After reporting the about the NIKE Air Max 1 X Atmos “Elephant Print” release at The Good Life stores in Beirut and Dubai we thought we would reach out to George Salhab, the founder and CEO of The Good Life stores to get his reasons on why he does limited released the way he does and we want to get an insight into his life and his views and opinions on topics. Before continuing make sure you check out what went down at The Good Life stores when they released the NIKE Air Max 1 X Atmos “Elephant Print”, Click Here!
Now you’ve read that I bet you are excited to get into this, let’s do it! (Disclaimer: this is extremely long so get comfortable)
- As a sneakerhead that has gone beyond just being a collector. We wonder: How did it all start? How did you get into the sneaker game and what made you open your first store in Beirut, Lebanon?
George Salhab: To be franc it was a mixture of bad choices; I never graduated university, I never took school too seriously and it reached a point where it came to one summer where I had three options to choose from: going to work with my father, going work for someone else or going to work for NIKE. I had never been in a retail position, I had never sold anything in my life, and to this day I still don’t enjoy doing it as I feel like I force people to make decisions they perhaps don’t want to make.
I spent that summer at NIKE working and I realised first of all that I was already stacking boxes just from working there and I had my little collection going, this is 13/14 years back. I also realised that the selection at the store wasn’t what I was used to, it’s not that there were no SMU’s, LE’s, small production’s (…), it’s the fact that there wasn’t any Air Max’s; you couldn’t buy any 87’s, 97’s, 95’s, you couldn’t buy anything.
From that job, I got into a very good relationship with the local NIKE distributor. You rarely deal directly with the brands locally, you deal through a distributor; which has its benefits I suppose, but it also has a lot of negativities: you don’t get face time with the brand, you aren’t able to explain your direction to them, everything is a “he said, she said” Chinese whispers kind of situation.
As I mentioned, I got into an amazing relationship with the distributors and I moved back to England, as I grew up in London, and for the fourth time I decided I was going to stop university and I wasn’t going to do anything else in terms of full-time education. I started a cut and sew line and I wanted to pair it with a sneaker store. So I approached the distributors and I told them what I wanted to do, they looked very confused, I went away and I came back with a few boxes from the collection, it’s funny because I actually remember showing him a pair of Clots, The Kiss Of Death, which are essentially a pair of see-through sneakers and I asked if they had ever seen anything like that and he said no. He was willing to play ball but at the same time he told me that it wouldn’t last longer than a year, my response to that was “we’ll see about that”. Even to this day I feel like I’m driving a car but I don’t know where it’s going, for me it’s a passion project, a vocation; some people want to be a doctor, I want to put shoes on people’s feet.
We set up the store and we built a team, this was going on 8 years ago. We opened and we had the usual kind of problems, we were opening, and the hottest thing on our shelves back then were Cortez’s to be honest with you, simply because if you look at how the brands work, they put everything hot into a key city, everything goes into what they consider to be a milestone city or a heart if you want to call it that. Lebanon is a block on the map which as far as a lot of people are concerned, has been at war for the last 30 years or so.
We started to receive NIKE Market Visits, which is where the distributors take a team from NIKE around the market. They always seemed complexed when they came into our store because they wanted to know why our selection was the way it was, my honest answer was; “Because we’re not getting access to anything better”. Over time we build that NIKE relationship, bearing in mind this is strictly NIKE, Adidas an all the other major brands came later. Our NIKE relationship developed to the point where we got a QuickStrike account and that was the turning point for us as a store, we got more visibility and we were able to leverage more brands into sending us sneakers, Adidas at the time would only sell us basic product, we wouldn’t get anything else out of them. I remember for a year/year and a half the Adidas SL72 was our bestseller. After getting the QuickStrike account everything started to fall into place. I always gauged the success of the store by how much I was buying outside of my stock room. At the beginning I was at 80% out of the store and 20% from the store, and that 20% I was buying was because firstly, I love GR colour ways as much as I love SMU’s, LE’s, collaborations, small production’s (…), secondly because I had them and I was entertaining myself, it was my store. Now, I’ve reached the point that in the last year or so I’ve bought around 5 things from outside the store, which to me is crazy. I’ve been stacking boxes since that summer I worked in NIKE and you can image that I have an insane amount of sneakers that absorb my life, my family’s life and all my home real estate, to the point that my collection is split between three countries.
