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Article: The Vibrant World Of Sneaker Culture in India

The Vibrant World Of Sneaker Culture in India

The craze for collecting limited edt shoes, participating in raffles to win the latest kicks, and even resorting to the dark net for hard-to-find pairs has sparked a growing sneaker culture in India. It's hard to believe, but the Indian sneakers and streetwear industry is estimated to exceed $3 billion, making it a potentially massive marketplace for sneakers despite being relatively new to the scene. The origins of this sneaker culture can be traced back to the United States in the 80s when Nike signed a deal with the up-and-coming basketball star Michael Jordan. In 1985, the iconic Air Jordan 1 was released and the rest is history.

Earlier times, sneakers were considered practical and comfortable, but not fashionable. However, things have changed drastically. Sneakers have now become an object of desire that has brought together people from all over the world. Today, sneaker culture is no longer limited to just athletes or sneakerheads. It has also made its way into the luxury fashion industry and haute couture, becoming a trend among celebrities and youngsters worldwide.

In 2016, the sneaker craze in India kicked off when popular brands like Nike and Adidas made their general releases available in the country. However, most people were not keen on spending big bucks for the expensive pairs. This led sneakerheads to go undercover and rely on word-of-mouth to snag exclusive, high-end sneakers.

Do you know which brands have captured the hearts of sneaker enthusiasts in India right from the beginning? It's Nike, Adidas, and Puma! These giants in the sneaker industry truly understand what sneaker freaks crave for. Interestingly, Puma has recently taken the lead in India, becoming the top shoe brand with sales amounting to a whopping Rs. 1157 crore last year. 

In 2017, a talented individual named Vedant Lamba embarked on an exciting YouTube journey by creating a channel called 'Mainstreet TV'. Little did he know that this channel would soon grow into India's biggest sneaker resale store! Combining stunning art gallery aesthetics with the country's flourishing sneaker craze culture, Mainstreet TV became a sensation. Fast forward four years, and voila, Mainstreet Marketplace was born! This amazing brand aims to revolutionise the sneaker culture in India by offering exclusive kicks from renowned brands such as Yeezys, Jordans, Anti Social Social Club, Nike, Adidas, and many more. 

Karan Khatri, a well-known influencer and YouTuber, is a true sneaker enthusiast. He has an impressive following of 39.3K subscribers on his YouTube channel "India's Biggest Hypebeast." Khatri, who has been gathering sneakers for years, passionately shares his love for them through engaging videos. From tips on keeping your sneakers squeaky clean to distinguishing between genuine and counterfeit pairs, he covers it all. Not to mention, his unboxing videos with rare and unique sneakers are a treat for his viewers.

If you scroll through his Instagram profile, you'll be greeted with trendy portraits of Khatri donning perfectly coordinated outfits with his latest exclusive sneaker pickups. His fashion game is on point! With an immense fan base of 69.5K Instagram followers, he has captivated the hearts of many sneaker enthusiasts and fashion lovers alike.

Superkicks founder Sangeet Paryani drew inspiration from his involvement in his father's retail company, Mayank Distributors Pvt Ltd, which specialises in footwear and apparel brands. This experience made him realise that people have become more brand-conscious, viewing apparel and footwear as lifestyle products rather than just functional items.

To cater to the needs of passionate sneaker enthusiasts, the Delhi Kicks Xchange was established in 2017 by founder Atul Sharma. Also known as "DKX: House of Grails," this incredible sneaker meetup brings together streetwear lovers from all corners of India. Over the years, the event has witnessed remarkable growth and now includes meetup locations in Bangalore, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Mumbai. It's a fabulous opportunity to engage in conversations about street-focused fashion!

The sneaker community in India is changing, and its future lies in the hands of people who buy sneakers for the joy they bring, rather than just for show. It's the dancers who start with simple unbranded sneakers and eventually upgrade to affordable options like Adidas, Reebok, or Nike. They might even wait for clearance sales to grab their favourite pairs. The future belongs to those in subcultures who love buying sneakers and giving them their own unique touch. So, let's celebrate the diverse sneaker community and the exciting times ahead!

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