DOPE SHAPE: The Kings of Obscure Sneakers
Take a scroll through socials, and you’ll find countless sneaker sellers hawking their wares. But you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who curates a catalogue as impressive as @dopeshape.
DOPE SHAPE Sneakers began in 2019 and continue to operate out of France today, but they’re not just limited to the City of Lights. Their global team are dedicated sneaker searchers who trawl planet Earth in search of only the best shapes, and their Instagram account is a must-follow for anyone interested in enigmatic silhouettes. The highlight is their online store, which houses obscure gems for daily drops. Some of their recents have included the New Balance MR1064 and Nike Compete 2.
With a sizeable following and drops that sell out quicker than you can add-to-cart, we wanted to take a peek behind the DOPE SHAPE curtain to see how they operate. Vladislav Rusetsky, the founder of DSS, chatted to us about everything from their beginnings to how they source product.
How did DOPE SHAPE start?
At the beginning, I just liked to collect vintage sneakers for myself, and some people around me started to ask where they could get the same models. That’s when I got the idea to open my own sneaker shop.
DOPE SHAPE seems a little mysterious from the outside. What can you tell us about the individuals behind this curated store?
We are a team of four people, including myself, from 20–27 years old. For the three others, it’s just a hobby, but for me, it’s my main income. To talk a bit about myself, I am from the Ukraine and donate part of the money I make to Ukrainian military support.
Right now, I am looking for a helper, so if anyone is available, don’t hesitate to DM me!
What are the main places you source product?
Two people from our team live in the US and in England, and they usually find nice pairs in garage sales. We also find pairs in secondhand shops or on the internet. I spend most of my days looking for new and interesting models.
Has there ever been a shoe that you haven’t been able to identify?
Yes, of course, that’s why we turn to the shoe catalogues we have and also to friends of designers and collectors for a sign of authenticity.
Runners from the 2000s and 2010s have been trending. What do you think about this resurgence?
That’s how fashion works, I guess. Old fashion trends always come back. I always liked the 2000s trends, and often I get inspired by movies or series from that time.
What are some newer releases that have caught your eye?
There are some models I really like, such as the Nike Shox Ride 2, New Balance 1906R/2002R, Comme des Garçons x Nike Sunder, JJJJound x ASICS Kayano 14 and Salomon ACS Pro.
Has there ever been a sneaker you regret selling?
Well, maybe the pairs I wish I had sold for a more expensive price :)