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Sneakers, trainers, runners, daps and tennis shoes mirrored our 20th century social evolution and it is predicted the US sneaker resale market will reach $30 billion by 2030.

Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton director, Virgil Abloh said: "This generation may value sneakers more than a Matisse because [the Matisse] is not attainable."

There have been great strides in design since the British company J.W. Foster and Sons produced the first running shoes in 1895, which were spiked to allow for greater traction and speed. Now, whether you are upper class, lower class or something in between you probably own a pair of trainers. The big break for sneakers came in the 1970s when they became an essential part of beatboxing and break dancing. By the middle of the decade they were making the pages of Vogue and being worn by famous non-athletes like Farrah Fawcett and Mick Jagger.

The pivot came in 1984 with the launch of Nike Air Jordan and there was a seismic shift as sneakers moved into the world of status symbol, influencer culture and celebrity endorsements. In the same decade Dapper Dan was creating styles for celebrity hip-hop artists to a backdrop of Run-DMC's My Adidas.

Today the sneaker market attracts passionate collectors, resellers and dealers. Brands, designers and exotic colourways are key for prices with a great deal of competition to claim limited editions and flip them for profit. Sneakerheads, Netflix were inspired to create a comedy series after them, build up very large collections - Ariana, Dakota and Dresden Peters, known online as The Chicks With Kicks, have more than 6000 pairs housed in a commercial building with climate and humidity controls.

Designer sneaker collection

Established in 1991 ILS World's private client team is experienced at working with clients who include collectibles as part of their investment portfolios providing advice on trust and specialist company formation as tools to safeguard collections.

At the Grammys in 2008 Kanye West wore a pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes which were bought by the sneaker investing platform RARES for $1.8 million in 2021. The Yeezy line of low-risers, now produced by Adidas, reported sales of nearly $1.7 billion in 2020 netting Yeezy $191 million in royalties. In 2021 a pair of Nike Air Ship trainers worn by National Basketball Association superstar Michael Jordan early in his career sold for nearly £1.5 million, setting a record price at auction for game-worn footwear.

Our private client team is experienced in supporting many passionate collectors and has decades of experience working with multi-jurisdictional structures. We have an appreciation and understanding of how leisure has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry. Through our network of global contacts we liaise with specialist valuers, insurers and storage advisers to ensure storerooms are climate controlled and sneakers are routinely taken out of boxes so glue doesn't cause cracking.

Why Choose ILS World

As a leading provider of independent fiduciary services to professional advisors, corporate groups, private and digital clients, we are here to help achieve your financial goals.

At ILS World, we don’t restrict ourselves, we like to go beyond the borders. That is why we operate globally. You will find our offices in Isle of Man, British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, and Portugal.

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Emilia Stringer
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