If coverage of a recent time New York Times' article on the sneaker game wasn't enough to convince you on how profitable and insane shoe collecting has become, then you might want to read this story coming out of Oregon.
A Florida man, by the name of Jason Keating, was arrested recently for purchasing a shipment of stolen, highly coveted, and extremely rare Nike Look See Samples. He would then sell the sneakers to businesses in Oregon, New Jersey, California, and New York. According to police reports, Keating was the main buyer in a scheme in which sample orders were placed directly to Nike Factories in Asia and, subsequently, sold to himself and other buyers.
Jason Keating's mugshot.
Nike employee Tung Ho and former Nike employee Kyle Yamaguchi are said to be key figures in the scheme—with Ho being the one who made the orders. In a recent search of Ho's Portland home, police seized close to 2,000 pairs of sneakers along with cash. If Yamaguchi's name sounds familiar, it's because you may have seen him featured two years ago by Sole Collector as having one of the sickest PE collections in the game. However, he would later leave the "Swoosh" to start his own company, LOOK/SEE Goods, a sunglasses company that catered primarily to the sneaker community.
Kyle Yamaguchi's Look See collection. Image via Sole Collector
This story could shake up the sneaker community especially those collecting and dealing in samples. Nike Look See samples are early editions of a sneaker meant to give product developers and designers a general idea and feel for a new shoe. The samples normally feature materials and colorways that can differ greatly from the actual release and are never meant to be made available to the public.
It'll be interesting to see how the rest of this story unfolds as the men involved seem to have been main connects for many collectors.
[via Oregon Live]