I opened the store and the one miss assumption I had is that a sneaker store is basically a simple transaction between you and a brand or distributor, you pay them money and they send you the product. This is something I’ve found this isn’t the case, you have to put in the hours, most of my hours would be spent negotiating for product, networking, building and researching, I own my store and to this day I still spend my day on blogs and forums researching, I’m not a contributor, I just lurk. Some people like to get their voice out there and they want to be heard but I just stay in the shadows, I have to say Jordan that I have turned down many interviews simply because I don’t want to be a face, I want to be the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain making sure everything is working right, for me it’s not about self-gratification. The reason I said yes to Sneaker Miyagi was because you’re a growing brand like my own and I also felt like there was shared views on the way you see things and the way I see things.
- We appreciate that George. What really caught our eyes was that you were different to other brands out there. We live in a society now where the industry mainly revolves around hype and there are a lot of resellers out there currently which sometimes makes it virtually impossible for those people who are truly passionate about the culture and want to wear the sneakers to acquire those pairs that they want for a retail price without needing a plug or bot. We must respect the resellers and their hustle but we must recognise that they make it harder for the majority to get their hands on a pair. There is an amazing amount of sneaker stores in the world currently but your brand stands out over any other because you’re doing something different, something positive. I’m actually from the UK myself so it’s nice to come across someone that’s grew up in the UK and has had an insight into the UK sneaker culture, especially over here as the main focus is Air Max’s.
George Salhab: Yeah, I grew up wearing 87’s, 97,’s, 95’s, 93’s… Whatever NIKE was putting out is what I used to wear on my feet. I’m a London boy but I’ve always had a passion for Lebanon. Lebanese people are nationalistically very proud, we love our country, we wish better for our country, and the only reason why I opened my first store here originally was because I thought it would be me giving back, it’s sounds ridiculous as it’s not political, charitable or humanitarian in any way. Just to give a perfect example: A few years back the New Balance 998 X Sneaker Freaker “Tassie Devil” dropped and there was a whole thing about it online that they never reached the US, it never got passed the Atlantic Ocean, this was back when NIKE Forum was popping. As I said previously, I’m a lurker so I spend a lot of days on forums and blogs, and over those few days there were consistent posts where people were asking about how they got to Lebanon but no to the US, they were making the typical stereotypical things about Arabs. That experience sums up why I opened the first store in Beirut, simply because you have a group of people who are living by the rest of world but don’t have it readily available to them. To be able to buy Yeezy’s from your local door is something impressive, something that is also rarely achieved in Lebanon, where you’re able to reach that level with a brand. It’s nice to grow but this is not for a commercial gain, it’s for a cultural purpose.
- Of course, it’s about going down the path nobody would risk going down because of the fear of failing. I personally thought you were from Beirut yourself and you had opened a store there but to hear your story about how you moved from London back there to open a store is amazing in my eyes and shows how motivated and driven you are. Which is something that will inspire/motivate many. You must get a lot of support locally.
George Salhab: Another thing, normally at the age of 18/19/20 everyone is looking for a one-way ticket out of Beirut, everybody goes somewhere else in the world, I’m the only one that went back. I picture it like being in the train station; everybody is rushing to get on the train and I’m the only one to get off it. I wish more people had done it.
When it comes to getting support locally it’s a double edge sword because sometimes on release days we have kids sleeping outside on the street and that is a foreign entity for the locals over here in Beirut, they look at us as if we we’re crazy and as if we were selling drugs out the back door. That being said, those kids on the street are the support.
- It’s the lack of awareness they have about the sneaker culture but I can imagine that over there it must be a lot stranger than in most places. Here is another question for you, a very subjective one, and it’s: How to do you feel about resellers? You have your set of rules on release days but we would like an insight into how you and your team feel about resellers.
