They sniff (new) sneakers to flush out fakes

“Put your nose in the box. And feel. “ We do. Olfactory result: the smell of a new, sweet shoe. “And now this one. “ Very different indeed. A slightly woody hint. “It’s a fake, a counterfeit from Asia. ” Baseball cap screwed on the head, black T-shirt, Nicolas Nicaise does not need a lot of equipment to work. His flair and his eyes are more than enough for him to recognize a real Nike Air Jordan, a Yeezy, born from the collaboration between Adidas and the American rapper Kanye West, or an authentic New Balance. “Each brand has a specific smell, which sometimes differs depending on the model. On a new pair, it starts as soon as the box is opened, with the smell of glue. If it smells strong or stings, beware. “

At 21, the young man is an expert of a new genre, able to identify sneakers by their smell, but also by the regularity of a seam, the nuance of a shade, the grain of a texture. or even in the fonts of a label … For six months, the enthusiast who holds “150 pairs worn, plus a few new ones for [sa] collection, all accumulated in six years of passion ”, serves as Purchasing Director for Kikikickz, an online site for the resale of new and rare sneakers.

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Launched in October 2020, the platform, which claims between 500 and 900 transactions per day and growth of 30% to 40% per month, is one of several French start-ups (such as Limited Resell, Wethenew or The French Reseller) who thrive in business. With the objective of nibbling market share in the American juggernaut StockX, a real stock exchange where the models’ quotation is referenced in real time. To stand out from hand-to-hand transactions between individuals or through specialized platforms (Leboncoin, eBay, Vinted), these professional resellers build their notoriety on the guaranteed authenticity of their products. Nothing is therefore left to chance, in this market where counterfeiting, enthusiasts’ worst nightmare, runs faster than soles with the best cushioning.

Track down invisible details

To determine if the pairs sold directly by Kikikickz or deposited on this interface by professionals or individuals are “legit” (authentic in the jargon of the sector), they are subjected before the sale to a battery of checks, made by “Sneakersaddicts”, these crazy sports shoes, former self-employed “resellers” for the most part.

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