Alternative investments are a polarising concept. Some look at them as a vehicle for financial control, while others pass them off as scams and get-rich-quick schemes.
Among Gen Z and millennials, these investments — from crypto to sneakers — are becoming commonplace. In a survey conducted by Fundrise this February, it was revealed that over 50 per cent of young investors were looking to increase their allocation to alternative investments.
Singapore-based sneaker marketplace Ox Street has been capitalising on this trend in Southeast Asia. Founded in 2019, the platform gives regional consumers convenient access to the latest drops.
“Traditionally there’s been a big supply gap when it comes to Southeast Asian and Australian sneakerheads having access to the most coveted kicks. Even when they are connected to the latest drops, they’re left empty-handed for several weeks due to shipping times,” says Ox Street founder Gijs Verheijke.
Ox Street has built up a vast community of local sellers and introduced instant shipping. In some cases, the platform is even able to fulfil next-day sneaker delivery.
This has allowed the platform to grow its sales by 400 per cent over the last 12 months. “The demand is credited to the rise of Gen Z investors, collectors, and fashion-conscious consumers,” adds Verheijke.
As with most forms of collectibles — from trading cards to action figures — the appeal doesn’t always make sense to those looking in.
Verheijke, being a collector himself, likens it to a bug. “Once you get ‘poisoned’ by sneakers, it’s very hard to stop,” he says. “You start to see them as more than just footwear.”
The appeal lies not only in owning the sneakers, but in the thrill of searching…