Otis x Jeff Staple Launch Investment Shares of the Nike SB Dunks Collection

Sneaker Culture comes with a lot of moving parts. It’s not just about what’s trending and what’s dropping at the moment. The sneaker industry is a booming business and there are a lot of ways to cash in. When you mix history and actual factual epic moments in, these are the things that make sneaker culture what it is. There are many players involved, brands behind the madness and stories to be told. We’ve watched buying sneakers turn into a “thing”, sneaker releases become like holidays and feelings described as being “like Jordans on Saturdays”. When did that happen? Sneaker culture is evident in all aspects of our lives and it is important to keep up with its evolution. Jeff and Otis have teamed up to take sneaker culture to another level. 

Jeff Staple, the founder and creative director of Staple Design, plays an integral role in sneaker culture, and so does Otis. They both are pioneers in areas of sneaker culture that have pushed the needle up on the culture-o-meter. The two have paired up to launch shares of the Nike SB Dunks Collection. 

Wait. Shares? 

Yep. Shares!

The Nike SB Dunks Collection is now available for purchase via the Otis App. The collection includes 5 famed Nike SB lows that have impacted sneaker history in some way shape or form. The NYC Pigeon, Heineken Dunks, What the Dunk, Raygun Dunks, and the first all suede Bison dunks are all available at $25 per share and there are 1,000 shares available for purchase. Jeff is a major Sneakerhead and he handpicked the pairs for this collection. 

Aside from the actual sneakers, the Otis x fnnch collection is also up for grabs. Each share costs $40 and there are 1,000 shares up for grabs. This collection is a series of custom-commissioned artworks by San Francisco’s street artist fnnch. His works include Three Cans of LaCroix, Greatest Hits, and Sneakers. Oddly enough, the Sneakers paintings are his personal rendition of the Nike SB Dunks from the collection. 

Sneakers have become more than just footwear, they are an investment. Whether it’s a purchase of shares on the Otis app or getting a job in the sneaker industry, there’s more to sneaker culture than meets the eye. For more information on how you can turn your passion for sneakers into cash, visit Sneaker Essentials dot com

MARTKD Series | Celebrating Artists like Athletes

Webinar Series: Celebrating Artists Like Athletes (Episodes 1-6)

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Trying to stay motivated and focused is a major key during the Pandemic of 2020. With limited movement, the Internet has become a major  source for information and motivation. The Martk’d Webinar Series was carefully crafted to give you access to the information and the tools you need to stay sharp.  

This six episode series is hosted by Yellowbrick’s own Dion Walcott and includes heavy hitters like Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, Alexander John, Dee Wells, Sean Williams, Treis Hill, Katrinaa Lopes, Jayscale, Mac, Cheresse Thornhill, and Liz Connelly. 

Episode 6, has been rescheduled and a new date will be announced shortly. You can check back for update information or follow the Yellowbrick social channels for more information. In the meantime, you can register for access to the recap playlist of episodes 1-5 by adding your email to the “Register Now” field above. 

MARTkd: Understanding Creative Entrepreneurship

Exclusive Conversation | MARTk’d Series: Episode 2 of 6

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The MARTk’d Webinar series is a 6-part series with some of the industry’s top entrepreneurs, designers, managers, and even NBA stars. Identifying a problem and creating a solution plays a major role in entrepreneurship. A lot of the businesses across industries like Sneakers, Sports, and Streetwear were created as the solution to a problem. Companies like Uber and AirBNB were the multi-million dollar solutions to everyday problems. Entrepreneurship is an option in a variety of industries, it’s just a matter of finding the “why”.

As we continue through the MARTk’d series, Episode 2 focuses on creative entrepreneurship. Host Dion Walcott sits with The Kickback Founder Jayscale (Jamal Burger) and Community Relations Programmer Mac (Macaulay Madrigal). The Kickback is a Toronto-based charity that uses sneakers to empower teenagers to do well. The shoes are not just given to them but there are activities, events, mentorship programs and DIY workshops that engage the students. Earning a pair of fresh kicks is just a perk. This is not only about sneakers but about building a community that focuses on support and encouragement to help participants navigate through life and school/work. Jayscale and Mac spoke to their journey and how they turned their passion for sneakers into an A1 organization that inspires. 

 If you missed the initial replay, drop your email in the space above for access to the replay link.

