Slobbys Sneak Peak: Tucson’s Guru of Gaudy Vintage returns with the resale of shoes on Fourth Avenue | back art: feature
If you ask internationally renowned classic car dealer Robert “Slobby Robby” Hall, reselling high-end streetwear sneakers is a luxury used car dealer. The Netflix star is opening its newest concept, Generation Cool Sneaks, alongside its flagship retro store from the 1990s, Generation Cool, on Saturday, February 27th.
“It’s no different from next door,” says Slobby. “If it’s people who clean up their garage and want to sell us their old Air Jordan collection, that’s cool. If it’s newer, hypebeasty stuff, that’s cool too. We curate it, we make it look good, we bet put them under light and sell it for about three times more. This is what we do. It’s no different than a used car dealer. ”
Generation Cool Sneaks offers hundreds of pairs of gently used, high-end sneakers valued at $ 50-5,000, and a selection that will satisfy even the most discerning sneakerhead. For the past six months, the reseller has scoured the planet for used and dead inventory and found rare items like a pair of Jordan 1 Retro High Off-White Chicago’s that can sell for around $ 5,500. (One pair sold for $ 5,800 on the stockx.com resale site on February 19.) By the time the doors open, Slobby estimates there will be 200 pairs in the store and another 300 or more in the back room. While that sounds like a lot of shoes to start a business, Slobby said he was on a mission to keep building his inventory so he could offer the public the best selection of unique kicks.
“This is the kind of sneaker store I want to go to in my hometown where I can get something affordable and still have high-end shit,” Slobby said. “I expect a fair number of people to try to sell to us consistently, especially early on. Once people walk by and realize that they might have three pairs of the same shoe and they could sell, things are really going to start picking for us ready. ”
In contrast to Slobby’s vintage shop, which asks for pirated copies, the shoes sold at Generation Cool Sneaks are 100% authentic, the owner assures. He was burned before buying fake Air Jordans once or twice a day, he said and knows all the tricks that international counterfeiters use.
“Next door, we really like the fan-art aspect of bootleg stuff, especially when it’s vintage,” Slobby said. “But we don’t fuck around over here. We sell real Nike Air Jordans and you’re going to get a theft.”
The reseller has been in the sneaker game since the late 90s when he first saw Nike rebuild and sell the Air Jordans of his youth. An avid collector of memorabilia from the ’80s and’ 90s, he said he was thrilled to acquire as many pairs of these throwbacks as possible.
“I just get into the shit that I care about and all the shit I grew up with. That’s why we’re like this in the 80s and 90s because it was so big for sneaker culture and American pop culture “said Slobby. “I started buying all the Jordans, Bo Jacksons, Agassis … all the Nikes I had as a kid and wore them as an adult.”
Slobby turned to eBay to satisfy his sneaker and vintage toy addiction, which ultimately led him into the vintage resale business more than 20 years ago. If he bought a pair of shoes that didn’t fit, didn’t look right, or just didn’t want anymore, Slobby would sell them on eBay. He soon realized that he could have the childhood collectibles he wanted while also making a living.
“I started collecting around 1999 or 2000. I used to be the crazy guy with 30 or 40 pairs of trainers, which has now been completely normalized,” Slobby said. “I started shopping on eBay and found that there was a global marketplace. If I could find a nice shoe that wasn’t my size but was cheap, I could buy it and sell it to someone and then get the money to to buy me the shoes I wanted. ”
Over the past 20 years of reselling, Slobby has developed criteria for evaluating shoes that its employees know before they start buying sneakers from the public. He expects them to know what he knows, how to dress and use the same terminology that he uses so that every customer is satisfied that they are getting the best price on their used kicks.
Branch manager Anthony Ardney has been in the sneaker resale market for almost as long as his boss.