On paper, a collaboration between sneaker resale platform GOAT and high-end luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman may seem unexpected. According to GOAT, though, the partnership not only makes sense based on the rising trend of luxury crossover in its marketplace, but it couldn't be happening at a more opportune time.
Matt Cohen, VP of Business Development and Strategy at GOAT Group, tells Complex that the company started noticing an upswing in luxury and streetwear crossover around two years ago. Cohen attributes much of the shift to the excitement around Virgl Abloh's Off-White x Nike collaboration, which he dubs the "official kick off" of the melding of the two worlds.
"It was this whole mix of high and low, luxury and street, and putting that combination together," Cohen said. "We started to see on GOAT that there was a real need for luxury supply and luxury interaction on the platform. So we started increasing supply and fulfilling consumer demand with supply from brands like Gucci, Balenciaga, Off-White, etc., and then we started focusing on direct distribution deals, and we kicked that off with Versace when they launched the Chain Reaction."
Cohen later met Bergdorf Goodman Men's Fashion Director Bruce Pask and the two began brainstorming ways to combine their two audiences. "Our demographic skews much younger, over 70 percent of our users are in the 18-34 year old demographic, whereas Bergdorf skews traditionally older," Cohen said. "And our user base is mobile first, whereas Bergdorf is traditionally a brick and mortar experience, a very iconic brand in New York City. We agreed that there’s been this intersection between luxury and street and sneakers, and so how can we create and experience to really encapsulate and bring this all together?"
The result is an extensive installation at Bergdorf Goodman's Men's Store on 5th Ave. GOAT's space is made up of two different shoppable displays; one which highlights some of the more coveted sneakers of the last 12 months like Sacai's Nike LDWaffle and Travis Scott's Air Jordan 1s, along with a second which looks back at even rarer pairs like the "Red October" Air Yeezy 2 and the self-lacing Nike Mag.
While GOAT has hosted various museum-esque pop-ups in the past, this marks the brand's first transactional retail experience. Meanwhile, Bergdorf Goodman has stepped into the streetwear space on a handful of occasions through its Kith collaborations, but this will be its notable first venture based around rare sneakers.
"We thought there was no better time to launch this experience than leading up to and extending through New York Fashion Week," Cohen says. "This was our way of saying, 'How do we bridge this gap between our experience and the Bergdorf Goodman experience and put it together in a nice, cohesive way?'"
Cohen says GOAT and Bergdorf Goodman plan to explore more opportunities in the future, but for now, the pop-up is open at Bergdorf's Men's Store through New York Fashion Week, which ends September 14.