The Botmakers Who Rule the Obsessive World of Streetwear – LAUREN SCHWARTZBERG 05.25.17 7:00 AM


The guys behind the Supreme Saint streetwear shopping bot.Ysa Pérez

Early on a steamy June morning in Plantation, Florida, Matt Steiner sits working at his parents’ 10-person dining room table. It’s the start of summer vacation, and he is joined by his buddy Chris, who is freshly home from his first year at college. Between yawns the two send tweets and check emails, but mostly they wait for 9 am. That’s when the pair will open access to their website for 60 minutes, just as they do every Thursday. During that hour, and that hour only, people can buy the use of Matt and Chris’ web bot.Finally the time comes. Within one minute, 10 orders have rolled in. By 9:04, that number has doubled. People are browsing the site from the UK, South Korea, Hong Kong, looking at images of limited-edition products. If they’re interested, they enter their address and payment informa­tion. If they want a hat, it’ll cost $10. For a T-shirt it’s $15. Hoodies are $20. To be clear, these aren’t prices for the shirts, hats, and hoodies; they’re the prices would-be shoppers pay to have a shot at buying the damn things when the apparel brand Supreme opens its own website and stores at 11 am.

More than 1,200 miles up the coast, in downtown Manhattan, people—mostly guys—are lined up outside Supreme’s NYC store for the same reason others are clicking on Matt and Chris’ website: to get their hands on gear. On the Supreme sub­reddit, photos are filtering in from shoppers who already got lucky in London and Paris, providing a valuable preview of what’s to come.

At 9:55, Matt and Chris are closing in on 10,000 visitors to their site. The problem is, on this Thursday their customers aren’t spending much money. Supreme releases only a handful of its seasonal collection each week, and this week’s drop isn’t a great one. The guys were hoping that the long-promised Everlast boxing bag would come out today, or at least the $200 basketball, covered with butterflies, designed by skating legend Mark Gonzales. Instead, the core of the drop is a series of T-shirts made in collaboration with a Jamaican musician from the ’80s. Most “hypebeasts”—the largely teenage and twenty­something consumers who obsess over streetwear and sneaker brands—are too young to know the dancehall stylings of Barrington Levy. By the time Matt and Chris shut down their site to finalize details before the Supreme drop officially starts, they’ve topped out at 38 orders.

Article continues:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s