How much would you pay for a pair of sneakers (or trainers for UK readers)? London-based entrepreneur Moses Rashid serves a constituency happy to pay thousands of pounds for the right pair – and he is building a multi-million pound business from the trade.
“There many people out there who look at sneakers as an alternative asset class; sneakers rise and fall in value, just like other assets, and have long-term investment potential,” he says. “Our customers are largely buying because they want to wear their purchases, but that investment element is part of the appeal.”
Rashid launched The Edit Man London in January 2020, but has just renamed the business The Edit LDN. The tweak reflects the growing interest of women in his products, in an area that was once a very male preserve.
For those unfamiliar with this end of the fashion industry, streetwear retailers have in recent years increasingly gone in for limited editions of some of their products – sneakers, but also other clothing. A number of designer labels have followed suit. That has spawned big business in the resale market, with buyers snapping up in-demand products and selling them on at a profit.
Rashid’s pitch is that customers who want these items – and there are many of them, despite the high price tags – find themselves in a difficult position. Sometimes retailers conduct direct-to-market sales, holding raffles and lotteries to determine who gets to buy on “drop day”, but your chances are limited. That leaves you to buy from a reseller, often on auction sites such as eBay or via social media, which means it takes ages to get your hands on the goods and you have all the worries around fake items and payment problems.
Instead, The Edit LDN has built relationships across the sector so that it can secure in-demand products on customers’ behalf. The platform stocks new and pre-loved goods from a variety of brands including Yeezy, Jordan, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Off-White, Supreme, Fear of God – buying from them is just like buying from any other store.
“We wanted to disrupt the reseller market – to become a single easy-to-use platform that is a one-stop-shop for collectors and investors,” Rashid says. “We solve those anxieties people have about speed, convenience, negotiating a fair price and authenticity.”
Rashid believes The Edit LDN has cracked that mission. “We set out to create a destination that opens up and levels up the opportunity for anyone wishing to own extremely limited-edition goods – essentially, we make the inaccessible, accessible,” he says. “We’re regularly selling sneakers and streetwear worth £1,500 each. Recently, we sold a Gucci TNF jacket for £9,200.”
You might think there would be relatively few buyers at such price points, but Moses points out how his platform focuses on different segments. The Edit LDN has a range of products priced at less than £200, a more expensive range that appeals to wealthier customers who shop several times a month, and also sells to high-net-worth customers. Clients in that category include footballers, royals and other celebrities.
Nor is this a niche market. Analysis published by Cowen Equity Research last year estimated the global sneaker resale market was worth $5bn – by 2030, it expects that number to be as high as $30bn.
The Edit LDN is rising that rapid growth, with sales growing at an average pace of 60% month-on-month since its launch – and by 80% month-on-month during 2021 so far. The company raised £200,000 of investment in its early days and expects to launch a seven-figure funding round later in the year. “By the end of this year, The Edit LDN will be worth £10m and given the hyper growth rate of our sales and revenues, we will be at three times’ our valuation by the end of 2022 for sure,” Rashid predicts.
It isn’t simply about making money. Rashid is a collector at heart, launching the business after years of buying exactly the sort of streetwear he is now selling in big numbers. “I’ve built a business from my passion,” he reflects.
The company is also keen to foster a sense of purpose. Last year, the company collaborated with the artist McCrow as part of the One Less Gun campaign to create a sneaker with bullet shells from an AK-47 rifle. More recently, The Edit LDN has worked with Gary James McQueen; to raise funds for the Mind mental health charity, the platform sold exclusive T-shirts featuring the famous McQueen Vanitas skull.
The limited edition resale market also has an element of sustainability to it, Rashid points out, given that products are often owned by several buyers during their lifetimes. “These are matters that are important to us and our community,” Rashid says. “We recognise that we’re in a super-hot market right now so we want to use our platform to make a long lasting impact where possible.”