp out in the cold or wake up really early to purchase a product they want. Compare their efforts to the self-labelled OG sneakerheads who want to sleep in and rock up at 9am expecting to purchase their size. All in all, I’m just disgusted that people in all the sneaker forums are trying to stop others from purchasing the products with the flimsy excuse that they’re not ‘sneakerheads’.?

        • CedricQuartey

          @jleeang @ShaBB y’all make good points. If companies sell shoes to jus sneakerheads, they won’t make no money. The fact is we are all hypebeats, period. We complain bout someone jus wearing it cuz of its brand an whatnot, an how we hate the hype, yet we still buy the shoe anyways. We complain about others being able to get the same thing, yet we buy it anyways. If its not about the brand, why don’t we buy a different lesser known brand then?? A sneaker head buyer and a hypebeast buyer or no different in the fact that they are both buying the same exact product, what difference does the reason make?? Having said that, if the reason is to resell for insane markup, thats a different issue. Buy the shoes you want, an wear them, who cares what another human has on their feet.

        • jordansince1988

          ?@ShaBB ShaBB!!! preach my man Amen teach em keep it going i thought i was on my own lol the whole point is all these children are buying shoes solely because of hype! not because they even like jordans or Jordan as a player…but because the next man did it…its disgusting this generation is a follower generation…they all copy each other…in my days we said F following lets take this and make our own style all these children want to be like these loser rappers and each other as werid as that may sound…its crazy man these kids are followers they killed *murdered* the bueatiful shoegame what use to be only among us true sneakerheads we got? evaded by these wannabes and now pop culture is trying to kill it more…SMH Death to the wannabe sneakerheads…

        • jleeang

          ?@jordansince1988? Well I’m 20 so lets be clear on the fact that you were collecting Jordans well before I was born. My only?quarrel with your?argument is your blatant flaming of my generation for buying shoes because of the “hype”. Sure, everybody has their own reasons for buying the shoes but lets face it, you wouldn’t be buying the shoe if MJ himself had not “hyped” the shoe. The Spike Lee commercials, the fact that MJ himself wore the 1s despite it being banned from the NBA was to create “hype”. Every second post from nicekicks.com come from writers in YOUR generation claiming that these Jordans were their favourite and they grew envious when the kids at school at them, yet they couldn’t afford them so they ended up with this other shoe instead (the Olajuwons). So I agree with @ShaBB? in saying that “hypebeasts” shouldn’t be classifed as shoe heads but people like you are exactly the type of so called OG sneakerheads whose dedication I call into question because you cry about waking up a few hours earlier to pick up your favourite kicks.
          The second part of “the game” that you must understand is that kids nowadays have MORE money. If Jordans were an accessible consumer good to every kid in your generation, lets be honest, you would have massive lines everytime a drop came up. A business lesson for sure but one I assume is appropriate.?
          Finally, I must call to attention your contradiction of your own argument by your previous two comments. You boldly claim that you make your own style and then blast other people for escaping the norm of wearing baggy/slim cut jeans.?
          I’m sorry for the essay but I’ve had enough of this bullshit blasphemy coming from these forums. Just let people buy their shoes.?

  5. jordansince1988

    Amen! finally some in a higher position then me speaking the truth! i thank this man to the fullest….this is what i’ve been yelling about preaching about! that why i say these things about these 15-20yr old wannabe sneakerheads killing im sorry *destorying* the game…they killed it…being followers getting into this solely becuase of hype! all because Jay Z and kayne wanted to go around hypeing up the black cement 3s! and these children seen them rocking js so hey! we look up to these losers so we need to get into it too…! SMH.!! this generation is nothing but pure followers and wannabes doing what the next man does…thats why 1 man wore some women jeans they all followed…its disgusting the shoegame is torn apart these kids kill it….its Sad…it truely is…they toke somthing we all loved and murdered it! never was their lines like today! and i been doing this for a while….and for all the craziest heat was there no lines! i mean maroon 6s!! comon! no lines…i can state about over 200shoes that there were no lines for that were so much more heat..but ever since these 15-20yr old wannabe sneakerheads joined its dead…..SMH

