Flipping Fashion

By Jeremy Binning

Photo of Nike Air Max sneakers. From unsplash.com

Sneaker culture has been a trending topic for years since the emergence of brands like Nike and Adidas.

New York City is home to a plethora of fashion icons, from the likes of A$AP Rocky to Madonna, the city feeds off of creative minds. 

Kasten Melendez is a Dominican-American sneaker collector from the Upper West Side who flips the sneakers he buys for a profit on sneaker-selling websites. Melendez has made a fair amount of money from doing this, having started back when he was in high school, sneakers and clothes always excited him from an early age. “I got my first pair of Jordans when I was in the fourth grade and I still can remember how happy and cool I felt when I got them. From there I started to learn how to save money better so I could buy more clothes and sneakers.”

Flipping sneakers and clothes has been the main income for people throughout the world as it has been constantly becoming more and more popular. Melendez says he looks at it like the stock market and is very careful when it comes to deciding whether to buy the latest drop. “You can’t just buy the new releases because it’s in style for the time being; sometimes the sneakers you wait all night in line to get ends up not being able to sell for enough money to even make a return on the investment you put into buying those shoes,” he said here.

 “I had a lot of times where I wished I didn’t buy a sneaker because of the lack of return I got from it.” The buyer’s remorse is real as many sneaker flippers find themselves in a similar predicament. Often times a sneaker drops with big hype, but fails to live up to it and leaves many buyers stuck with the pair of shoes with little to no return. Sometimes even selling for less than the original retail price. 

Some people live completely off of flipping clothes and sneakers and enjoy the hustle of working that way. “You become your own boss and it’s fun doing what I do, I even saved enough money at one point to pay off a semester of school. All off of selling items from Supreme shirts to Jordans and Yeezys,” explains Nicholas Cousins from Brooklyn, New York.

Cousins also buys and sells sneakers and clothes and has been doing it since he was in elementary school. “I remember being like 10 years old and camping out all night in front of the Foot Locker by my house with my friends just to get the newest Jordans coming out. I would save up enough money to buy two pairs of shoes, one to wear and one to hold on to sell later on. I knew the value would increase later on and when I got into high school I started selling the old shoes I had kept clean.” 

Sneaker culture has grown exponentially and continues to be a financial gain for many across the world. Some popular websites that many of these sellers go to are the likes of Stockx and Goat, both specializing in sneakers but also clothes and other items that are famous in pop. culture. These websites have helped people like Cousins and Melendez earn a lot of money off of the clothes and sneakers they had. The term “scared money don’t make money” has now left the offices of Wall Street and is a mantra for people who flip sneakers and clothes and has made sneaker flipping the new stock market. 

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