Thanks to the rise of sportswear and the millennial generation, today the sneaker industry is estimated to be worth $55 billion, with reselling coming in at $1 billion. Fuelled by the likes of Nike and Adidas, along with a slew of limited-edition collabs hitting the market, everyone is wanting to cash in.
Earlier this month, federal prosectors in New York charged five people in connection with a Nike Air Jordan counterfeiting scheme, aiming to import and sell over 300,000 fake sneakers, from China. What would have cost Nike $73 million in lost profit, is a regular trade overseas, and thanks to one insider, Vice News has given us a look into the sneaker black market.
Situated in the capital of counterfeit – Putain, China – the publication in collaboration with HBO has released a short documentary. Joining up with Chan (a.k.a. Ch@n from Reddit’s /r/repsneakers, who is a counterfeit seller himself), we get a look into the methods and dealing that go into producing fakes. It’s not the possibility of prosecution and lawsuits that scares Chan however, but his customers.
“Unfortunately, it’s just the hard and fast rules of doing business. You meet difficult customers. You’ll meet cheaters, you meet scammers who will be out there to cheat you off a pair of shoes,” Chan said. “So, unfortunately, this kind of thing happens, especially when you’re on a public domain like the Internet.”
If you’re curious to see what goes on behind, um, the other screen, watch below.