Is it possible for someone to be at the top of the luxury & sneaker reselling game, at just 17 years old? Fedor Sneaks (as he’s known on social media) thinks so… and he’s proven it. With 5 years of experience already under his belt – way before asking a girl to prom, or applying for a provisional drivers license – Fedor has swiftly become a trusted drip supplier to some of the UK’s hottest rappers, musicians and top football goalscorers. All by himself. From Fredo to AJ Tracey, to Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal players, he’s serving clients the most exclusive Dior’s and highly requested Louis Vuitton pieces.
His client base doesn’t stop there. On an average sales day, Fedor’s phone is endlessly pinging with thousands of requests from young, “normal people” hypebeasts and trendsetters, looking for pairs of the latest Jordan’s release, or Essentials Fear of God sets from him. “Keep in mind I have 124,000 followers, the messages are crazy crazy (sic), there’s some days where I’ve had about 6,000 messages, even more sometimes… it is crazy in the dms… [then] I have to do Snapchat and Whatsapp as well”, he casually tells me. “In the summer, I think I hit about 250 orders in a day [from normal clients], everybody’s like I need Essentials shorts, I need these Jordans, give me 3 sets, 4 pairs, and that could be one client request out of many”.
They say experience comes with age, but for Fedor, it definitely came knocking early. When speaking to him, it’s hard not to notice his calm and collected mannerisms. He talks with assurance, like someone that definitely knows what they’re doing and knows what they’re talking about. He also knows the ins and outs of his own journey and the fast-moving fashion business he’s in. From brand names, to milestones in his life and his views, his memory is incredible. It was impressive to see his ability to swiftly process my questions and give an A1 answer, dropping gem after gem. Those are the perks of being young and dedicated.
Behind all the seriousness and work ethic, you still see glimpses of his youthfulness. The kid is funny, fearless and unphased by the challenges of his work and life and all the hype around celebrities. That probably explains why footballers are willing to sit with him in their homes and talk sneakers, even in his school uniform in the early days. “I get to talk about life with my clients”. Clearly, what Fedor has is not something you can teach in a classroom, or learn from a business book. He’s taking life as it comes and giving it his all unapologetically. That makes him unstoppable.
It’s clearly more than work for this young hustler. Like all greatness, Fedor’s personal shopping success started from his own passion for trainers. Leaving no detail out, he walked me through his story like a director; beginning with his desire at a young age (well a younger age, since he’s still young) to start a sneaker collection. He was determined to make it happen by any means necessary. “The selling thing started when I was young, like 10-12. I always wanted to make money. I was playing football at the time – I still play professionally for Barnet – and yeah… I was always watching these American YouTubers, they all had shoe collections. I was like yeah I wanna get these and I wanna get those. But I couldn’t really get them. The only time I could them was Christmas or for my birthday when my parents could. So I had to find a way to make money to start my collection”. The story of our lives! It’s highly unlikely that any parents are willing to fund our $$$$ sneaker collections for the fun of it. Fedor resorted to investing his pocket money on snacks to sell at school. “In the morning I’d bring about £10, £20 pound and then by the end of the day I’d have £60, £70 pound”. Many – like myself – can relate. It’s risky business selling on the school football pitch or behind the music building, but it pays off. “It was interesting, the hustle at the time…instead of getting the train I used to walk, instead of eating sweets myself I used to get packed lunch from home. The whole grinding, saving money at the start, you know you have to be clever about it, especially when there’s not a big profit margin. [So that way] I was making quite a lot of money from a young age”, he says proudly.
When online marketplaces like Depop and Schmock were only just making their mark against the big dawgs like Ebay, Fedor saw an opportunity. First, he would sell his dads used items and take a generous family commission. But the grind didn’t stop there for him. He was already plotting on how to sell more. “I watched what these guys do, and [figured out] ‘ok how does reselling trainers work’, I realised if I want to build a shoe collection, the best thing to do was sell trainers in order to fund it”. This meant joining the sneaker community, and earning his stripes as a respected seller. He became a youngin’ in unchartered waters, swimming with the big fish. “It started off with me going to the [sneaker] drops, queueing outside shops to make £50-£60 profit, buying shoes for £100 and selling them for £160 pound. Loads of stories [I could tell]. Then with the profit, I would buy myself a pair or I would keep saving in order to go from 1-2 pairs, to like 5 pairs. Then after you get 5-6 pairs you keep one and keep selling and you start to build a little client base”. Just like that, halfway through secondary school, Fedor made it into the reselling business. He went on to have certified spots and table set ups at sneaker conventions to sell, where he could connect and network. “I would go to events, there was an event called crep city, I think I was 12/13 at the time. I went to my first shoe event, had a table there, brought about 40 pairs and sold maybe half of them”.