MARTkd: Conversation With a Sneaker Design Director/Program Manager

Exclusive Conversation | MARTk’d Series: Episode 5 of 6

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Having a career in the sneaker industry is something that a lot of people dream about. Whether it’s designing a shoe or creating the blueprint for a sneaker boutique, the career opportunities are plentiful. Knowing the types of jobs that are available in an industry you are passionate about working in is important. Yellowbrick recognized that early and created Sneaker Essentials. Sneaker Essentials is a course created by F.I.T. faculty, Complex and sneaker industry experts designed to give students an inside look at the sneaker industry. 

While there are plenty of opportunities for a career in sneakers, it’s no secret that the industry is a male dominated field. While women are definitely represented, the majority of the positions are filled by men. Enter Liz Connelly and Cheresse Thornhill…trailblazers in the world of sneakers. They recognized the need to educate more women in the space and created a way to make that happen. They are the founders of S.E.E.D, an intensive sneaker program designed to teach young women the logistics behind sneaker design. From the idea of the design to the production, Liz and Cheresse decided that creating a lane for women in the sneaker industry was key. They recently sat with Yellowbrick’s own Dion Walcott to discuss their journey, the ins and outs of sneaker design and project management.

This episode, sponsored by ENVSN, focuses on women in the sneaker industry and what it takes to make that happen. Special thanks to ENVSN, a multi-dimensional community, committed to the professional and self-development of Gen Z and millennial adapters and their aficionados. The founders, Sharifa Murdock and Laura Stylez, created a platform that helps young women thrive and grow into their best selves. For more information about ENVSN, follow them on Instagram at @envsn and visit envsnfestival.com for upcoming festival info. 

 If you missed the live presentation, leave your email above to gain access to the replay ink.  

For more information about ENVSN, visit: 

ENVSNFest.com

@ENVSNFest on Instagram

MARTkd: How To Become A Sneaker Designer

Exclusive Conversation | MARTk’d Series: Episode 1 of 6

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Sneaker Design is probably the most popular career choice for people that want to work in the sneaker industry. Design has evolved over time and we have seen everything from innovative new silhouettes to daring collabs. Daring colorways are pushing the envelope and the classics are making a comeback with a twist. All of these things happen because of the designer and the ideas that they bring to the table. Episode 1 of the MARTk’d Webinar Series will tell you everything you need to know to get in the game.  

The MARTk’d live series kicked off with How To Become A Sneaker Designer. Supported by Pensole, Yellowbrick’s Dion Walcott had a live conversation with Director/Artist/Designer Alexander John, and Dr. D’Wayne Edwards (Founder of Pensole Academy). If sneaker design is something that you’re passionate about then this is the conversation for you. They dropped gems for people who are looking to get into design and how to become relevant in the space. To see the replay, you can sign up for the viewer link by dropping your email address in the space provided above. If you are ready to take your next steps in design, whether it’s in the sneaker industry or fashion/streetwear industry, visit Yellowbrick.co to find out how.

“So I Could…” | Miguel Feliz

Sneaker Essentials graduate Miguel Feliz gives his take on the course in his Testimonial video featured above. Press play to watch what he had to say!

Name: Miguel Feliz
Course: Sneaker Essentials
IG Handle: @spidermigz

I enrolled in Sneaker Essentials so I could..
continue to learn more about the industry I plan to pursue a profession in, regardless of whether my plan is successful or not.

Where are you working now?
Right now, I am a Seasonal Athlete at the Nike House of Innovation on 5th Avenue. Previously I had an unpaid internship at Staple Pigeon.

How did the course prepare you for working in the sneaker industry?
There wasn’t any rock that was left unturned really. The course covered everything that needed to be covered in the process of coming out with product, at least to my understanding. I learned about crucial aspects when it comes to the actual manufacturing of a sneaker, the history of footwear, and how to market a product alike. I came into the course knowing I love sneakers, but now because of the course,I now know that I love to tell stories and I want to use sneakers as the medium in which I tell those stories from a marketing perspective.

What assignment, course, and/or instructor sticks out in your mind or taught you something valuable?
The sneaker design project was really fascinating and nerve racking at first. I was afraid to tackle the challenge at first but eventually I came up with a great story to tell which was reflected on the design. Throughout the course of completing the assignment, I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator and found a new hobby in making sneaker templates to create custom colorways in my free time.

How did the partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology for Sneaker Essentials affect your choice to take the program?
It played a big role. I actually wanted to attend FIT so to be involved with the school and sneakers alike is a good look for me.

