Escorted by security, my staff and I made our way into the store early Saturday morning. At the end of four days with a camp line and with hundreds of people occupying the streets of Montreal on release day, it was with a lot of stress and pressure that my team and I were able to become one of the only stores in North America able to successfully go ahead, without complications, with the first come first serve launch of the most controversial release of 2016, the adidas BAPE NMD. Just because last week wasn’t crazy enough, we also launched three V2 Yeezy Boost, two NMD XR1s, and handled the Black Friday sale.
Pause the commotion for a bit and I have to admit that I surprised myself in the last months since starting The Sneaker Podcast with the crew, joining The Brag Affair family, and broadening my horizons. Sneaker wise, I switched from only EQTs, ZXs, and classics, to a couple of Yeezys, Ultras, Tubulars, and other hype cool stuff. Silhouettes and styles are moving to newer and more modern executions, shapes, and textures and I love embracing change in the sneaker culture… Evolution is the mission.
Flashback two years, and UPS rings at the backdoor to bring us the daily shipment at the shop. As I open one carton, I see a ZX Flux box which I rush to open. The blue box reveals the extremely coveted PRISM execution of the Flux. Mooonnnths after its US release, it has finally showed up in Canada. We were always late on releases and barely got the hot allocations. I speak with the manager and tell him we will use our own social medias to try to “create” hype for this release. He agrees and, on our own, we share it all around, try to spread the word. When the morning of the release date that we had set comes around, 10 people are at the door… The whole team celebrates for a couple of minutes, before we open to let 10 calm dudes file in a super disorganised line\distribution to buy a pair; we sell 14 pairs that day. Big win for us.
Flashback another few years and you are in a space where you might have been looking at the old stuff that you love so much. The good times, the tag-popping, the hunts, the outlet steals, the sneaker trips, the ghetto photo shoots, that night you got drunk in a club with your grails and covered them with Captain Morgan. Remembering an event in your life, or just why you love that shoe so much that you will always find yourself feeling alive when you tie the laces in the morning before kicking off the day.
Flash forward back to my paused moment and I have always said that I wanted to be the adidas guy in the city, which I guess implies a lot of responsibility. Instagram, Facebook, emails, text messages, and phone calls, I was solicited 24\7 this past week. I’ve woken to messages from the not-heard-of-in-years people asking for a so-said plug, trying to find out details, and all sorts of other info. Day and night, I’ve had freaking shoes only on my mind. At a certain point, I found myself on my couch, quiet and clueless, wanting to get rid of everything, burn my phone and wear flip-flops in Mexico for a month. The hype, the politics, the reselling had gotten to me. The brand that I have always loved since my early days is now getting all the love that it should. Maybe not always for the right reasons, but at least, the love for the three stripes is materializing. Prices are going up, the phone is ringing more than ever at the shop, Instagram is booming with photos and hot, new releases. Everything is so quick and you see yourself looking at twenty shoes per week dropping from all brands, and you wonder what shoe will really make you feel like how you felt the first time you rocked the first pair that got you to buy more sneakers.
My dear close sneaker friends and an adidas buddy of mine suggested me all sorts of ways to refocus and find clarity… It’s my people. That’s the reason I do it. I am surrounded by the most amazing people in the world. Whether it be my followers on social media, the homies, my staff at the store, my game changing boss, or my dear loving friends, it is always so gratifying to be able to share with who you love why you love. I understand that there is an industry and some opportunities to be made, but I will never be the one to flip a couple bucks into a little fortune on sneakers after 4 days under the cold rain… And I will most likely never understand it.
As I stood in my sneaker room at the crib the night of the release, I remembered feeling like the lone, last man standing Saturday as the line was getting dense and the tension was rising on the streets before the doors opened… But I was not alone. I got all my people backing me up, loving me for who I am and not only for what I can do.
So, this one is for my people.
Gina, Cherry, Mike, Anna, Brian, Paul, Clo and most importantly, Chris…
Your words and your support kept me up, and reminded me how crazy I am about what I do!
Wear your stuff, create moments, bring your shoes to life, and keep it fresh!