THE BIG READ | R27 million for a pair of trainers – how rare takkies have become a global commodity

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These Dior x Nike Air Jordan 1 Highs are the French brand’s first collaboration with the sneaker giant. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
These Dior x Nike Air Jordan 1 Highs are the French brand’s first collaboration with the sneaker giant. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

He’s been buying at £3 100 (R63 550) and selling for £10 000 (R205 000), Omar Aziz tells us as he rushes between business meetings in London. The 23-year-old isn’t talking about stocks, but the mark-up on Generation Z’s new favourite asset class: trainers. Dior x Nike Air Jordan 1 Highs, to be precise.

Omar has just opened a shop in Knightsbridge, one of London’s most sought-after postcodes, where he sells limited-edition trainers to a customer base that includes famous rappers and wealthy expats. Standing across from Harrods, the store has the kind of opulent decor and trendy name you might expect. It’s called “CONCEPT”, but without the vowels. Omar’s business partner, 27-year-old David Lemos, welcomes me into the store.

Each shoe has been individually vacuum-packed in see-through plastic and carefully arranged on white marble pedestals. There is a line of fur jackets hanging from gold railings, two tall mannequins dressed in floor-length ballgowns, white leather armchairs and a wall of diamond rings, gold necklaces and marble-sized pearls.

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