“The way they market them [sneakers], they market them as if they are the dream,” says Mike Epps in the documentary, “Sneakerheadz,” that goes on the record about an unbelievable fact— an estimated 1,200 Americans die each year because of sneakers. Mike Epps like many other celebrities featured in the documentary tackle the controversy in blaming the marketing tactics for motivating the crimes and deaths that occur over sneakers.
“The shoe company should be able to grasp what they can and can’t control but the question is are they willing to take a step back in time,” says another featured man in the documentary conveying who the problem stems from. The five minute video clip on GQ.com illustrates footage and testimonies of the sneaker mayhem and America and why this problem is a huge one that needs to be addressed and furthermore tackled with diligence. One heart-felt testimony comes from Dazie Williams, a woman who tells us how her son was shot and killed after leaving the mall where he had just brought the new pair of Air Jordan’s after he was followed home. Since the departure of her son over this senseless crime, this adamant mom founded “Life Over Fashion,” a non-profit organization that advocates for prevention to stop violence over fashion and specifically incidences that revolve around the sneaker culture.
The short also details a few proactive measures corporations have taken to try to ensure more safety of customers, for example sneaker releases that take place at 8am rather than midnight or the Adidas’s “Confirmed App” that intends to pose solutions surrounding high profile sneaker releases. These measures have recently been taken in an effort to decrease the rowdiness and promote peace. However it still remains a prevalent issue where senseless death’s are staggering.