George Salhab: A job is a job and I fully understand why some people do it. When it comes to the store I’m not trying to block them just to mess with their livelihoods, that’s not the case at all. As a culture as a whole I don’t have a problem with resellers as much as I do with backdooring, that is what f**** up the industry, I think that is essentially like a cancer, once it starts you can’t stop it and unfortunately, it’s the least visible of all the “issues” as people can’t see what comes in and out of a store, it’s kind of like a snake eating its tail. We might be precautious towards resellers but we often get people reaching from Alaska, Japan, Taiwan and many other places in the world that are offering to purchase every box of the latest release for $650 a box, they are clearing out people’s stock rooms and stores are letting them. When you’re on Instagram and you see the dudes with stacks of boxes of the latest release it’s the stores who are encouraging that, people inside the brand themselves, even the people that are making the decisions on whether the product is sent. If I didn’t have a store today I don’t know what my annual spend would be and where I’d get some of the sneakers from, I don’t know how much choice I would get. If I go back to the beginning, there where a lot of times where I’d take sizes that weren’t my exact size in order to have them and wear them. I honestly don’t know what it’s like now as I’m not on that side of the fence anymore as I haven’t been a civilian for years.
- I previously lived in Spain for 12 years and just like you said about Beirut, you can’t get your hands on anything because it’s not a country that’s largely affected by the sneaker culture. If you go to cities such as Barcelona or Madrid you have a chance but for those that didn’t live there like myself, it’s extremely hard. On the other hand, over here in the UK, I take trips down to London on a regular basis and I personally hate it because you can your hands on any size you want as there are no restriction stopping that, essentially no restriction on stopping the resellers. In late 2016, I lined up for the Air Jordan 1 “Bred” and all those in line were size 8/9 but every single men’s size was sold out by the time it was my turn because these people were allowed to buy sizes that weren’t their own in order to resell. That’s another thing that caught our eye, and it’s the fact that in your store you’re only allowed to go half a size up or down, which in our eyes is amazing and its fair.
George Salhab: Generally, the way retail works is, once you buy it, it’s yours and you can do whatever you want with it and that’s me as a retailer, I place my order with the brands and once I receive the product it’s my prerogative what I do with it. A lot of resellers have bills to pay and don’t necessarily care about what’s fair, all they care about is the product being sold out to jack the price up. I honestly don’t know what the solution is and I don’t think there should necessarily be a solution; this is essentially down to the storeowners to decide what to do. What I’ve noticed in Europe and the US are raffles are seen as the best way to sell a sneaker, raffles are good and raffles are fun, they give a lot of people the opportunity to get their hands on a pair without having to put in time on the chair outside the store in the rain, snow, or whatever the conditions may be and they have been deemed safer that chaotic line-ups.
You came up on that fact that we go half a size up or half a size down, there are also some other details that I’m going to inform you on about our release days, we have every single pair on the shelves readily available and visually present to anyone that walks in the store, you see how many there are when you arrive and you see them all gone when you leave, we don’t have a backdoor that spits out sneakers and all of sudden we don’t have a pair for you. This is my personal prerogative and I don’t hold it against anyone else for not doing it the same way. I get asked a lot by consumers and by brands what I think the solution is to this matter and honestly, I don’t know. I think that what we’re doing is the best and most fair thing to do. There is a story that I’ll always remember and it’s that months back we had the release of the Adidas Yeezy 750 “GITD” and one of the rules we have is that they have to go on foot and we have to check your toes to make sure that they fit correctly, and all the other fun stuff you’ve heard about, and there was a boy that came in and was sweating and his foot was going nowhere, it was not fitting in the shoe and he was looking around to see if anyone would notice, like “are you going to spot me”. We went up to him and we asked him what was going on and he was saying “yeah it fits it fits”, so we were like take the shoe off and let us see it; he takes off the shoe and the kid has left the stuffing in the toe box so his toe was bumping the stuffing, we pulled out the piece of paper and we told him to try them on and it fit perfectly – he got the shoe, but we still have people worry about if we take decisions based on whether we like the person trying to acquire the sneaker, if they’re wearing the right clothes, if their known (…). For us it’s a retailer-consumer relationship and it would not be fair for me to mess with them like that.