  6. WrMepstead87

    If people wear what they like how is that killing the game? What about people that wear j’s for the history of the shoes? Of foams 1’s because they liked penny not because someone wore them? I think some people need to chill and accept that other people like shoes too…whether their young, old or whatever…

    • EvilChuckDiesel

      ?@WrMepstead87?His point is that REAL heads know nike, adidas, pumas, even pro keds back in the day. ?Most of these kids can’t name anything that hasn’t been hyped or retroed. ?They’re NOT sneakerheads, that just makes them Jordan and Penny stans. ?Wouldn’t be able to tell a court force from a cortez.

  7. WillieB

    Not to sound too overly emotional on this subject but.. Over the last few days I’ve decided that I’m done with the sneaker culture, I stopped & looked at how mainstream its becoming, how everyone online believes 10 pair of anything makes you a Sneaker Head and how negative the older Head’s are becoming. Not all of us younger Head’s are into sneakers because of the hype, media exposure, exclusivity etc, etc. I’ve always tried to learn the history behind the sneakers that have caught my eye, understand the thought process that went into the design & find out the inspirations behind those thoughts. Simply because I believe that without knowledge of why something is great there can’t be any true appreciation for it. Lately I’ve noticed allot of older Sneaker Head’s criticizing some of the newer Head’s such as myself. At a point & time I thought this community was based on acceptance of others & the appreciation of sneakers. Now it seems like the community I’ve proudly claimed to be a part of wants to shut people around my age (19) out. I honestly never believed I’d ever give up on something I loved this much.

  8. Elio Cruz

    Sneakerheads do still live on, it just we dont showoff like most cats do. The sad part is that a lot of us were around when most sneakers made their debut. The kids now in days just know the retros so the connection is never there. We connect with the sneakers because we grew up with them. They were a part of our childhoods. I think that is the division that exists in the spectrum of sneaker culture.

  9. Jayson Allen

    @Elio exactly. Can’t blame the kids that never had them though. Blame the companies for lacking creativity. None of it bothers me because I usually am able to get what I want I’m just tired of hearing about it. I still buy and wear what I like just like I did 15 years ago.

  10. James Jackson

    Whatever people here’s a sneakerhead right here in me. The game has changed no doubt with ebay and everything but everything has changed from twenty plus years ago. So what. U gotta deal with long lines and jerkoffs who resale for 2,3,4 times what the shoe cost. If u want the shoe, stack up &buy it. But jordan brand does need to quit reissuing classics n non og colors. THAT IS Wack. &y’all boys do need to wear more than jus Nike and Jordans. Quit bein afraid

  11. Jayson Allen

    What’s funny is all these so called resellers who buy with no intention of ever wearing thinking that they’re sitting on some gold mine when the reality is a million other dudes out there doing the same and none of yall are selling anything.

  12. Joshua Peruza

    Absolutely true. I used to be proud to be called a sneaker head. Now I get a little offended, don’t put me in the category with these new lame “sneaker heads” who know nothing about what they have.

  13. Michael Angelini

    This is ridiculous. So many of you guys are saying you totally agree that there aren’t any true sneaker heads anymore, but of course that statement doesn’t apply to you. If the true sneaker head is non-existent, that means none of you guys are true sneakerheads (whatever that means, and this little article doesn’t really say what 007 meant by that statement, anyway).

    Look. I’m a pretty young guy. I grew up in the Chicago area watching the Bulls. But I was 7 when they won their last championship, and pretty oblivious to anything that was going on in the world. I had probably just learned to tie my own shoes, let alone buy them. I’m not going to pretend for a second that I bought any of the Jordans I own because of what Michael did while wearing them.

    I know that makes a lot of you guys claiming to be “true sneakerheads” upset, but you really have no right to be. From what I understand, here’s the general consensus: you were around when Jordan was doing his thing and the shoes were originally coming out. You probably bought the originals and have some story about watching Mike do whatever in those. I don’t. As such, you feel that you deserve to have any retro release that you like more than I do.

