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…Because we have the most exclusive sneaker shops: Rare Pair

Tucked away on Mulberry Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood sits a unique cultural treasure: Rare Pair, one of the top secondary market sneaker shops in the world. And unlike other resellers, Rare Pair is a truly independent labor of love. Currently run only by founder and proprietor Erick Pavon, Rare Pair lives up to its name, stocking truly uncommon sneakers, including singular samples from some of the most prominent names in the kicks world, not to mention items owned by world famous celebrities. The other day, O.N.S visited rare pair to chop it up with Mr. Pavon, discussing sneakerhead culture, business, and, of course, rare shoes.

A lot of the shoes on sale at Rare Pair are from your personal collection. When did you realize you had enough valuable sneakers to take them from side hustle to full retail shop?

I realized that back in high school, when I had more sneakers than I could realistically wear.

How long has the Rare Pair shop been open?

Next month it will be five years. We opened Rare Pair on July 14 2013.

What are the most valuable sneakers you have in the shop?

The first pair of Yeezy samples by Nike, which are Kanye’s personal pair, a size 12. The last store that had them priced them at $100K, but we’re giving them away at the end of the year.

Kanye’s actual original Yeezy sample from Nike.

You mentioned anything Off-White was doing really well at Rare Pair. Lately, what are the five hottest sneakers in the shop?

The Yeezy V2 “Blue Tint,” the Off-White Air Jordan I, the “Bred Toe” Jordan I, the “Black Cement” Jordan III, and the new Travis Scott Jordan IV.

Sneaker collecting and selling has been a thriving subculture for more than 20 years now, but seems to have really heated up in the last five years. Why do you think that is? Why is the market and culture just getting hotter?

I think people realized they could make money fast and that it was often easier than working a regular job. But the sneakerhead culture is dying as market grows.

How do you see the sneakerhead culture changing over the next few years?

There will be a very small number of real sneakerheads. People that actually know the culture and appreciate it are not the same as people who are so into now. The business will be saturated, but the sneakers will always be relevant.

Finally, what are you top three favorite sneakers of all time?

The Air Jordan IV “Cool Grey,” the Foamposite Pro “Dr. Doom,” and the “Skunk” Nike SB Dunk High.

Check out more from Rare Pair here on Instagram.

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