Travis Scott has teased yet another unreleased Nike collaboration less than 24 hours after the release of his Fragment Air Jordan 1 Low. Previewed on the rapper’s Instagram story, another Air Jordan 1 bears a red toe box, black suede overlays, and animal prints across its mudguard. Scott’s signature reverse Swoosh isn’t in view — meaning the pair could be a custom — but the sneaker’s color blocking and vintage look suggest La Flame is behind this Nike project.
If true, this wild Air Jordan 1 would be Travis’ 10th Nike collaboration in 2021 alone. Already, the rapper has released an Air Jordan 1 High and Low with Fragment, a “British Khaki” Jordan 6, and has teased five upcoming Air Max 1s as well as a retro Air Trainer 1 Mid. Nike is really cashing in on Scott’s name, but is the brand killing off hype by overusing it? Or is Travis untouchable?
Straight-up sellout — Input has already named Scott the “king of collaborations;” his partnerships outside of Nike have included everything from McDonald’s meals to Hot Wheels collaborations. At this point, it’s almost like the rapper is trying to see just how much he can sell with his name.
So long as Scott’s products remain limited — seemingly accessible through SNKRS lottery-based draws or boutique raffles — hypebeasts will continue to feed into the collaborations. And while La Flame’s name boosts sales, it’s not necessarily the selling point. Instead, “Travis Scott” has become synonymous with exclusivity. If everyone owned a sneaker co-signed by the rapper, they wouldn’t be so special, or in-demand.
Nike’s Dunk sneaker, for example, has been nearly impossible to purchase ever since Scott flaunted a few pairs of the retro shoe around 2019. Draws, resellers, and bots have all restricted Nike’s endless Dunk drops, and consumers are starting to grow tired of the shoe: It’s become too mainstream, meaning its hype — and the appeal that comes with — is disappearing.
The same could be said of Travis’ Nike collaborations. With so many co-branded sneakers produced just this year, consumers may give up on the models like they did with the Dunk. With so many partnerships on the way, it’s not long before Scott’s sneakers are owned by people outside of the hypebeast circle, hinting at too much accessibility. And what’s so special about a collaboration if there’s already six others following it?
$$$ — Still, as long as the collaborative pairs bear Scott’s name, their clout is protected, thanks to the value attached. Although we’re getting tired of the reverse Swooshes, their likeness sells for no less than thousands of dollars on resale sites — Travis’ Fragment Air Jordan Low is listed for nearly $4,000 online only hours after its release. Anyone who gets the sneaker and doesn’t intend to wear it is almost guaranteed to flip the shoe for profit, keeping accessibility to the co-branded models low — and demand high.
Not everyone chases Scott’s sneakers for clout; some see the shoes as an opportunity to make money. Nike, of course, is cashing in the most on its collaborations, and likely won’t stop its rollout anytime soon. While exclusivity is important, profit means more to a company and its investors.
Travis’ newest sneaker will probably be shadowed by another unreleased tease next week as the rapper continues to debut more collaborations than actual music. And until something more hype comes along, Scott’s sneakers are here to stay, so long as they remain hard-to-get.