You thought third-party authenticators were done after they came for your comic books? Get ready for sneaker authenticators. Gerry Tebben passed along this article with the email subject line, "Sneakers authenticators for God's sake."
"While it doesn't have anything to do with coins, E-Sylum readers might find this article in yesterday's Washington Post interesting. Sneaker Authenticators! I wear my sneakers to authentically walk the dog."
Justin Mupas holds up two identical-looking pairs of the Nike
Chunky Dunkys," a highly sought-after sneaker that can resell for more than $1,000.
Do you think you can pick which one is real and which one is fake?" he asks.
The real Chunky Dunky pair, a 2020 collaboration with ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's that originally sold for $100, features Nike's signature swoosh in yellow and a cow skin pattern, an homage to the bovine face of the ice cream maker's packaging.
But for Mupas, who examines hundreds of shoes each day as a trained sneaker authenticator for the online marketplace StockX, the smell is a giveaway: real Chunky Dunkys give off the scent of animal fur. The fakes smell like factory glue.
Resale companies including eBay, StockX and GOAT have turned to sneaker authenticators to protect their trade, promising patrons that sneakers resold on their sites are certified.
While authentication videos have circulated around YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, some of the microscopic tells of authentic footwear are kept covert, hidden in the depths of companies' authentication centers around the world. It's the key to edging out competitors — and to combat counterfeits.
That's another reason why we don't really tell people what every aspect of our test is, said Garry Thaniel, eBay's general manager of sneakers.
Just because people will plan for those things.
a form of security" for the sneaker resale market — just as similar security and verification processes are for art, handbags, jewelry and technology, said Kevin Rivera, a designer and adjunct professor of footwear design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
While human authenticators are a public face of the work, technology also plays a part.
Entrupy, a company that focuses on AI-based authentication, created an app that uses machine learning algorithms to verify items. Last year, Nike partnered with Customs and Border Protection to give the agency technology for the authentication of its merchandise at certain facilities, though neither organization said what the tool was.
"I like that sneakers have to pass an actual smell test."
To read the complete article, see:
As counterfeits rise, sneaker authenticators sniff out real from fake
Wayne Homren, Editor
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