SPRINGFIELD, IL — Sneakerheads around the globe let out a collective gasp upon hearing the news that they would be competing with the goth kids for the latest Off-White sneakers by Virgil Abloh. Increased competition to cop the coveted Chucks caused a fever pitch across online sneaker communities.
“The goths are coming!” shrieked a furious user on NikeTalk’s forums as soon as the news broke.
As predicted, increased site traffic made purchasing the sneakers much more difficult for seasoned sneakerheads. According to research by Forrester, this landmark crossover between the sneaker and goth culture resulted in approximately 623,000 additional users attempting to purchase the shoe. Cook success rates were affected as well, since only 1.7% of consumers were able to cop, compared to the expected 2.4%.
The Chuck Taylor is a staple piece within the goth community, and many agree that owning a pair is a prerequisite for being a goth. The model’s cult-like popularity encouraged the goth kids to purchase the sneakers en masse despite not having any prior experience buying Off-White products. Many did not even know what Off-White is and found themselves trying to buy a pair out of sheer confusion. Due to Abloh’s relatively simple design, many goths confused it as just another GR to add to their mostly-black wardrobe.
In-store releases were just as hectic as the online drop. We spoke with April Hall, manager of Hot Topic at the White Oak Mall location for more about the chaos in her store on release day.
“It felt like a tornado hit us. Not only did we have to deal with droves of our regular clientele, but I also noticed several new customers coming in. I thought some of the sh*t we sell is stupid, but many of these kids were wearing T-shirts with some brand about a monkey taking a bath. I did my best to engage with these unfamiliar customers, but they acted very strangely. I told one of the kids wearing an Anti Social Social Club shirt that we would soon start carrying that brand and he literally took his shirt off and threw it away in front of my face.”
While not a pleasant experience for April or the many customers trying to acquire a pair online, cultural experts believe this type of crossover is progressive for the culture and hope to see the trend continue. A rumor has surfaced on Twitter that Abloh’s next crossover will tap into Tommy Bahama to capture the “Margaritaville” demographic.