- In my eye that is the fairest way of doing it and I support any store that tries to incorporate it into theirs. I personally think that more people should incorporate it into their stores. It’s very subjective and I understand why some people wouldn’t do it but everyone has their own personal opinion and their point of view.
George Salhab: Look at how many stores are doing it though, it’s not even an in-store raffle anymore for some, it consists of; like a photo on Instagram and tag 3 friends in order to have the opportunity to win. I remember one of my business partners was looking at the release for Air Max 1 X Atmos “Elephant Print” collaboration SneakersNStuff’s Instagram and it consisted of uploading a picture of an elephant and tagging three friends in the image if I’m not wrong, we were in the car and he scratched his head and says: “where the f*** am I supposed to find an elephant?!”. I responded: “Bro, I don’t think it means go and find an elephant and take a picture in front of it”. And that just proves how far this Instagram game is going; dangling your feet of a building, taking a picture next to the Mona Lisa (…), and celebrities, influencers and hype beasts perpetuate this. Back in the day was just doing your thing, you like sneakers and you buy sneakers, now it all about; “Look what I got”, “Look how many 350’s I got my hands on” … In my office, I have stacks of boxes and that’s what it was about before, stacking up, wearing the s*** like crazy and wrecking them or deciding that they’ve got to stay clean for a couple of years. Going back to the reseller topic, I can live with resellers, but one thing I’m always against is Instagram, influencers, and people beasting products just for their own egotistical gratification. A lot of it is fed by the brands themselves mainly via advertising, but you have people telling the kids to go and buy the shoe when he/she doesn’t know the history about it, he/she doesn’t understand what it is, and why he/she even has the sneaker in the first place. We can relate this to Yeezy’s, I think people need more of a reason to buy the shoe than just “Kanye West wore it” and so did 15 influencers online. You like the shape, you like the sole, you like the comfort, anything like that but don’t tell me that you’re buying it because “FunkyMonkey123” (example) wore it on Instagram.
- Unfortunately, that’s what us as a society have come to. People now just want to buy products because the athletes and celebrities they look up to have that product. I ask this question a lot: Imagine if Yeezy’s were called something else and Kanye wasn’t a part of it, they’d be sitting on shelves.
George Salhab: The best answer for that is the purist. A Yeezy build without his name attached. It’s a nice shoe that I would personally retail but it’s not apples and apples anymore.
- Something that took the community by storm recently was the release of the Adidas Powerphase Calabasas. They released and I’m currently seeing pairs on eBay going for £1000. Why wouldn’t you go and purchase the all-time classic Reebok Workout’s instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on those. It goes to show how much of an influence athletes and celebrities have on the fashion/sneaker culture. What’s your take on this?
George Salhab: In response to the Calabasas you can still buy the Adidas OG Powerphase’s from the early 90’s on eBay for about £25, but nobody wants to touch them because they don’t have “Calabasas” written on it. Everything now a days is about who is attached to what. If we go back a couple of years we had the Air Max 1 OG “Sports Red” which is like the diamond in the Air Max catalogue, especially now as they’re bringing back the shape, but before I remember you could walk into the store two days after the release and cop them, and nobody would look at you twice, and as for the Air Max 1 OG “Sports Blue”, you could even catch that on sale if you wanted to. It’s a wave that existed before but with all the pressure that’s on it now it’s inevitable that’s it’s going to collapse, and not for the better, for the worse because everyone is going to wake up one day and is going to decide that they want to wear Crocs for example. I’d much prefer that to happen soon as I could go back to buying sneakers at my leisure.
