Ebene Magazine – The absurd Nike scandal that made sneakerheads go insane

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Ebene Magazine - The absurd Nike scandal that made sneakerheads go insane

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According to reports from Cowen Research, the sneaker resale market could reach $ 30 billion by 2030. « Flip » sneakers – buying them at retail prices or, in some cases, below retail prices and reselling them at a higher price – has been big business for years. Those willing to invest time, research, and labor can make big profits quickly thanks to social media and growing digital marketplaces like StockX and GOAT that are specifically tailored for commerce.

These programs naturally attract a lot of young ones Hope bearers. Imagine, for example, the 19 year old entrepreneur Joe Hebert or “West Coast Joe” as his sneakerhead friends almost certainly don’t really call him. On February 25th, Bloomberg Businessweek posted a voluptuous profile of him and his up and coming sneaker resale business, West Coast Streetwear. « Anything that’s published that I know I’m guaranteed to make money I’ll do to the full, » he told writer Joshua Hunt. « That’s just my style. »

Hebert’s « style » seems to be talking a lot too. Most of the sneaker fins don’t draw undue attention to their methods as the market has become competitive. But Hebert’s Instagram page shows off his incredible inventory or large quantities of brand new, unworn shoes. There are piles of Air Jordans, the most popular sneaker out there to be resold – they each make a profit of $ 50 to $ 100 on the low end. There are walls of Adidas Yeezy Boosts, the trademark of the divorced and Wyoming-based Kanye West. Hebert poses with his face covered in many of these shots, which suggests that he knew at least a little that this wasn’t the smartest idea.

Still, Hebert had no problem demonstrating his craft for Hunt, the reporter . The Bloomberg piece features a lively GIF of Hebert and a buddy loading sloppy boxes of boxes of sneakers and clothes onto the back of a U-Haul truck before getting into his as part of a multi-stage tour of Nike outlets last year Returned home state of Oregon, where he rents a warehouse to store his score. He lives in Portland, where Nike and Adidas run their US businesses. « If you know the right people here, this is the city to sell shoes in, » he told Bloomberg. « Plugs » or connections that can help you get hard-to-find inventory are key when it comes to this game. And most savvy, experienced resellers never reveal these sources.

It will soon be clear that Hebert is not one of the most savvy and experienced resellers. You see, at one point he called Hunt from a phone number identified as belonging to Ann Hebert. Hunt looked for the name. It turned out there was an Ann Hebert who had worked at Nike for 25 years, most recently as vice president and general manager for North America. When he demonstrated, Joe Hebert had also given the reporter his American Express statement about the company card. that too was in Ann Hebert’s name. As the Bloomberg piece went on:

When I asked Hebert about the connection later that year, he admitted that Ann was his mother and said that although she had inspired him as a businessman, she was so high on Nike was that she was removed from what he was doing, and that he had never received inside information like discount codes from her. However, he insisted that she was not mentioned in the article and broke the contact not long after our conversation.

Sneakerheads didn’t notice this incredible self very much at first, but others did. On Monday, Nike announced that Ann Hebert, a 25-year-old veteran worker, was stepping down from the leadership position she held for less than a year. Could this have something to do with the West Coast Streetwear corporate credit card being in Ann’s name? Or was it maybe Joe Hebert’s Discord group, where he charged $ 250 a month for information about « which sneakers would go on sale, when and where, and how many of the retailers would be »? It is unclear to what extent Ann Hebert was directly involved in her son’s lucrative endeavors, but it seems to have been enough to end her Nike career.

The fallout for Joe was even more humiliating. Ann’s firing, coupled with Bloomberg’s previous coverage, has caused the entire sneaker culture – from the most laid-back enthusiasts to die-hard sneakerheads – to go mad. Joe’s Instagram with all these cool warehouse shots has become a site for ritualized immersion in him. « Yo Mama should trade you in for a pair of Js, » a comment said. « Goofy was caught up with, » says another, adding several crying emojis. The joy and pain are currently spread across multiple platforms.

If I were a sneaker reseller making six-figure monthly sums and doing business on my Nike Exec mom’s corporate credit card, I just wouldn’t be a national publication tell everything

For its part, Nike is probably fed up with the drama it experienced at this relatively young year. For example, there were allegations as early as mid-February that the popular Orlando sneaker boutique Trophy Room was « backdooring » – or was secretly selling sneakers above retail prices before the official release date – large quantities of Air Jordan 1s in very limited editions. The shoes could only be bought in this special boutique.

Trophy Room was founded in 2016 by a Marcus Jordan. He is the second oldest child of the shoe’s namesake, Michael Jordan.

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