The mood was mellow outside Bows & Arrows on Telegraph Avenue this afternoon, with around 20 people camped outside the hip fashion store waiting, and waiting, for a certain coveted shoe to “drop”.
Many of those who were lusting for the new Nike Air Yeezy 2 sneaker, a limited edition shoe designed by rapper Kanye West, had been sitting in fold-up chairs in line since Tuesday — before even the store knew it would have some of the precious shoes in stock.
Vincent (no last names in the sneakerhead world — some fans had, after all, skipped work to join the queue) said he was “first in line” for one of the 18 pairs that Bows & Arrows did receive from Nike. He said given how long many in the group had been camping out, a certain camaraderie had emerged. ‘We save each other’s places when we need to go eat or catch some sleep in the car,” he said.
Sitting next to him was Bradley who had also been there since Tuesday. “Can’t you tell by the sunburn on my face?” he asked, pointing to two bright pink patches under his eyes. “And doesn’t my hair look greasy?”
Vincent said that the store’s owner, Jerry Harris, had been extremely accommodating. “We are here because stores in San Francisco won’t let people camp out,” he said. Harris had also let everyone know what sizes he had, and organized the line in terms of sizes, as well as providing an electric outlet for people to charge their phones.
Store employee Crystal said the outlet had also been used for a heater. “Many of those waiting are sleeping overnight in their chairs, and it gets cold,” she said. She said the crowd had been “very cool,” and added that, even though Harris is getting calls from people willing to offer big money for a pair of the Yeezy 2s, he has said he’s committed to giving them to the people who have waited so patiently outside his store.
There were signs that not all was harmonious in the sneakerhead world, however. Benjamin, who was leaning up against the front of the store on Friday at around 3:45pm, said there were some people who turned up yesterday and felt they had the same rights as those who had been in line since Tuesday. This was not acceptable, he said. “There are ripples in the pond.”
The shoe, which comes in two color-ways, goes on sale Saturday at a retail price of $245. Only about 3,000 to 5,000 pairs will be released. Some stores are preparing to sell them for up to $1,000, Vincent said. Bows & Arrows has set the price at $325 plus tax, according to Crystal.
On Wednesday, a pair of preordered Yeezy 2 kicks sold for an astonishing $90,300 on eBay.
[Hat tip: Wendy Cohen.]
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