  14. Michael Angelini

    Let me tell you a story. All I know about the Playoff XII is that Mike wore it in the 1997 playoffs (hence the name). I don’t really care about that, but the Playoff XII is still probably tied for my favorite Jordan model with the XVII+, which came out a year earlier than the first Playoff XII retro. The year before, my mom had found a pair of BB4s on sale and got them for me to play in, which was crazy because I was going to outgrow them in six months. Anyway, this was pretty much exactly when I started to really care about basketball shoes. I didn’t have a job, there was really no way any of the Jordan retros were ever going to go on sale, and getting my parents to drop $150 on shoes I’d outgrow quickly was next to impossible. Thus, all that “premium” stuff was pretty much off limits to me. The reason I like the XVII+ and XII the best out of the shoes that came out then was because I just thought they looked the coolest. I liked the french blues, too, because they matched our uniforms, and the 18.5s, but XVII+ and Playoffs were my two favorites, and I couldn’t have them. That’s why when I found out they were coming back last month, I had to get them, and I was all set to camp all night. Lucky for me I managed to get an order through online, so I got to go home early. You guys probably don’t like that either.

    Now, you claim that my reason for wanting these shoes is less valid than yours because I don’t know the history or whatever. I think that’s ridiculous. I know that the people most of you guys have an issue with are the ones who buy shoes to flip em or so they can “snap some necks,” but not everybody is like that. I also know that there are a ton of people out there who claim that they buy what they like and don’t pay attention to the hype, but for whatever reason what they like happens to be the same thing everyone else is going nuts for. Realistically, the hype is unavoidable. Even if you’re not buying shoes specifically because other people like them, it will always play a part, even subconsciously, in your decision as to whether or not you like a shoe. But to say that someone younger than you is killing the game by becoming a part of it and that they’re not a real sneakerhead is elitist and goofy.

  15. LaFlareSoIcey

    so what makes a true sneaker head? to buy every dam retro Jordans and Retro Nikes that released every month and year. u guys go ahead and spend all yall money instead of saving it and have something to fall back on. instead of throwing away all ya money tryna be fresh on something thats get old 4-6 months into a year

    • ShaBB

      ?@LaFlareSoIcey?Not to knock your comment bruh but how are you going to tell someone what to buy with the money they worked hard for? I hear where you’re coming from but this is the wrong blog for that comment?

  16. David Garza

    I see people complaining about who’s a sneakerhead and who isn’t, do they know the history behind the shoe, but it isn’t about any of that, I don’t mind if people buy what they like, whether it be the name of the brand of the looks of the shoe, but most people during the past 3-4 years have been buying shoes they could careless about, a pair of shoes they will never touch, just buying multiple pairs to resell, it’s all about what’s in and what’s now, what’s hyped. It’s mainly because so many people are followers and don’t know how to think for themselves. I appreciate sites such as Nicekicks and similar sites, but they feed the resellers with customers who don’t know anything except that the shoe will get them this or that. Sorry if I’ve rambled but…

  17. David Garza

    Michael Angelini, to tell you the truth I don’t think it really matters if people know the history behind a particular shoe, but whether they even like the shoe because of the look and feel, not because somebody said it was “heat” and hyped them up so much that “they gotta have it” yes I do believe if you buy a retro, you should know a little bit, by it’s not super important.

  18. mc5768

    I am 15 and I do learn about the history behind every shoes I buy. I am just sad that the older heads don’t appreciate the new generation. Not all of us buy shoes just because of the trend, there are certainly teenagers like this but not all. The sneaker culture should be about appreciation not about picking on the new generations on buying shoes that doesn’t make them “Real heads”. Although I am 15, I do watch a lot jordan game tapes, I got a whole disk of jordan’s games, but does that make me a real sneakerhead? I don’t think so, I think that as long as you love every pair of shoes you buy instead of just buying shoes because they make you “cooler”, you are a real sneakerhead.?

    • jordansince1988

      ?@mc5768 lol….SMH you just don’t get it and i feel you its cause your only *15* your heads not on straight you dont know what your talking about…the reason your watching this jordan stuff into the “jordan stuff” is becuase of hype…in the 1st place…if it wasnt cause everybody was doing it…i bet you could careless about jordan….

