DALLAS – Responding to mounting interest in the red-hot collectible sneakers category, Heritage Auctions has created a Sneakers Division, naming Arman Salemi as its point guard.
Salemi, a Miami native, will serve as consignment director of Heritage’s newest division, a seemingly natural fit for Salemi, an avid basketball fan who developed a passion for sneakers at age 12. “I remember the first time my parents allowed me to choose my first pair of sneakers,” Salemi said. “The wall of shoes showcasing the different designs and colors, it was as if I could express myself in a way I never had before.”
Salemi quickly became a Sneakerhead and an enthusiastic collector, purchasing as many pairs as possible that fit his personality. At one point, his collection included roughly 200 pairs.
Salemi, who also enjoys retro video games and Silver Age comics, recently shared his view of the collectible sneakers market.
Why do people collect Sneakers?
SALEMI: Sneakers have become a fashion staple, collectible, and a way for people to express themselves and show their individuality. If you see one of your favorite athletes or artists wearing a pair, you have the opportunity to wear the same sneakers, creating a connection between you and the people that you idolize. In a sense, sneakers are a form of art, with the different colors, designs, models, materials used, and endless combinations one can create with them.
What’s the current status of the Sneakers market?
SALEMI: In recent years, the market for collectible sneakers has changed, with numerous online and retail stores coming to market. These “retailers” have changed the market by creating more awareness of the hobby and showcasing the rarity and collectability of specific models.
Manufacturers like Nike are constantly dropping new releases and exclusives, making it hard for collectors to buy them all, which has helped create this new buying/selling/trading market. Social media has also helped showcase these ultra-rare exclusives and make them more mainstream; as before, they were only rumors or even unknown to people. Prices have increased and continue to grow, and the future looks bright. Sneakers are not a fashion trend that will die down but a collectible that will forever be a part of pop culture.