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Posted on November 26 2020

Many would point to the Jordan 1 Off-White Chicago or Off-White Air Force 1 MoMa as the best evidence of Virgil Abloh’s power over resale. Jordan 1s and AF1s are among the most popular silhouettes on StockX, and they generate their own demand. Some of the most accessible general releases of those silhouettes flip for sky-high premiums if the colorway is right. A true showing of influence is when a collaborator can turn a zero into a hero. Like the Nike Air Presto.

Until Virgil brought his trademark design to the Presto, it had rarely been considered a resale heavyweight, though it did have an interesting story.

The original Nike Air Presto debuted at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and featured a new sizing system, unlike anything Nike had ever done before. Marketed as the “t-shirt for your feet”, the Nike Presto exchanged traditional numerical sizing for a universal, S-XL size run that was supposed to simplify the shoe fitting process. Yet while the Air Presto is a historic silhouette in Nike’s journey, it has never been considered valuable in the resale market. At least without a collaborator.

We dove deep into the numbers to show how Virgil Abloh and Off-White have helped lift the Presto from resale obscurity to resale fame.

Nike Presto Premiums
The overall average price of the Nike Presto appears to have a solid footing in the resale market. When totaling every Presto sale on StockX, the average pair resells for more than 2x retail at a price of just under $250. Any time a sneaker holds an average premium of over 100%, there is a sign that demand for the silhouette is consistent throughout all of its releases. But for the Presto, this is not the case. The numbers are misleading. They fail to show how important collaborations like Off-White are to the overall resale performance of Nike Prestos.

To understand the impact Presto collaborations have on overall resale averages, we broke up the Presto category into collaborative and non-collaborative models, and what we discovered was surprising. The price gap between the collaborative and non-collaborative is enormous. The data shows that the average Air Presto collaboration resells for $475, almost 4x more than the average non-collaborative Presto, whereas the non-collaborative Prestos tend to resell at just over the retail of $120. Presto collaborations have seen incredible gains, but the means in which they achieve those gains have been pretty lopsided.

Nike Presto Off-White

The bubble chart above shows the average resale profit of each collaborative Air Presto release compared to the total amount of dollars spent on said release on StockX. The size of each bubble represents each release’s resale premium: the larger the bubble, the larger the premium. Each collaboration is represented by a color and each bubble represents a colorway within that Presto collaboration. As you can see, all three Off-White Presto releases (shown in green) are the dominant leaders in all variables, holding the highest resale prices, highest premiums, and most dollars spent. Even among collaborative models, the Off-White releases are in a league of their own. While the first batch of Acronym Prestos generated significant profits (averaging roughly $300 above retail), all other collaborations – including the Comme Des Garçons Presto, Undercover Presto, and more recent Acronym releases – have generally fallen short.

The price difference between collaborative and non-collaborative Nike Prestos is substantial, but when you take Off-White out of the equation, it’s a different story. Non-Off-White Presto collaborations resold for $165 on average, which is only $42 more than the average non-collaborative, general release Presto. On the other end of the spectrum, the average Off-White Presto resold for just over $890, more than 5x the resale price of Non-Off-White Prestos.

The strength of the Off-White Presto reaches beyond the sphere of collaborations. Off-White Prestos play a major role in the overall resale performance of Prestos as a whole.

There are over 220 Nike Presto releases, each a unique colorway, listed on StockX. Among those shoes, there are only three Off-White Prestos, a mere 1.3% of total Presto releases. While Off-White collaborations account for a microscopic share of all Presto releases, their share of the market – measured by StockX GMV, or total dollars spent – is quite large.

The dollars spent on Off-White Prestos make up roughly 52% of the total dollars spent on all Air Prestos, taking the majority by four points. It is a testament to Virgil Abloh’s remarkable effect on demand and resale performance that just three Off-White shoes can generate more than half of all Presto dollars.

When assessing Virgil’s impact, it is understandable that sneakers like the Off-White Jordan 1 win the headlines, given the iconic silhouette and $4,000+ price tag. But the Presto is in many ways a more remarkable story. When the history of Virgil’s sneaker reign is fully written, his elevation of the Presto to the upper echelons of hype will be a central story.