Rare sneakers that sell themselves

All you need is a celebrity collaboration, limited edition and a bit of hype to see the price soar

In the UAE, streetwear and sneaker culture is booming. ‘Sneakerheads’ are sporting some of the most revered shoes from around the world. To say Nike dominates this space would be an understatement.

While the sneaker scene here is relatively new, young and trendy consumers are clamouring to get their hands on extremely rare, limited-edition pieces to add to their collection. They are known as the holy grail.

Nikita Efremov recently launched its flagship store at Dubai’s Mall of Emirates, tapping into this trend with an inventory of some of the most coveted and rare collection of sneakers. These include the Nike Air Jordan 1 High OG SP Fragment Design x Travis Scott which are going for AED 14,990.

 There are several reasons why certain sneakers become highly valuable.

 Limited editions: Sneaker companies often release limited edition runs of certain models, creating scarcity and driving up demand.

Celebrity collaborations: Collaborations with famous athletes, musicians, artists, or designers can significantly increase the desirability and value of sneakers.

Popularity and hype: Some sneakers gain significant popularity and hype, leading to high demand and increased prices in the resale market.

For commonly available pairs of shoes, Nike for example would release around 500,000 pairs. For limited edition collaborations, the Trophy Room x Air Jordan 1 was limited to 12,000 pairs while the Dior x Air Jordan 1 was limited to 8,000 pairs for customers.


Collaborations often fetch higher prices in the resale market. When sneaker brands team up with celebrities, artists, or designers, the resulting limited-edition sneakers tend to be highly sought after by collectors and fans alike.

“The combination of brand prestige and limited availability can drive up the resale value significantly,” said CEO and owner of his eponymous brand, Nikita Efremov.

Examples of collaborations fetching extremely high prices are the Nike Air YEEZY 2 Red October in collaboration with Kanye West that are currently on sale for AED 79,990.

 The Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Off-White White designed by the late-great Virgil Abloh, a designer and Artistic Director of Menswear at Louis Vuitton, are currently on sale for AED 29,990.

But who typically buys these rare and limited-edition shoes? “Sneaker enthusiasts and collectors come from diverse demographics.

Image credit: Nikita Efremov


“While teenagers and young adults form a significant portion of the market due to the sneaker culture’s popularity among youth, adult collectors, including sneakerheads of all ages, are also prevalent,” added Efremov.

Sneakers are bought for various reasons. Some buy them to wear and showcase their personal style, while others collect them as investments or display pieces.

The resale market for valuable sneakers has grown considerably, and some collectors treat limited edition or rare sneakers as investments, anticipating that their value will increase over time.

However, the primary motivation for buying sneakers varies from person to person, and many simply buy them for the love of the culture and design,” said Efremov.

To cater to the desires of avid collectors and the vibrant sneaker community in the region, he has introduced a curated collection of rare sneakers, the likes of which are seldom found around the world.