- Social media is what’s caused this I believe, we’re seeing random events occur such as the Calabasas’ for example. I’m going to London on a regular basis and I’m seeing kids that are 9/10/11 years old wearing the Adidas X Pharrell “Human Race” the Yeezy 350 “Pirate Black” along with BAPE-Supreme hoodies and I’m there thinking to myself “You don’t even know who are behind these pieces and you’re spending serious amounts of money on them just because society is telling you that you’re “cool” for wearing them and anything below that would exclude you from being “cool”
George Salhab: Exactly, and that’s why 95% of people are wearing fakes. This whole thing has giving birth to crazy sneakers, like I’ve seen people rocking a OG NMD sole unit with a yeezy upper and a swoosh! This is to the detriment of the culture, it’s definitely not building.
- Now here’s an interesting question and it’s; What are some of the biggest sacrifices you have made in order to keep your business successful?
George Salhab: All the reasons behind me opening the store and why I continue to run the store is the reason I can’t consider them sacrifices, I think the hardest thing I have at the moment is the amount of time I spend on planes and the amount of time I spend away from my family, those are the two biggest issued I have at the moment but needs must. I grew up with a father that worked abroad and he was one week away and one week at home, I find that pretty normal and I hope my children feel the same. But when it comes to sacrifices I don’t think I have many, quite the opposite, I think I’ve gained benefits from opening the store; I’ve become smarter, I’ve become better, I’ve learnt everything the hard way so if you make a mistake once you’ll rarely do it again. You just spread through every single one of life challenges and also, I wouldn’t just not have the store, I wouldn’t have access to the product, not just the retail side but for my own feet, I wouldn’t have such an easy time. That’s the biggest silver lining and the biggest reward from doing what I do. The benefits outweigh any sacrifices I may have made; the only thing I would say is the time I spend away from my family.
- Of course, the emotional satisfaction of what you do besides the economic factor must be amazing. The feeling of being able to give back in your way and with your passion.
George Salhab: When you see a kid, spend two nights on the pavement outside, come in, cop his size and walk out with it on, in the case of the Atmos release in Dubai it rained half-way through the camp out and one of the things we do is generally when there’s a big line one of the owners if not all of us are present, so we actually wait on the line as long as you’re camping, we’re the ones with the list and we’re the ones who do role calls. When it started raining everyone kind of dashed into their cars and hung out for a bit, when you see them come out in the morning f****** dancing in the rain wearing Atmos Air Max 1’s on foot it shows you that you’ve done something right. These are people that might or might not have OG pairs, it might be a lot of money for them or it might not be a lot of money for them, it might be a sacrifice of their time… There’s a lot that goes into waiting 14 hours in a line and getting the shoe and then you’re told to walk out the store with them on and it’s raining. A lot of them could have been like: “Look man I’m wearing them in the store but it’s raining outside and it’s wet”, but they’re sprinting to the door and they’re just happy that they have them on their foot. They also felt that us being with them is another positive, we’re not treating them like sheep, we’re there with them in the rain and on the chair.
Honestly, I’ve camped out twice myself as a collector and I remember the moment I was camping out in Berlin, I was at Solebox for their archive sale, and I remember the stores popped its doors at 11:00 in the morning and Hikmet Sugoer showed up at 8:30 and he was checking that everyone was ok, seeing how everyone went, seeing what peoples feedback was on Berlin in general, where there from… Even as a consumer at the time I felt like it was very touching and even though I hadn’t camped that much, I knew it was something that rarely happened, that the owner puts himself in that position, or even the shop managers. That’s what I’ve wanted to establish in the stores here, so essentially, we’re a team before anything, this being us, the people who work at the store and the consumer. Plus, it’s the intangible stuff that make people feel wanted, that they’re not just a walking piggy bank. This is where you can go above and beyond.
- I agree, it’s the little details that make people feel wanted and feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. We are in the era where we are paying a lot of money for are sneakers, I remember in late 2015 we were paying €220 for Air Jordan’s, that’s a lot of money and it takes the mass majority hard work to earn that kind of money to spend on sneakers, by adding those intangible details it makes it a memory and it’s easier to part with the money. It gives the store a very good reputation also.