  19. Dixon Syder

    Being from Toronto I’ve noticed the generation gap in?hip-hop & its sub-cultures grow for a?while. It’s unfortunate we become so comfortable distancing ourselves as elders from the youth & vice-versa. I’ve been surprised at the depth of knowledge & passion from a lot of younger heads. & i’ve been disappointed to see some “OG’s” move to mainstream (ignorantly) as they justify their “need” to get $ to support themselves. ?Some just do a brilliant job of being themselves (what up SCAM). ?But especially as a hip-hop culture we need to get over the exclusive club?mentality?& get with the inclusive mentality… “WE ALL WE GOT”. It’s easy to disgress on your style & passion by “selling out” but at the end of the day, what are you “buying into”? Team Adidas/Jordan for life, but I definately appreciate all. Read more, go into new scenarios with a blank slate, stop assuming you know, LEARN!
    Big Dix

  20. ThatCoolKid123

    As a young Head, only 15, I have to say something. No, most older Heads don’t like the new generation. When I buy shoes, I know the history. Not cause everyone else buys them. Yes, many young Heads are hypebeats, but I’m not one of them. Damn, I just started getting into shoes. And I love them. But something is wrong. And that something, is hypebeasts. I will always respect the older and true Heads that taught me everything.

    • itsrunaway

      ?@ThatCoolKid123?word, completely agree. i’m your age and I gotta say not everyone of us is killing the game, hate that i just got in to this “sneaker game,” wish i got into earlier.

  21. AlB16

    I dont get it. Older heads claim that my generation is killing the kicks game because we don’t appreciate and know the history of the kicks.. Well no shit, we weren’t part of the generation that got to see Jordan playing his game and what he did in each shoe.. I think thats why kids my age (17) are on this site, to learn and appreciate… at the end of the day i think a true sneakerhead buys the shoes they dig, appreciates them because they caught your eye, and tries to learn whatever they can about the shoe. You older heads make it sound like i should strait up stick to buying Kobe’s and LeBron’s because then in ten years I’ll be able to say ohh Kobe hit a playoff game winner in these kicks.. If y’all really appreciated kicks you’d be out there trying to teach the new generation about the history we missed out on… I’m not a hypebeast because i dig 4’s but dont know about every shit Jordan took while he was wearing them… If i was out on lines at 4 am because everyone else wanted the 4’s and i wanted to look cool but didnt genuinely love the shoe.. well that a hypebeast.. Your generations gonna die out unless you pass it on to us…?

  22. sharpmartin1

    I don’t understand how knowing the shoe’s history can make you a “true sneaker head” ?I buy shoes because i like em, I don’t care how hyped it is or isn’t I’ll buy it either way. ?I don’t like 5s so I don’t care how many people say I should rock 5s, or how many people rock 5s I won’t wear em. I know a lot of these dudes worship black cement three, but I’m not really down wit em so I’m not gonna buy em because some “true sneakerhead” says the history of the shoe makes it a neccesity. ?I mean I never saw MJ ball in em so you have that emotional connection over me, ?but that don’t mean I can’t buy the shoes and it doesn’t make me a “hypebeast”

    • ?@sharpmartin1?I’m with you on this. ?I don’t care for any particular Jordans (or any other shoes I like for that matter) due to some connection to history, and I was alive for/remember all these moments…. ?I don’t own shoes to have some kind of connection to a moment in some other human beings career. ?I buy shoes I like, and I wear what I buy. ?I appreciate what the III represents, not because of any on-court accomplishments, but because it was a turning point for Nike, and their affiliation with Jordan, and the way that design influenced what came after it, but really, I just think it’s a good looking shoe, personally. ?I have been avoiding all the stupid hyped up JB retros of late, because I’m tired of the BS. ?The people who frustrate me, that are “ruining the game” in my opinion are all these resellers springing up, just trying to make a buck, buying up whatever number of shoes just to resell. ?I can’t hate a hustle, but it’s just obnoxious. ?

Leave a Reply