This past Saturday I had the pleasure, no the honor, no, dare I say, the pain and torture of waiting in line with LA’s legendary sneakerheads. Honestly speaking, this was in no way whatsoever a good time. The things I learned about the men who devote their weekends (and sometimes weekdays) to line waiting is something that will stay with me for years. Let’s just say I’m just not about the hypebeast life. Let me paint the picture of my Saturday morning and let you be the judge.
3:45 AM the homie Chuck hits my phone to let me know it’s time to get up and go collect our Yeezys (back story, we both won a raffle @ Open Ceremony, the catch is the sizes are given out on a first come first serve basis). To my understanding, not many people won the raffle, however, there weren’t many pairs of Yeezys to go around so it seemed to be well-balanced.
4:10 AM Chuck arrives, neither one of us has had any breakfast because we were so stoked on picking up our sneakers. We arrive at Opening Ceremony to what we thought was just two people in line before us hanging out by their cars. From where we were standing there was no line formed and we were numbers two and three in line, thus increasing our chances of getting the sizes we wanted. At this point we’re stoked! All we kept thinking was how smart we were to arrive so early and why no one else had thought to do the same thing. Chuck tells me his friend from the store suggested that the line started at the front of the store so in our minds we are standing right where we are supposed to be (or so we thought).
4:30 AM Two other dudes arrive, clearly both of these guys are hypebeasts straight out the gate. One, a Middle Eastern hipster type rocking the newly released Shattered Backboards (that’s the orange/black and white Jordan 1’s for you non-sneaker-hip individuals) and his homeboy, an Armenian rocking the V2’s (new Yeezy belugas). Both of these cats where fly and young college types. Sidetone: I have to admit, it came off a little corny and maybe it’s the jealousy talking but where I’m from you don’t wear exclusive new sneakers to a sneaker release. Its like holding up a sign that says “You can rob me, I’m good for it, I got mad sh*t to steal.” Anyway, these dudes realized both Chuck and myself were standing at the wrong entrance for the line. The Middle Eastern dude asked how long we had been there just as he walks passed us towards the entrance walkway of the store that had just prior to his arrival been nonexistent to me. He tells us there are at least 6 lawn chairs lined up by the door where we should have been standing. I’m pissed, here I am thinking we were the second and third people in line, turns out we were the seventh and eighth. Some douche lords “camped out” over night and left their chairs in their place while they slept in their cars (yeah a douche move).
*In my Will Smith Summertime voice* Then six o’clock rolls around, the owners of the lawn chairs ahead of us finally arrive to claim their spots. Everyone’s sizing each other up and not like you do when you’re about to square up, but really just looking at everyone’s feet trying to guess what size shoe the next man wears. This is all mathematics basically. You only pay attention to those in front of you, the rest of the line doesn’t matter because what’s most important is your size and who ahead of you could possibly ruin your day by snatching your size.
From 6:30 to 8:30, the hypebeasts and sneaker heads talked strictly sneaker politics. I mean everything from the last Yeezy release and Jordan lines to bot apps and computer hackers they pay to help them cop the sneakers online. Like no joke sneaker politics. It’s really this whole culture of people who devote their health and well-being to copping the next new limited release sneaker only to flip it and make a profit or trade it for something else they want. I’ve heard from one dude in front of me that he buys up all the small sizes (including mine, size 7) and jacks up the price to close to $2000 because he knows little rich kids parents will pay for it. Another guy got on a payment plan for his V2 Yeezys, which by the way were 2 sizes too big but he wanted them that bad. These types of stories made me ask myself, is it really worth it?
It’s now 10 minutes to ten and the store is about to open. By now there are over sixty people in line. So many different characters with some off the wall stories. This line is pretty standard for a sneaker release in LA. You have your rich teens of course, dudes with their spoiled girlfriends, enabling mothers and the funky fresh Asians. Fatigue has just about set in and I am no longer ok with the cold unforgiving concrete that I had made my temporary home. It was time to cop these kicks and go on with the rest of my day. Then I hear something that would break my heart. The sales attendant at the head of the line informs us that their sizes start at 8! WTF! Those words hit me like a teenage girl on her way to the Justin Bieber concert and just realizes she lost her ticket. I mean I was upset to say the least. I think I was more upset over what I went through for these sneakers than actually not being able to obtain my size.
So what does one teenage girl do when she doesn’t get what she wants? You guessed it, I bought the first available pair I could get when they let us in (size 10). I jacked up the price to $1200 just like my new sneakerhead friends suggested and hopped on craigslist, Instagram and Snapchat. Why $1200 you ask? Did you not just read about the hell that I went through? LOL
Image provided by Hypebeast.com