Pop culture figures inspire limited-edition sneakers

As members of The Monetization Generation, Zs are known to design custom sneakers to sell to their friends or wait in line for hours to snag limited-edition pairs that they flip for a profit. Per our latest report, Trendsetting Zs in the U.S. and UK are more likely than the general population to spend more money for limited-edition items, helping fuel the release of ephemeral shoe lines designed to appeal to Zs and Ys alike. 


Puma and Australian knitwear brand Coogi came together to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of the Notorious B.I.G. with a line of limited-edition shoes. Coogi was a brand that Biggie wore regularly and helped bring to prominence in the 1990s. Puma paired Coogi’s intricate colors and patterns with the silhouette of its “Clyde” sneaker, and two pattern panels were used to ensure that no two sets were exactly the same. The first round of Biggie sneakers sold out immediately, but due to their popularity, Puma released a follow-up line, with gold-plated sneakers going for $200 a pair.


Lena Dunham joined forces with Lakai shoes and her illustrator friend, Joanna Avillez, to create a line of sneakers to help empower women. All of Dunham’s proceeds from the shoes, which feature a series of illustrations on white or pink canvas, benefit Young Women Empowered, or Y-WE, an organization that helps young women from diverse backgrounds to step up as leaders in their schools, communities, and the world. Lakai and Dunham chose young women of various backgrounds to represent the campaign, showcasing the wide array of activities taken on by the modern woman.


Pizza Hut launched a line of high-tech sneakers with the design help of LA sneaker legend, the Shoe Surgeon, earlier this year. When people pressed the button on the tongue of the shoe, they automatically ordered a large supreme pizza that Pizza Hut delivered to their exact location. The pizza chain created 64 of these pairs of shoes, dubbed “Pie Tops,” in accordance with the 64 teams in March Madness. Most were given to influencers, but a select few were released to the public as well.