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Rebel Radio Ep. 20: Ryan Babenzien - Building a Direct-to-Consumer Business

Is Brooklyn the New Mecca of Sneaker Culture? - A Rebel's Story

Rebel Radio is a weekly podcast, hosted by your humble servant, exploring the relationship between art and business in underground culture. Through interviews with creative entrepreneurs who have shaped the roots and future of the underground, we uncover what it takes to build and sustain a career out of making art. Rebel Radio is presented in partnership with EDM.com.

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This week on Rebel Radio, I interview Ryan Babenzien, founder of Greats Brand shoes.

"Who are Greats, and what’s a Babenzien,” you ask? I’m finna tell you.

Greats is a great, ahem, sneaker brand out of Brooklyn. Did you hear me? Brooklyn. That right there should tell you it’s great. Ryan and his team are making classic sneaker designs with high-end materials and craftsmanship, the kind of shoe you get for $400 at Barneys or whatever, except these ain’t at no store and they don’t cost no $400.

Greats is pioneering a direct-to-consumer business for sneakers, maybe the first one out there doing it. This means you can’t buy them in stores and don’t pay the markups that are typical at retail stores. You buy them at Greats.com and get a lot more for the money. I’m bringing you the future right here.

But this also means that Ryan and the rest of the Greats crew have to really be on their shit when it comes to marketing and building a brand. Ain’t no Al Bundy selling shoes out there for him. He has to hit you on the Twitter or Instagram or whatever and make you want to click that buy button.

We’re gonna find out how they do it. And why. And we’re giving away a pair of Greats shoes to one lucky listener. Follow us on Twitter to find out how to win.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you want more from the streetwear and fashion industry. I'll make it happen for you.

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