According to the new documentary "Sneakerheadz," an estimated 1,200 Americans die each year because of sneakers. We all know the hype that surrounds limited edition shoe releases, like Jordans or Yeezys, which are usually offered in limited quantities and hyped up months in advance. Now some people are blaming those marketing tactics for fueling the fire of violence that revolves around sneakers.
In a clip from the film on GQ.com, Dazie Williams explains how her son was shot and killed after being followed home from the mall where he'd bought the new Air Jordans. She's since founded Life Over Fashion, an organization that's pushing for changes to be made in the fashion industry to prevent and stop the violence that surrounds sneaker culture.
"Nike did contact me. I spoke with one of the VPs of Nike, and to this day, we are in constant communication," she said. "I actually spoke with Michael Jordan. He gave his condolences, and I asked him, could we meet and talk about a solution."
While some changes are being made -- sneaker releases now happen around 8 a.m. rather than midnight to prevent aggressive behavior, and Adidas created the Confirmed app to combat the problems surrounding high-profile sneaker releases, though it's not a perfect system -- people are still dying over pairs of shoes, so it's clear that more changes need to happen.
Listening to the "Sneakerheadz" documentary's heart-breaking testimonials, it's clear that, with reforms to the current retail model, sneaker companies could lead the charge in fixing this problem.