Travis Scott’s partnership with Jordan Brand and Nike has been a game-changer, bringing forth a new energy to several iconic models for both labels. Perhaps the most celebrated amongst his repertoire is the Jordan 1 Low, now reimagined for the green - The Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low Golf.
What sets this release apart from others is not just Scott's signature design but also its distribution strategy. Instead of the conventional sneaker shops and websites that sneakerheads have almost besieged during such high-profile releases, the task this time has fallen to local golf retailers globally.
But with exclusivity, sometimes come conditions that raise eyebrows. A couple of retailers have incorporated a unique approach to determine who gets their hands on these limited edition shoes: they must prove their golf prowess. To the purist, this may seem a genuine attempt to ensure that the shoes reach the feet of genuine golfers. But when you delve deeper, the nature of these requirements seems less inclusive.
For instance, Trendy Golf, a UK-based retailer, has stirred controversy with its entry criteria for the raffle. Men wishing to partake must demonstrate their ability to drive the ball at least 200 yards, while women must achieve at least 150 yards. While these numbers may seem arbitrary to the average person, they represent significant milestones in the world of golf, milestones that many casual players or newcomers might not reach. The problem is that these shoes, given their collaboration with Travis Scott, attract a wider audience beyond just golfers.
For Travis Scott fans looking forward to adding his latest Jordan 1 Low (and possibly one of his last) to their collection, such criteria feel exclusionary. It’s as if though one's worthiness of owning the shoe is being measured not by their appreciation for the design or the artist but by their ability to swing a golf club. Sneaker culture has moved beyond just athletes and has firmly cemented itself in mainstream fashion.
Appreciating the angle from which these golf shops are coming from is essential. They're trying to foster a genuine appreciation for the sport, ensuring that a golf shoe finds its way to someone who will use it on the green. But in the broader context of sneaker culture and the diverse fan base of Travis Scott, the move feels less than inclusive.
Parallels can also be drawn to Nike SB Dunk releases, as there are plenty of instances where shops have tried to “gatekeep” releases from sneakerheads and favor skaters. 808 Skate Shop in Hawaii required customers to land a kickflip to secure a pair of Yuto Horigome’s Nike SB Dunk Low, and in the past, we’ve seen others employ similar methods.
These “gatekeeping” incidents bring forth a significant question about the balance between exclusivity, fairness, and true appreciation of a product. While ensuring that products find their rightful audience is essential, drawing lines based on skills or physical abilities might not be the best way forward in our ever-evolving world of fashion and fandom.
Neutral Olive/Black-Sail-Light Lemon Twist-Baroque Brown-White
October 13, 2023