George Salhab: Of course, I wouldn’t be here without my team and my team wouldn’t be here without me, it’s a symbiotic relationship; it’s all of us working together for essentially one vision. It might be my vision but I’m happy to see people support it.
- How do you feel about Adidas coming up with their Boost technology and how do feel about what NIKE is doing alongside Jordan Brand? What’s your personal view on that?
George Salhab: Growing up in England it was always about NIKE, and even over here in Lebanon. There is something about the Swoosh; it’s something very nationalistic in both countries. If you want to look at sneakers in general NIKE started this whole limited edition wave, the whole collaboration scene and then they stopped., and Adidas, Asics, Diadora, New Balance, and every other brand picked it up and NIKE wasn’t really doing it. I think it’s the first time that NIKE doesn’t feel like it’s in the lead, especially when it comes to lifestyle footwear. NIKE has the same routine where it puts out product, they’ll do a specific build in one year and the next year they’ll take it away and do a different sole unit, the third year they’ll work on some kind of support technology and four years later we have a new shoe: This is what you want, come buy it, buy it, buy it, this is what you want, buy it. This hasn’t been working for them. I think Adidas did something completely different with Boost technology where they essentially made something that looks like polystyrene or something you would get as filler in a cardboard box. They never force the product upon anyone, they let the people slip their foot into it and to be franc, as far as boost, no one can say they’ve had something more comfortable on their foot. I remember when the Air Max 97 sole unit was the most comfortable thing you could wear, I remember when Air Jordan 11’s was the most comfortable thing you could wear, I remember when I put I Roshe on my foot for the first time and I remember that that was the most comfortable sneaker I had worn so far, but none of them compared to the first time I put boost on my foot. No shots fired at NIKE but Adidas has a very German way of doing things; it’s about the process, about the technology, about the reasons for having it, and it’s a lot more than having Kobe jumping over an Aston Martin for example, Adidas don’t play that game and they’ve also always had a very strong archival catalogue; they’ve always dealt with technology and why they should incorporate that technology into their sneakers, a lot differently than other brands. With Boost technology, it was like the same thing, they just put it out there and didn’t really know what to expect from it, they let it be, they didn’t start hiring people or paying celebrities to wear it. Later on, when Adidas noticed what was happening with Boost then they became more NIKE ish; if you go to the first year of Ultra Boost’s or NMD’s the output is staggeringly different. Adidas lets the consumer decide and NIKE tells the consumer what they want, and as a result of that NIKE is on a back footing now a days.
If you look at the Internet now everyone is gassed over the Air Jordan 1 “Royal”, I want them, my consumers want them, everybody wants them. The LunarCharge is a very good example of NIKE giving the consumer what they wanted on paper, it looked fantastic, but effect you can still buy every single colour way, it’s to a crazy stand up. It’s not about what has happened, it’s about what happens from now on and to see how NIKE will handle this is very intriguing for me and I’m curious to see what they have lined up.
- Another thing that has been going around in our community for a while is the discussion over who’s better, whether it’s NIKE or Adidas. We currently see most giving the W to Adidas and we most think that the athletes are no longer the influencers are they’re not looked up to as much as celebrities in the music industry such as Kanye West, Pharrell, Drake (…). NIKE is all about their athletes and most people are saying that that’s one of the reasons why NIKE is going downhill and why Adidas is coming up as they have a large amount of celebrities representing their brand such as RUN DMC, Kanye, Pusha T, Pharrell, Rita Ora (…) What’s your take on this?
