20 April 2023

Mike Redwood discusses the importance of exciting and trend-setting designs for leather to feature in the top-selling footwear of today, writes Dr Mike Redwood on ILM.



The last couple of weeks have been a story of footwear. Former basketball player Michael Jordan’s “Bred” Air Jordans, worn during Game 2 of the 1998 NBA Finals, sold for a record US$2.2 million at a Sotheby’s Auction. At the other end of the scale, if you follow Lyst’s hotlists, you will know that in the final top 10 for 2022, Crocs from a Salehe Bembury collaboration were featured at prices around US$150 and more, although they are almost impossible to find now. It is not a strong story for leather. The list of materials in the black and red (hence Bred) Air Jordan’s do contain some soft leather and suede but they are alongside a myriad of fossil fuel-derived plastics.

We have seen a certain shift back to leather among the higher value, luxury and replica sneakers. Since many of the plastics used deteriorate after 20 years of standing in the light, as a consequence of additives like softeners leaching out, if you own a valuable non-leather pair for investment purposes, keep them in the dark and as cool as possible.

To read the rest of this article click on Redwood Comment.

About APLF

We bring leather, material and fashion businesses together: an opportunity to meet and greet face to face. We bring them from all parts of the world so that they can find fresh partners, discover new customers or suppliers and keep ahead of industry developments.


We organise a number of trade exhibitions which focus on fashion and lifestyle: sectors that are constantly in flux, so visitors and exhibitors alike need to be constantly aware both of the changes around them and those forecast for coming seasons.


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