How one consignment store bought a Kanye West "Donda" vest for $20,000
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 the whole lot was operating easily was holding him lots busy. Then, a former shopper reached out on behalf of a good friend—that they had one thing that Reed may be desirous about promoting. It was a Kanye West "Donda" vest—one of many standout trend items from the second Donda listening get together on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was additionally one of many rarer vests from the evening: heavy-duty, hand-painted, and signed by the ultra-famous rapper himself. In reality, 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 complete story of how flew into Atlanta with a rapper he works with and the way he was on the occasion for per 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 doesn't know me." This was enterprise as traditional for Reed: as a consigner, he's 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 wished to make this deal occur. He provided to ship a New York-based worker to select 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 solution 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: truly promoting it. First, he had to determine how a lot he ought to promote it for. Kanye something instructions a hefty charge on the open market, however this was a singular 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. Possibly a bit extra," Reed says. After taking the photographs for his web site, he determined to publish 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 1000’s of recent Instagram followers and noticed a surge of site visitors to his web site. Reed says he was even approached by somebody from one of many large 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 court docket 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 fingers. On the final minute, Reed determined to record 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.
Reed and his store, with a deal with extremely covetable objects and memorabilia inside the broad umbrella of road tradition, symbolize the latest period of the secondary market. Why promote Yeezy's when you possibly can promote Kanye's vest? "It's like Michael Jordan's game-worn shoe. It's uncommon memorabilia, only a totally different type," he says. "I really like chasing down uncommon merchandise. It's such a thrill to me."
You may spot one other "Donda" vest listed on eBay for $7,000 and Grailed for $2,700. (These seem like identical merchandise by the identical vendor.) One other vendor has one listed for $700, alongside a screenshot of affirmation as a "motion area participant." However you possibly can clearly see the distinction between these and the one Reed acquired his fingers on: the hazy strokes on the letters, the sturdier physique. (Reed guesses his weighs about 5 kilos.) And, after all, the scribbled "MBD" in Kanye's personal handwriting. ("MBD" stands for "My Physique Completely different," the title of the unique proprietor’s safety firm.)
These particulars are all what separates this vest from the opposite two which have popped up on the secondary market. This one was signed by West himself, but it surely was additionally in the identical room as him, immortalised on the Livestream watched by thousands and thousands. In some ways, that is the form of the modern aftermarket to come back. Behind the scenes, an ultra-rare garment can change fingers on a Tuesday and promote for a cool $20,000 by a Friday. That's not a foul week—should you can swing it.
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