Fast-forward to today and the once small, non-discriminatory sneaker community that was once a hobby for most, has grown into a full-blown industry. Now Fedor is amongst peers just like him that he can trust and work with – something he is extremely grateful for. “I have my connections, we have group chats with about 300-400 people on Whatsapp that are all in the selling and buying industry, so if you want to buy or sell something you can always do it in the chat. In this trainer world you can enter raffles, you can pay people to camp out of shops for you. But the truth is with reselling we all work in the same industry, if I can’t get something in the shops, us resellers go to another reseller asking ‘can you get these’”.
Scroll through his Instagram page, and you’re bound to see your favourite artist, footballer and Youtube personality holding up the sneaker he sourced and his branded bag. A daily post with a VIP client is now like clockwork for Fedor. I wanted to know how he was introduced to them all so young, and that kind of pressure to deliver ever overwhelms him. He explains how domino-effect word of mouth really kicked things off, “Well my first football client was Marcel Lavinier, at Tottenham. Marcel needed these pink diors. I delivered to Marcel the same day. I only had 1000 followers at the time. [Then] He posted me on his story. I saw Billy Gilmour in the story views. I was thinking ‘Oh shit I watch you play football’. Same night he sent me a Gucci T-shirt and the true form Yeezy’s [he wanted]. I delivered to his house [the next day]. He’s a client to this day and buys quite a few bits. I think it went crazy from there. From just a shout out, a couple more Chelsea players, players from other teams, normal clients, musicians, rappers, hairdressers… everyone.”
Serving rappers for music videos and photoshoots means Fedor has to be on-call and ready with short notice. It’s something he’s got no problems with, he loves the hustle. “Most of these rappers are like ‘ok cool I have a shoot in three hours’ so I’m flying onto my phone, calling stores asking around and especially with certain rappers – no names – an hour before the shoot. But 95% [of the time] I can get it done”. The most stylish rapper? “Fredo is definitely the drippiest, I think he bought 15 pairs of sneakers once”.
Why does he think they all trust in him, and why is personal shopping big business nowadays? Fedor knew the answer straight way, “Most of the time celebrities go into shops and send me pictures saying I can’t get this item or they don’t have this size or I have to wait 2 weeks… it’s a hassle [for them]. When you’re buying something you wanna make sure you’re receiving the best service. If you have to pay 50 more, but not wait a week and get it delivered to your doorstep, why not. And like my clients, I don’t care about impressing in a crowded Selfridges, personal shopping is a nice experience”.
As much as he respects his A-lister clients, I could tell he’s not all that fussed by the clout of it all. “I’ve never been starstruck, some [big] celebrities I’ve never even posted. Nothing really blew my mind. Just because he’s a rapper, or he’s a footballer. It doesn’t mean anything, we’re all human you know. I like dealing with these people but it’s not life. Life’s about experiences, memories, being happy. Followers and clout is not a thing for me”.
It’s obvious Fedor has an approach not every personal shopper gets. Like a true entrepreneur, he understands how critical the everyday buyer is in the resale game. He explains why. “The main audience you want to target is the average person saying to you ‘can I get these trainers for £300’. It’s not just about selling to a famous person or ‘I sell to this rapper or I’m cool and everything’. No, it’s about building your business, it’s more about quantity, not just who you can sell to. It works for me, someone shouts you out and then people are asking: ‘Can I get Jordans, can I get Yeezys’… sales are flying through.”
Speaking to Fedor, I realised that he wanted me to understand him, as not a lot of kids his age can. “Running a business might look easy, but at the end of the day, I don’t think my followers that are my age could manage it”. A lot of his sentences ended with “you know”. After our conversation, I did know. He made it clear that the reselling game was not all fun and games. It’s a tiring yet rewarding process of sourcing, packaging, delivering and negotiating. I got the impression that people in his DM’s – probably looking for advice – have assumed it’s an easy task. He puts the work in relentlessly and it shows. “I work very hard for everything I have. I do everything for my clients, that’s just how it is”.