George Salhab: My instant reaction when you told me that is, yeah there’s only one Michael Jordan, LeBron James had a good career but it doesn’t have the soul and the same nostalgia. If you look at Adidas historically they’ve always done stuff with the Red-Hot Chilli Peppers, Ian Brown, RUN DMC… I would have to disagree because this has been part of Adidas’ business model for years, it’s only now that’s it’s been hugely successful because of the artists they’ve chosen. The same case for NIKE, I don’t think they’re relying too much on their athletes. I think it’s two brands telling a different story, one is telling you that it’s performance focused, and the other one is telling you that this cool guy wears it and was part of the design process. I don’t think one is better than the other, I think they’re doing it different. And we also don’t know what is to come, perhaps in the years to come we have the next best basketball player, they create a fly shoe model and everybody hops on it. I think the best example that you can still build a shoe and have an athlete endorse it to sell is the Steph Curry from Under Armour, that’s a f****** monstrosity, that doesn’t belong on anyone’s foot on-road but they still can’t keep it on the shelves because of Steph. I don’t have an athletic background so I might not be the best to answer but in my eyes they’re doing their thing, for better or for worse. Like going back RUN DMC made the Adidas Superstar and since that time Adidas has always decided it’s going to be more about entertainment/entertainers than athletes, but you still have Rod Laver, Stan Smith, etc. Even though these are historical figures Adidas still has that thing going on.
- It’s a very big debate in the sneaker culture right now and I’m happy that we could get your take on it, it’s great to see what bigger players within the industry have to say about highly debated topics
George Salhab: Of course, but just to add a disclaimer this is my honest personal opinion, I’m not directing shots at anyone or trying to disrespect anyone, its simply my personal take on these topics we’re discussing.
- Of course. I have a final question and it’s the following; How do you see the sneaker culture evolving within the next year or 2 and what are your plans for The Good Life as a brand/movement/community?
George Salhab: Let’s start with the one I can answer because the other one is like a shot in the dark. As a brand, we have plans to grow and open more doors and we are looking to nurture the community further, that’s a big part of what we’ve been doing over the past 7 years is education, much like yourselves, the only difference is we do it in-store as opposed to online. There are some things I am not allowed to go into detail about but I can give you the gist of it, we’re looking to give back more to the community by tackling some issues that no one has tackled before, to do with the extension of footwear in general, it’s not so much about sneakers, it about peripheral stuff around sneakers in general. We have something that we are looking to introduce by the end of the year which should help us combat resellers on quite a high level, we will be able to stack up the line, supervise the line, ensure who we want is on the line but if we don’t want you waiting in our line, you’re not in line, that’s it, it’s over for you. If you’ve been blacklisted or gained a reputation for reselling then we have something in-store, I’m not the type of guy to self promote but this is the world’s first. We have other positive things coming up that I can’t get into detail right now but as soon as we can you’ll know about it, they’re all as pioneering as what you’re seeing right now in the stores.
When it comes to sneakers in general, f*** knows to be honest. If I go back and see what things have happened historically I’ve seen New Balance X Solebox 1500 GGB’s sitting for three weeks and now reselling for over €2000 a pair. Beyond sneakers, I remember when you could buy Supreme from the online store without worrying and now every Thursday it’s a mission, do your research, is my order going to go through… I’ve seen these things happen and I never thought that now they’d be happening so for me to speak on what will happen within the next two years, is a shot in the dark. (laughing) If I knew I would be making that move already. Another thing that I never thought would happen is sneaker vending machines, $5-$10 a play, and people are actually winning, those machines never worked when I was a kid, I’ve never seen anyone win as a kid but now I’m on YouTube and I’m seeing people put $20 into the machine and coming out with a pair of Air Jordan 1 “Fragment” in their hands, and this is one thing I do like and it allows people with not so many opportunities to actually get the sneakers they want. Especially because as kid living on pocket money, Saturday jobs and not knowing what the family income is like, getting $5 or $10 dollars and having a fighting chance of getting a pair of sneakers is great and I support it.
That wraps it up right there! We hope that this interview has expanded your knowledge and has given you a good insight into the life of a person that is not only a collector, but a founder and CEO of three well known sneaker stores.
If you enjoyed it make sure you like, subscribe and feel free to share it on all social media platforms! Check out The Good Life’s Instagram’s also: @thegoodlifespace, @thegoodlifespacedubai and @thegoodlifecommunity !