Has your experience in Sneaker Essentials impacted your career at all yet, and if so, how?
It played a role in my interview process for Nike. It helped bolster my resume and show that I was really serious about getting involved in the industry one way or another.

What would you say to a friend or fellow sneakerhead about Sneaker Essentials?
If you really love sneakers as much as you say you do or want to learn something new, this course is for you. No question about it.

YB Faves: Top 5 Podcasts in Yellowbrick’s Rotation

If podcasting is something you’ve always wanted to get into, today (well, tomorrow) is the perfect time to start. While blogs and digital publications have flourished, podcasts have become a really cool alternative to sharing content. There are so many to choose from and it is easy to get hooked. When going back and forth to work was a thing, podcasts helped make the commute time a little less tedious. You could listen on the walk to the train, on the train, and on the walk to the office at the push of a button. 

Podcasts are a great way to tell a story and provide detailed information on a variety of topics. The Yellowbrick student, faculty, and industry expert community is stacked with people who are the voices of quite a few podcasts in rotation. Some of Yellowbrick grads, current students, and university faculty are lending their ideas and conversations to some very popular podcasts. Since International Podcast Day is coming up, September 30th, we took some time to compile a list of our favorites below. Each podcast comes with a description with links on where and how you can access them. All of the episodes featured in this post can be listened to at the bottom of the page.

The Complex Sneaker Podcast co-hosted by Joe La Puma, Brendan Dunne, and Matt Welty engage in heavy sneaker conversation. The trio are no strangers to sneakers nor our audience as they are seen as industry experts in the Sneaker Essentials sneaker course. Their latest episode includes an in-depth convo with Gary Aspden, the adidas OG. He talks about meeting Kanye and what it took to create the Spezial. Aside from this latest episode, they have a solid archive of conversations to choose from. Click here to listen. 

Find Your Dream Job podcast by Mac Prichard is a great way to get some solid career advice. If trying to find the job of your dreams is something you have been trying to achieve, this is the podcast for you. This weekly podcast is all about sharing insider hiring info and tips on the job search that could prove to be helpful in any career. His latest episode, How to dine the Side Door at HR features Dana Pratt, the founder of DCP Training and Talent Development. Her company is the go to to help employers with performance consulting, leadership development, and talent management. Click here to listen.

Renaissance Soul podcast hosted by Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier is the home for all things Detroit hip-hop and music. What launched as a digital hip-hop website back in 2001, is now an audio podcast with the same content just a different output. The pod recently re-launched in August and led with Detroit’s own Dan Charnas, NYU professor and music journalist who is the go-to for all things Detroit/J-Dilla related. To check out the pod and Dan’s episode, click here.

How to Share podcast is a hospitality focused podcast that discusses storytelling, travel, and marketing in the travel industry. Host Amy Draheim is a marketing maven in the hotel industry and presents new and innovative ways to market hotels and travel destinations. Drahiem also owns and creates content for The Traveler’s Journey, which provides blogging tips, trip storytelling, and how to make the most of your IG feed when traveling. She recently sat down with Moniqua Lane to discuss how she started in hospitality, her efforts to create one-of-a-kind guest experiences, and her efforts to keep her property open despite the current vibe of the country. Click here to listen.

Unravel is a weekly podcast operated by Dana Goodin, Jasmine Helm and Joy Davis. The trio create content that is geared towards educating people about the importance of fashion in the history and current culture of the world. One of their goals is to encourage conversation about these topics within their digital platform community. They are women with a plethora of scholarly knowledge and do a great job of presenting it to their audience. Their goals are to, “collaborate with experts, in their field, to expand the conversation, speak beyond the canon of traditional fashion media and history, and be on the “frontline” of solidifying fashion history as a serious subject to study and learn”. Click here to listen.

Yellowbrick Grad Coins ‘Strange on Purpose’ Podcast

Yellowbrick grads have done some pretty cool things after course completion. They waste no time putting their talents and credentials to work. Whether it’s designing a custom drop for Nike, curating a makeup museum or getting their first writing credit on a song, YB grads are on the ground putting their skills to good use. Sneakerschool grad Izzy Lugo is another dope example. He teamed up with Quentin Allums to craft the  Strange on Purpose podcast.

Strange on Purpose – Urban Misfit Adventures is a podcast that has something for everybody. Hosted by Izzy Lugo / @itsizzylugo and Quentin Allums / @tagjustq, their pod conversations are a great way to “pick people’s brains” simply by listening. Hearing the story of someone’s journey and identifying with the parts that resonate is a key motivator. It is always interesting to hear about a person’s grind, drive and setbacks that got them to where they are today.

