Where do you see the Kobe line going after you retire? We’ll remain extremely consistent with what we’ve been doing, which is creating innovative products that help athletes be the best versions of themselves. That’s not going to change. I don’t focus on how fashion changes. I only focus on creating innovative product. Hopefully the consumer knows by now that if you’re buying a Kobe product, you’re buying something that’s been thought through. We pay attention to detail all the way through. You’re buying something that’s going to help you perform better. That’s not going to stop.
Your sneakers are in the same room as your championship rings? Oh absolutely. The shoes are part of the journey. The shoes I wore in those championship games during those championship series, I keep all of those. They go hand in hand with the ring. I can’t get no ring without the sneakers that I’m wearing. They really helped me get there. Are there any one-offs in there? Like a sample that only you have and no one’s ever seen? There are a couple products that never released here in the States. There was this cross trainer shoe we made that was pretty freaking sick, but people never saw. Those are really special to me.
The goal is to create a marketplace that sells items at the real market price. Sounds great. As the buyer of a lot things through the Internet, I’m all for fair prices. But will sellers buy into the service, too? Called StockX, the site is a so-called “stock market of things”, offering items for sale priced using live market data. At launch the company will sell only sneakers. So if demand for a particular set of Jordan’s increase, so does the price. If demand falls, the price should follow suit. This isn’t a site to find a fantastic deal on a set of kicks, the founder tells me. This is a site to buy or sell sneakers at fair prices.
StockX is launching with the backing of impressive investors. Detroit real estate mogul Dan Gilbert is a co-founder and investor. Ron Conway is also invested in StockX. And there’s more, too. Luber says there’s a handful of prominent sneakerhead investors and celebrities who put cash into the venture.
J.R. Smith just announced on Instagram the opening of Team Swish, a sneaker store operated by him and his father Earl Smith. Word of the store first emerged in March 2014, when it was reported that the elder Smith planned to open a 2,700-square-foot strip mall in Millstone Township, N.J. One of the spaces in the strip mall was to be dedicated to a sneaker store called Team Swish. The Instagram photo doesn’t explicitly mention a location for the new store, so it’s unclear if the store is located in New Jersey as originally planned.