Hypebeast students cook up profit in reselling efforts


Jacob Bozek

Jacob Bozek’s pair of Air Force 1 Lows that Off-White and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art collaborated on.

By Eitan Silver, Head of Design

The bell rang. It was 8 a.m. on Sept. 23. Lane would be celebrating senior night for their Varsity Boys Soccer team later that day. Most of the players were in their first period classes, anticipating a day full of excitement and congratulations. However, Goalkeeper Jacob Bozek and center backs Stephen Kaim and Mathew Bozek, were nowhere near the school building. Instead, dressed in their game day clothing consisting of a button-down, khakis and a tie, these seniors found themselves in Wicker Park, planted in a line snaking down the block.

They were waiting at the Adidas Originals Flagship Store, located at Milwaukee and North, to pick up multiple pairs of Adidas Yeezy 350s they had won in a raffle with intent to resell them within the next couple of daysjust one instance of the bustling trend of reselling hyped shoes and clothes.

Ari Santilla, Div. 071, a senior who has been reselling shoes and clothes since 2015, 

explained the basics of this new hobby.

“The reselling trend right now is basically just purchasing limited items like clothes and 

shoes at low costs, and then selling them for higher prices to people who weren’t able to buy them for the lower price,” Santilla said.

From this new trend, people on messaging apps have banded together to provide each other with a network of information concentrated in one place, improving their odds of securing shoes for purchase. 

On one particular messaging app, Discord, senior Aiden Olson, Div. 050, is the admin of the “Mexican Cookout” group of which Kaim, Div. 050, Jacob Bozek, Div. 080, and Matthew Bozek, Div. 079, are a part. 

With ten members, this group of mostly Lane students shares information regarding shoe release dates, places to buy them and more. 

“It’s just a group of Lane kids that share a passion,” Bozek said. “A passion for selling shoes.”

Securing the particular pair of shoes can potentially be the most time-consuming part of the process as various members of the group remember waiting 16 hours in line.

“They were the glow in the dark Yeezys,” Kaim said. “We were waiting for wrist bands.”

Other ways to get these shoes include waiting in line for a first-come, first-served release, online and in-store enrollment for raffles that award the ability to buy the shoes, and a new way, called pre-orders,  Bozek and Kaim said. 

“We order shoes in bulk prior to them getting released,” Kaim said. “Where we get them for retail but it takes months of waiting, it’s a big investment.” 

In reality, first-come-first-served releases can be intense.

“First-come first-serves are very ugly,” said Joseph Torres, Div. 061, a senior and employee at Champs Sports. “If the shoe flips for more than retail there’s always gonna be a line. We open at 9 a.m. [and] usually there’s a line at 7 or 6 in the morning depending on the release.”

Torres also said that customers waiting in lines can become angry if they see employees walking out with pairs, accusing them of “backdooring,” a concept frowned upon in sneaker culture.

Backdooring is where store employees will sell shoes out of their store to friends or other contacts for over retail but under market value, according to Torres.

Torres also says that people ask him and other employees directly for the opportunity to purchase shoes to resell later for a high profit. 

“Usually, we just say no because we can’t do that, but sometimes we’re able to hold leftovers. We’re not supposed to but sometimes we take care of our people,” Torres said.

The main attraction of this hobby is how lucrative it can be if you are willing to put the time into researching, entering raffles, waiting in lines and more.

The amount of money that you can make in a month varies depending on the number of releases occurring that month, how available they will be to purchase and the overall knowledge of the procedures used to complete the purchase according to Kaim and Santilla. 

Bozek said that continuing these efforts could be difficult, depending on where they go to college.

“LA, Chicago and New York have all the drops through the apps and the stores,” Bozek said. ”You need to be in a big city.”

One of the more exclusive shoes that Bozek owns is the Off-White and Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art collaboration that, according to him, are worth around $2,700 and, depending on size, range from $1,250 to $2,160 on StockX, a sneaker exchange worth $1 billion, according to The New York Times. 

Kaim and Olson have already sold their own pairs. Bozek has not.

“The value of them [the shoes] might go up. So if you hold them for six months to a year, the value could go up because they’re so limited,” Bozek said. “It’s a risk that you take.”