I recently read a article about the brand “Greats“. If your not aware of the them they are a new sneaker company selling direct to consumer footwear and you can check them out here. The article asked the question to co-owner Ryan Babenzien:
Why did you decide to cut out the middleman and retailers?
Ryan: We just felt that that was a very competitive market. It’s broken and dated. You don’t need the big box retailers to scare your business. It’s hard to get in there too, because the big guys are controlling it. That’s what made us consider this model. The great thing is that customers save money. It’s a greater product for less.
The great part about this is that, and i knew this when they first launched, they are doing exactly what i set out to do a year prior to them so i saw that I’m definitely on the right path. We as creators havent needed the big box stores or even small boutiques at all. We have a direct connection to the consumer now it isn’t smart to continue to overcharge on items just so we can sell to stores and they profit. I’ve always thought to myself the wholesale market/stores buyers is really just a middleman that takes a part of the profit from the creator as well as the customer.
Now as you may know the background of the owners of the “Greats” have good backing as well as tons of history/experience in the footwear/apparel industry that has helped there growth and thats great for them. But to everyone else like myself when i started Kings Of NY you may not have much to play with or the knowledge but I’ll be the first to tell you, You don’t need it. If you have the passion and fight to succeed in anything you do, you will. We are and have been at no overhead since day 1. Turn 8 to 100, 100 to 1000 and that to a 100,000 and so on.
It’s great times in this world when the creator can reach a customer without a middleman and Im glad to see others doing the same. With changes like this in the industry the creators have taken the power back. No more relying on a buyers choice of clothing to sell to your fans/customers. We decide and they either fail or they succeed. Either way we decide as the designers and creators.
-Danny (Kings Of NY)