eBay enlisted Offset—one of rap’s biggest sneakerheads—to curate a collection of footwear for streetwear connoisseurs to choose from, but with a catch. The e-commerce company opened the Wear ‘Em Out Store, a Los Angeles pop-up shop where shoes were available at discounted prices of up to 70% off if buyers unboxed their kicks after purchasing and walked out wearing their new gear. From Friday (May 27) until Sunday (May 29), the shopping experience featured 10 different selections each day.
According to a press release, 1,000 people were surveyed with a majority of respondents revealing they wear less than half of their fly, footwear collections. The Wear ‘Em Out Store was designed to help sneakerheads live in the moment and encourage them to wear their buys. In the first hour of the shop’s opening, dozens of sneakerheads opted for this option, laced up their new buys, and excitingly exited the store.
“The Wear ‘Em Out Store celebrates a love of sneakers while acknowledging that sneakerheads are often balancing what they wear with what they keep in the box,” expressed Garry Thaniel, GM of Sneakers at eBay. “eBay is the place to find every style and every price, and now we’re offering an incentive to lace up the most coveted sneakers of the summer.”
Hundreds of Offset fans and sneaker lovers lined up for blocks outside the L.A. location. The first group in line shared with VIBE that they had come the night before the grand opening around 8 p.m. to secure their spots. Shortly after their arrival, other inquisitive shoppers pulled out their own folding chairs near 10 p.m., 2 a.m., and 7 a.m. the following morning.
Offset decided to partner with eBay not only because the digital platform is his “go-to place” to find footwear, but also because he considers himself a true sneakerhead and a part of the sneaker community.
“I’m familiar with the community. I’m familiar with the community of selling shoes and how a lot of times, before it was all these other platforms, it was always eBay,” the “Ric Flair Drip” rapper shared with VIBE. “I always would look up shoes on eBay when I couldn’t afford them when I was younger. And then even when I got older and I wanted to get certain shoes, I got certain shoes like my PS5 FS1s from eBay, so I understand the community and I know what they do is great. And it’s a real community, it’s a real thing.”
VIBE caught up with Offset behind the scenes and learned more about his personal style, favorite kicks, and when fans can expect new music.
This interview had been edited for length and clarity.
VIBE: Would you consider yourself a “sneakerhead?
Offset: I’m a sneakerhead for sure because I’ve been collecting shoes since I was in high school. When I couldn’t afford them, I used to trade my shoes for clothes and trade my clothes for shoes. And I always know the years of the shoes. I know the fabrics, the way it was made prior to now. I have so many old Jordans that I can barely wear because when I wear them, they tear apart because they were made with foam back then. And I just have a lot of pairs of shoes. I have over 3,000 pairs of shoes.
I need to catch up (both laugh). What do you think separates someone who is, like yourself, a true sneakerhead versus somebody who’s just buying shoes to resell them? Where do those lines get blurry for you?
They don’t ever get blurry because it’s two sides. I need both of them, as a matter of fact. Personally, I think I’m a sneakerhead because I wear all my shoes. No matter how exclusive or how crazy they are, I’m still going to wear the shoe to get the shoe off. And the resellers, I never shame them just because in this time of day, stuff gets bought up quick, super-fast, so it’s not so available and they make limited racks of supplied shoes.
You need those resellers to be able to catch the shoe sometimes. They’ll have them before the shoe releases, and then you’re advantaged because now you got bots and stuff, people buying up all the shoes off bots before anybody else could touch them. I understand that side of it, too. But at the same time, it’s the shoe world. It’s the sneaker world. It has always been reselling. It’s always been a part of the game.
You’ve been collecting sneakers since you were in high school. What are some of your favorite sneakers ever?
Space Jams 11s, Carmine 6s, Raptor 7s, Jordan 15s. Where I’m from, on the north side of Atlanta, Jordan 15s was crazy…Charles Barkley always had some crazy Air Force 1s, and I don’t think everybody knows ‘em. 2006 shoes, Air Force 1s. The way it was made, I feel like they had the wave.
Do you have all of these shoes?
Yeah, I’m naming all the shoes that I got. 1985 Chicago [Jordan]1s. Oh, my Ginger 16s. I lost the sole on them three times. I bought five pairs of them. I don’t think that they’re going to be able to hold. My Oregon 14s. Shout out to my brother, [DJ] Khaled. We The Best Jordans. I’m waiting on Khaled. When you hear this, I’m waiting on my 5s, bro. He just dropped a new color away. I’m waiting on those.
When did you first realize that you had an interest in style and fashion? And how has your personal style and fashion evolved throughout the years?
Since I found myself maybe like in high school. When you are finding yourself—High school, middle school, well, really eighth grade. In eighth grade, school became about being fresh. For my school, you were popular if you were fresh. You didn’t have to play all the sports and do all the other things like most schools. You [were] just fresh, you were popular. So, always being fresh was my thing. I would go far with it. I had friends that went to different schools and I would trade. I would go to school for the first month with my little nice, little two, three pairs. Then I go swap with one of my boys and then now I’m wearing his two, three pairs. So now, I got six pairs. You know what I’m saying?
I always took care of my shoes. I would have shoes from two years ago that were still all right to wear at school. My mama had three boys. I couldn’t always have 10 pairs of shoes. I would still have two from the last year that were still tidied up and nice and clean. I used to clean my shoes, no cap. I used to go in, too. Make sure my shoes be situated because you don’t have that much.
If someone asked, “How can I get as fly as Offset?” What would you tell them?
I would tell them, “How can you get as fly as me? You can’t. You only can get as fly as you.” Whatever’s cool, it don’t matter what nobody thinks, honestly. Especially in this world now, man it’s an open world…it’s an open book. You can be yourself. Style, I feel like, comes from you as a person, and it’s no specific standards to this, or this is how it should be, especially in streetwear. That’s why I always stay close to streetwear because you are always accepted. You got the skater world, you got the rappers, [and more] and it all collides in one thing. I’ve got on Kapital jeans from Japan. It’s just whatever looks good on you that you feel are good on you. Be comfortable in your skin and don’t try to follow people because somebody else’s situation is not yours.
I know a lot of people that try to go get high brand things because they think the name is what makes it fly. When you can catch the same exact cut of a hoodie in a thrift store, that looks even flyer than that, and piece it up with a couple [of] things. I could have on a $5,000 fit. I just seen somebody outside with a Carhartt jacket that I know is probably $150. It’s vintage and it’s flyer than everything that’s new in the stores, [or] in the high fashion stores. So, that don’t matter. Don’t get lost in that. Just follow your way and figure it out.
What can fans of your music expect from you?
I’m coming June! I’m letting you know I’m dropping singles in June.