One of their most recent guests, Susan Boyle, is an industry expert in Sneaker Essentials. She was one of the experts that Izzy Lugo came across in the course. The 3 met up on the pod for “Women In Sneakers” Episode 9 and had a great conversation about her career experiences. Lugo also reached out to Yellowbrick and scored an episode with Dion Walcott, the VP of Brand Partnerships. Click below to listen to Episode 9 and catch up with all the shows on either Anchor, Spotify, or Apple.

If you are interested in taking your first steps towards the job of your dreams, visit yellowbrick.co to find out how.  

Career Spotlight on Former Nike Marketing Manager Les Green

The sneaker industry is full of career opportunities. While sneaker design is one of the most sought after paths, there is a huge variety of other jobs and careers to pursue. The Sneaker Essentials course was designed to give students an inside look at all of the possible career paths and help them capitalize on their unique skills to carve out their own path . From marketing to design to engineering, there is a career opportunity for everyone.

Sneaker Essentials recently sat down with Teespring’s Vice President of Marketing, Les Green, to talk about some of the things he has accomplished across the industry. Green has held down some key positions in the sneaker industry. He has worked with some of the world’s most influential brands for over 18 years. He served as Nike Africa Marketing Director, Nike Mexico’s Senior Brand Director, Senior Brand Director Nike By You, and Global Brand Director Nike Sportswear. He played a key role in some important campaigns and product launches. He worked on the Nike Tech Pack. the 2012 Olympics, and Nike by you (which most people may know as Nike I.D.).

“I don’t want that exclusivity of product to

translate into exclusivity of talent and opportunity”

Check out the clip above to hear Les talk about breaking down barriers to breaking into the industry. Visit Sneaker Essentials to find out if a career in sneakers is right for you – and for more knowledge from former Nike Marketing Manager, Les Green.

“So I Could…” | Harrison Davis

Name: Harrison Davis
Course: Sneaker Essentials
Instagram: @sneakerscoffeechampagne

I enrolled in Sneaker Essentials so I could..

gain a more global perspective on the industry that I’m so passionate about.

Where are you working now?

Stadium Goods

Has your experience in Sneaker Essentials impacted your career at all yet, and if so, how?

Sneaker Essentials helped me decide what part of the industry I was most interested in pursuing the rest of my career in. Having owned a tier one independent sneaker boutique for 6 years, most of my vantage point comes from that angle of the industry. As I transitioned from Baltimore to NYC, Sneaker Essentials helped me to narrow down my specific interests within a much wider industry and endless opportunities in NYC. Ultimately I landed at Private Client Services at Stadium Goods. Being introduced to a more in-depth look in to the SG brand, and mission, during the Sneakers Essential course definitely impacted my decision to apply to positions at Stadium Goods.

Why did you think the course was right for you when you enrolled?

I enrolled in Sneaker Essentials to get a broader perspective of the industry, end-to-end. My primary experiences had been as a collector and owner in the independent space. To grow my career and be able to compete in the NYC market I wanted to grow my knowledge of design, supply channels, big box, mass marketing, etc.

How did the course prepare you for working in the sneaker industry?

The course gave me great perspective into the mass amount of different avenues you can take within the sneaker industry. From design, to supply chain, processing, management, buying, customer service; I really feel like the course gave a great overview of the industry as a whole.

How did the partnership with Fashion Institute of Technology for Sneaker Essentials affect your choice to take the program?

Just like FIT legitimizes the knowledge being shared, the partnership with Complex legitimizes that the people sharing the knowledge are significant in sneaker culture, beyond just knowledge.

What assignment, course, and/or instructor sticks out in your mind or taught you something valuable?

Sue from Rime really stuck out in my mind. Her authentic story about creating a boutique in the early 2000’s, to her first collab with Puma, to the struggles of being independent really resonated with me, and gave great perspective around that era of the industry.

What would you say to a friend or fellow Sneakerhead about Sneaker Essentials?

I would tell friends that are both interested in getting into the industry, or who have been in the industry for a while, that the course is a great high level framework of the industry at large. For those looking to get into the industry, this gives invaluable insight into many of the heavy hitting brands and stores. For those who have been in the industry for a while, this allows you to look back at the industry from the outside in as you prepare to make your next moves or rethink old logic.