The sneakerheads’ conversation about not being able to buy Nike shoes at retail – especially the SNKRS app – is far from new. However, the resale saga that unfolded this week involving Ann Hebert, a former Nike executive, and her son, Joe, has fueled the cynicism of collectors who wonder if they have a chance to buy pairs at release date.
HÃ©bert, who worked for the company for 25 years, resigned from his post on Monday following a Bloomberg Business Week report that shed light on West Coast Streetwear, his son’s profitable resale business.
The story, written by Joshua Hunt, found a connection between Ann and Joe when the Nike executive’s son allegedly called him from a phone registered in his mother’s name. Additionally, Hunt’s report stated that Joe sent her a statement for an American Express business card to show West Coast Streetwear’s earnings, which were listed in his mother’s name.
Below, YouTuber Jacques Slade, famous collector Damaries Negron and host and sneaker enthusiast Tamara Dhia discuss the impact of the incident on consumer confidence. and how Nike should react.
How has the resale saga affected your confidence in buying the larger versions of Nike?
Tamara Dhia: “I haven’t been able to buy the sneakers I wanted for two years now because like everyone else I’m on the SNKRS app trying to then throw my phone against the wall because I keep taking des L. Does that necessarily change the way I’m going to get sneakers? No, because I can’t get them anyway. At the very least, there’s a bigger conversation going on, especially in the Clubhouse rooms where we were yesterday, hearing people’s frustrations – and even some people maybe talking about boycotting Nike. I don’t necessarily know if that’s going to happen, but that’s the sentiment right now.
Damaries Negron: “Seeing all the images of [Joe Hebert] with several pairs of Off-White [Jordan] The 5 broke my heart because I know a lot of people who wanted to wear them. Now the first thing I’ll think of when I see a limited sneaker is, “I bet you a Nike rep will have the first dibs and can do everything with the pairs.” [On Nikeâs corporate site, it outlines its conflict of interest policy, and the company states: âPotential conflicts can often be resolved with an open and honest discussion. Remember: having a conflict of interest is not necessarily a violation of our Code, but failing to disclose it is.â]
Will you continue to buy on Nike platforms?
Jacques Slade: âI spend my money on all the brands and will continue to spend my money with Nike, but this is the opportunity to have a conversation with the brand. I think this is where the change needs to happen. Many people are [saying], âHey, if you love Nike shoes, you have to stop buying Nike shoes,â and that’s a prospect. But I think it’s something Nike needs to change for the betterment of the community and the culture, be it [the consumer] is a sneakerhead or the mom who buys a pair of shoes for her son to play soccer.
DN: âI will always buy from Nike. But I’ll always have an eyebrow raised on release dates.
TD: âIf I’ve learned anything out of my love for sneakers, it’s that I’m a bit of a sadomasochist – and apparently I like the pain of losing because that’s all I do when it comes. this is a stupid SNKRS app. I’m still trying, but I don’t know why I’m doing it. I legitimately don’t know why I haven’t used the SNKRS app in years, but for some reason I still have this little silver lining. The sneakers that I have bought in recent years, even though they are Nike, have not gone through Nike. They went through a different company, a different outlet, a different connection.
What can Nike do to restore your confidence in buying limited sneakers in the future?
JS: âWe need transparency. Right now, everything is so hidden behind this world of SNKRS apps and it’s so gamified, and that’s where the problem lies – because it’s so hidden, things are creeping out that no one knows. . Transparency is going to be the point where people will start to trust again.
DN: âI’ll try the limited sneaker, but if I can’t win on the SNKRS app, I know it’s rigged. I caught so much loss on the SNKRS app, it’s ridiculous. At this point, if I don’t tap the app, I’ll just pay to resell. The only way Nike can restore my confidence is to put me in a room with some of their reps and give me a moment of their day to let me explain all of this and how it can be resolved.
TD: âI don’t know if it rocked my confidence, if I’m keeping it real, because I couldn’t get these sneakers anyway. The sneaker resale market has drastically changed the culture in a direction that took my personal love out of it as it sucks to see a pair of sneakers you really want to buy and the only way to get them is to pay three times at the detail. It takes the joy away from you. There will never be enough sneakers for everyone who wants them, especially if it’s a high-profile outing. But from an optical point of view, having a person in such a high position of power and having a kid who has a very successful retail business is not a good idea.
What does this resale saga say about the state of the secondary market?
JS: âIt gives him an example of the reseller archetype and really shines a light on who is reselling versus who is buying. These are generally not people who are part of or come from the community. It’s the entrepreneurs who take advantage, who see an opportunity to make money, not the people who see an opportunity to expand the culture. There have always been dealers in the sneaker community, but generally these people were part of the community. The dealers we see today are not necessarily part of the culture; they just participate to sell instead of being a party and selling.
DN: âBecause of this situation, a lot can happen with the resale market. There is a chance that [Nike] may change the distribution format, which may affect resellers. Currently, shipping delays are causing problems for resellers and disrupting the resale market for them. There is a chance that Nike can change the entire release system.
TD: âI’m not going to hit someone who’s trying to make money. I respect everyone’s restlessness, especially in these difficult times. But I don’t care what that does to sneaker culture as a whole.
What do you think happens next?
JS: âMy hope is that there is more transparency, and Nike is more open with this process, with what happened, with what they actually think and what they think of it. We all know the dealers are out there and the dealers have almost picked up the sneaker conversation, but the brand is silent about it. They’re not talking about the bots, how these people get all of these shoes, how their systems are exploited, or what they’re doing to combat it all.
DN: âBrands and stores have yet to find a way to block resellers. It’s not going to go away. Nike needs to start realizing that resale never goes away, accept that resale does exist and that they can’t block it or prevent it. [They need to allow the resellers] to get pairs that will not affect the [amount of pairs available for] true collectors. If Nike can find a way to tackle resale, then everyone can walk away happy. Until then, situations like this will arise. “
TD: âWhat I hope is Nike releases a statement. What happens next, I think, is business continues as usual and the resale market continues to be a growing economy. boom. I don’t necessarily know if anything will really change after this scandal, but I wish it did. “