It had already been a whirlwind week for Justin Reed. He had simply launched a brand new e-commerce web site for his consignment enterprise, and ensuring every part was operating easily was protecting him lots busy. Then, a former shopper reached out on behalf of a pal—they’d one thing that Reed is perhaps fascinated about promoting. It was a Kanye West “Donda” vest—one of many standout style items from the second Donda listening party on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was additionally one of many rarer vests from the night time: heavy-duty, hand-painted, and signed by the ultra-famous rapper himself. The truth is, this specific vest was a present from West to a safety guard who was there—and if the value was proper, he was keen to half methods with it.
“I acquired on the telephone with him, and he was telling me the total story of how flew into Atlanta with a rapper he works with and the way he was on the occasion for every week or so,” Reed says. “At first, he was fairly hesitant to ship the vest to me right here in Los Angeles. I understood it; he does not know me.” This was enterprise as ordinary for Reed: as a consigner, he is used to sending out pay as you go FedEx mailers throughout the nation and promoting big-ticket, high-value objects like this. However he additionally actually needed to make this deal occur. He provided to ship a New York-based worker to choose up the vest in individual and pay out a money advance as an indication of fine religion. The shopper agreed, and the vest was quickly on its technique to Reed’s studio in LA.
Reed breathed a sigh of reduction when he lastly had the vest in his possession, however now got here essentially the most essential half: really promoting it. First, he had to determine how a lot he ought to promote it for. Kanye something instructions a hefty fee on the open market, however this was a novel merchandise—it wasn’t like he might examine StockX for comparative gross sales and determine the median value. “I used to be initially going to cost it for round $10,000. Perhaps a bit extra,” Reed says. After taking the images for his web site, he determined to put up them to his Instagram—after which issues took off.
Reposts ricocheted throughout Instagram, from totally different West fan accounts and streetwear blogs, all boosted by the algorithm. Earlier than he knew it, Reed had hundreds of latest Instagram followers and noticed a surge of visitors to his web site. Reed says he was even approached by somebody from one of many massive public sale homes. (Not an enormous shock there, as lately legacy public sale homes have sprinted in the direction of streetwear-adjacent artwork and equipment to courtroom youthful consumers. Recall Sotheby’s complete assortment of Supreme skate decks that bought for $800,000, or Christie’s “Purses x Hype” sale that pulled in over $2.1 million.)
The quantity of engagement and motion let him know that he had one thing particular on his arms. On the final minute, Reed determined to listing it at double his preliminary estimate. The exact same night it was listed, Reed says, the vest had already bought to a collector in New York—for $20,000.