words / KEEGAN HUGHES pictures / MEGAN SIBLEY
YEEZY hype has reached Ottawa, and is in full effect over at NRML.
On the days leading up to October 15, dozens of sneakerheads anxiously waited outside of the store for Kanye’s latest shoe: the YEEZY BOOST 750 in chocolate brown.
Before the store even announced that it would be carrying the 750, fans had began to line up. The mid-October frost was starting to set in, so many of the sneaker-seekers lugged folding chairs, blankets, and extra clothes with them. Camping out for three nights on Rideau St. is no easy feat.
Thankfully NRML has dealt with big shoe drops before, and has developed a set of rules for those in line that are meant to make the first-come-first-serve process as fair as possible. Photo ID is required, the line has to stay single-file, and there are regular check-ins to ensure buyers stay in line for the entire time.
Safety is a concern when shoe queues form, especially as the weather gets colder. NRML staff member James Snell says that people have developed hypothermia while waiting outdoors in the past. Footwear enthusiasts coming down with a cold after receiving their shoes is a common sight as well.
While the efficiency and safety of a first-come-first-serve policy may be dubious, many fans prefer it to alternatives such as raffles. Waiting patiently, Mike Thompson says that raffle results tend to receive a lot of flak.
“I like it better,” Thompson shrugs, “and I feel like a lot of people on the Internet were saying that the raffles can be kind of rigged.”
This sentiment was shared with many of those aspiring YEEZY-owners, including Montreal native Vlad Zbarcea. He and his friend travelled all the way to Ottawa for a chance at the coveted shoe. They, like many others, plan on reselling it for potentially three times its retail value. One pair of the shoes was listed on streetwear reseller Grailed for $2025.
On release day the intrepid sidewalk sitters stormed the storefront, and every single pair was sold. However the total number of pairs sold remains a mystery. NRML declined to release the final amount of shoes they received.