Urban Eola

Are the $14.99 Starbury shoes the next big fashion trend?

The beginnings of fashion and pop culture trends always intrigue me. LiveStrong bracelets, iPods, Lacoste shirts are recent examples. Influencers usually begin the movement and others catch on quickly for an almost contagious-like movement.

Steve & Barry's + Stephon Marbury = Starbury Shoes
In August of 2006, I wrote that discount athletics clothing retailer Steve & Barry's (which in itself is a brand spreading like crazy) in collaboration with New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury, created the Starbury shoes. At the time, the company claimed that the shoes were just as well made as the most expensive basketball shoes (ie Nike, adidas) but at a absolute fraction of the price - $14.98.

Too cheap to be any good
Everyone, including myself, was skeptical that such a cheap shoe could actually be any good. Marbury was so confident that he pledged to wear the shoes in his NBA games. At the time, I was picturing his shoes coming apart mid game. I could just see a multi-million dollar NBA player with duck tape holding his shoes together. That would be old school.

Sales taking off
It turns out that the retailer can't keep the shoes on the shelf. SportsBiz reports that Steve & Barry's sold out a couple of months of shoes in three days and has sold at least 3 million pairs, mostly by word of mouth. And by all reports, the original Starburys have held up well, performing just as well as their high priced competitors.

First endorser signs on
Adding even more credibility to the apparel line, Bulls star Ben Wallace will become the company's first endorser (outside Marbury himself). The Wallace signature shoe will debut next season, but he will begin wearing the second generation Starbury shoes, Starbury II, when they launch on April 1. The Starbury II's will remain just $14.98. Amazing.

I'm definitely picking up a pair at a local Steve & Barry's.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:26 PM |

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