Missing out on ultra-limited, high-heat sneaker releases is deflating. However, sneakerheads now have another way to obtain the coveted kicks in the marketplace.
Today marks the launch of Kyx World, an online sneaker subscription platform founded by Brian Mupo (who also serves as CEO) and Steve Dorfman (the company’s COO), built to offer the most sought-after styles on the market. The model is non-committal, and it provides subscribers the ability to try the sneakers before purchasing them.
“Resale prices are spiraling out of control, and hype is at an all-time high. It’s an advantageous time to launch a company like this, to provide an alternative to what is becoming a large source of frustration,” Mupo told FN. “This is our answer to a growing issue.”
With Kyx World, subscribers will get sneakers every month to wear and then choose to either buy them or swap them for a new pair the following month. There are multiple levels of access, with subscriptions starting at $49 per month for one pair of shoes valued up to $250, and climbing as high as $599 a month. Also, the subscriptions allow for people to choose either brand new or lightly worn sneakers.
“This was sort of born out of my own habits. For two and a half or three years, I would buy sneakers and wear them until I didn’t feel like wearing them anymore, and then I would sell them,” Mupo said. “What I was doing was engaging in a super time-consuming and cash-intensive rental model.”
Although today marks the debut of the company, Kyx World had a soft launch in December 2020, and to date, has roughly 900 active subscribers. (By year’s end, the company estimates that it will have 4,000 subscribers.)
Its inventory at time of publication includes approximately 3,000 pairs of shoes, consisting of more than 275 styles for men and women to choose from, with resale values ranging from $200 to $2,000. Looks stocked include the Off-White x Air Jordan 5 SP “Sail,” the Union x Air Jordan 4 Retro “Off Noir,” the Adidas Yeezy 700 V3 “Clay Brown” and more.
“The majority of the inventory right now is new, but we certainly do get pre-worn inventory,” Mupo said. “And the inventory is procured in a similar fashion to how a normal consumer would get them. There isn’t any magic secret as far as getting backroom deals or anything crazy like that.”
What’s more, if there is a silhouette or a size missing, subscribers can contact its digital concierge, Sloan.
Kyx World has also teamed up with footwear industry veterans, adding famed designer and sneaker collector Jeff Staple as its executive creative director.
Staple explained to FN how people’s increasing desire to own fewer things, paired with current consumer trends such as sustainability and thrifting, makes now the ideal time for Kyx World to launch.
“Our buying habits were out of control. Everything we see on Instagram, we were adding to our cart to buy. But you realize that 80 percent of the stuff you bought, you wore once and it just lives in a box,” Staple said. “After a while, your radar starts to get fine-tuned where you’re like, ‘I can appreciate this on Instagram, it’s a beautiful shoe, but I don’t have to buy this.’”
He continued, “What Kyx World is providing here is the opportunity for you to still experience the unboxing and the wearing, and then you just give them back and let them have another life.”
Kyx World confirmed that its inventory of lightly worn sneakers will undergo an extensive cleaning and sanitizing process, utilizing Reshoevn8r products. “Reshoevn8r and Kyx World are strategic partners. They provide us with the bulk of the material that we need to rehab these shoes appropriately, and we do co-branding and cross-promotional marketing,” Mupo said.
And Staple isn’t the only believer in Kyx World. The company confirmed that it has received $1.75 million in seed funding, which will be used to fund the platform, inventory and customer acquisition costs.
As of now, Kyx World has a staff of 15, which includes two shoe cleaners, employees who focus on sneaker procurement and authentication, and others. As the scope of the business increases, Mupo said he expects the team to expand dramatically.
Looking ahead, Mupo said subscribers can expect the rollout of an app in August. In the long term, the Kyx World co-founder said plans are in the works for international expansion, and the company will also add to the products it offers.