Cart is empty

Go to SF Shop

YEEZY MAFIA Talks Controversy and Sneaker Leaking Strategy

Yeezy Mafia Interview Computer Close Up

In the three years since they began as a Skype chat, super sneaker leakers haven’t just thrived, they’ve monopolised the current generation’s most visible and desirable sneaker/rap co-sign. At times, their disruptive intel has been so prophetic you’d think they were backed by – or had hacked – the global corporation. Other times, has flamed them so hard it looked like they would be charred and barred from Twitter for life. And yet, even after beefing openly with Kim, YEEZY MAFIA is still the only sneaker account that follows.

In an industry propped up by celebrity, YEEZY MAFIA’s outlaw status is a curious anomaly. Every sneakerhead sympathetic to the Three Stripes follows their feed, yet the group’s leaders have so far remained invisible. In that respect, their marketing model – built on sharing information rather than piles of influencer co-signs – is a sneaker biz oddity.

Am I correct in saying that the bulk of your revenue comes from cart sales?
We’re doing both carts and pre-orders now, as we developed a more effective way to purchase shoes for customers. With carts, the customer has to purchase a pre-filled cart and then checkout to skip the waiting room. We now handle the checkout with pre-orders. The customer just purchases a pre-order fee, waits for release day, and wakes up to an order confirmation in their email. That’s it! We created this stress-free solution to simplify the frustrating process of spending a whole day waiting online, which is time that some people can’t afford. Also, our fee is calculated to be cheaper than the market resell price.

You’ve said previously that anyone can learn to do what you do. Where would you point them for their first lesson?
If you want to learn about how to purchase a certain limited shoe on a certain website, you have to first learn how this website works, and what happens behind the scenes when you purchase the shoes. Regarding the leaks, well, the best way would be to take some fortune-telling courses.

How do you decide how far out to leak sneakers?
It depends on the shoe because design changes often happen during the development. So sometimes we will post a mockup and the final product will be different. For example, the cage colour on the Bape x Super Bowl UltraBOOST changed from gold to white. We know how annoying it can be for the fans, so we try to announce a maximum of six months before the planned release. Sometimes release dates change, like with the Yeezy 350 ‘Sesame’ getting moved from August to November. Timing is very important.

What have you learned from controversy, and the detractors throughout the years?
When we started we didn’t have all the knowledge and connects we have now, so we posted some wrong information and our detractors loved it. But we learned over the years that, as with anything you do in life, people will always envy you and have negative things to say. When you start getting notorious it’s difficult to handle, so you need to be mentally strong. If you look at any blog or social media account, you will find more hate than love in the comments, so you’ve got to deal with it. Either way, they’re making the comment count go up!

This interview was originally published in Sneaker Freaker Issue 41. Buy your copy HERE.

Latest Videos

Subscribe to our Newsletter