Deadstock Report Is the Tongue-in-Cheek Instagram That Skewers Sneakerheads

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Dead Stock Report/Instagram

“Quiz: What Dad Shoe Are You?” reads one headline posted on the Onion-esque Instagram @DeadstockReport, a new cultural voice that puts sneakerheads and hypebeasts in its crosshairs. Users answer questions to find out which popular sneaker—the Nike Air Monarch or Yeezy 700, for example—embodies their alter dad ego.

Since its launch in June 2018, Deadstock Report has quickly become a prime destination for sneakerhead satire. In less than a year, it has already garnered an impressive 22,000 followers. How has it achieved such high numbers in such a short amount of time? Well, cofounder Nick Crippen attributes some of the success to his “sarcastic feelings” and proximity to the “culture,” allowing him and his partner-in-comedy, Clayton Rossner, to “create a brand that’s more than just a meme page.” From poking fun at Supreme store lines to the absurdity of reseller culture, the sneakerhead jesters have proved themselves to be masters of hypebeast comedy––though they aren’t the first.

Popular accounts like @FakeYeezyBoosts and @Vetememes have been cranking out memes about hypebeasts and sneakerheads for years, well before Deadstock Report got its feet wet.

Eventually, FakeYeezyBoosts’ influence became so pervasive that it was enlisted by Grailed, a popular reseller site, to create personalized content for its socials. Although the memedom of social media is a highly competitive arena, there is still a sense of camaraderie between these digital comedians, forged by a shared love of fashion-centric comedy. Grailed brand director Lawrence Schlossman was more than happy to talk to ONE37pm [[?]] about Deadstock Report’s recent success.

“I think Deadstock Report is carrying the torch for guys like myself who love fashion and take it seriously. We take a step back and poke fun at the culture and ourselves,” Schlossman says.

Schlossman is a longtime industry vet. He operates the Twitter account @four_pins, one of the most famous drip feeds in social media history. Recently revived by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the menswear comedy staple made its celebrated return to the ranks of Twitter’s elite this January.

Like Four Pins, Deadstock Report hits home for many fans because its comedy pays homage to past streetwear and style traditions, but the digital vehicles of sneakerhead satire aren’t limited to visual content like Instagram and Twitter posts. Highsnobiety’s weekly podcast, The Dropcast, is an example of an audio-based platform that also casts a satirical eye on sneakerhead culture. Jian DeLeon, host of The Dropcast and editorial director of Highsnobiety, is very conscious of the cultural stickiness of content generated by accounts like Deadstock Report.

“I think Deadstock Report is hilarious,” says DeLeon. “It adds a self-aware sense of humor to a community that often takes itself too seriously.”

To get a sense of Deadstock Report’s savvy approach to sneakerhead comedy, you need only check out one of its recent Instagram stories: a hilarious collage of pictures featuring bootcut jeans and popular sneakers. For better or worse, GQ recently published an article about bootcut jeans gaining momentum for a comeback in the world of mainstream fashion. It was the perfect story for Deadstock Report to jump on. The conversation about the polarizing ’90s trend was just beginning to brew, and Deadstock Report didn’t waste any time capitalizing on the opportunity.

Crippen used Reddit to find a picture of bootcut jeans with Yeezys for the Instagram story, and before long Deadstock’s followers began to pile onto the joke. With hundreds of user-submitted images, he posted the most relevant photos.

“It started with one picture, a pair of Yeezys with bootcut jeans. I thought the photo was funny and put it on the story,” says Crippen. Before long, “about 300 messages hit my inbox with bootcut pics.”

Bootcut jeans are almost as antiquated as the days when images of baggy denim pants paired with coveted kicks ruled the online sneaker forum #NikeTalkDenim, one of the internet peanut gallery’s first digital stages for ranting and raving about the good, bad and ugly in the fashion world. This predates social media and Instagram’s “explore” page, a reminder of the strong effect social media can have on the popularity (or collective hatred) of an outfit.

Whatever your opinion of the bootcut jean outfit, there’s no denying its recognized status in fashion history. Deadstock Report’s lighthearted pandering to older trends is a huge part of its allure. By tapping into nostalgic aspects of fashion culture, while also introducing older styles to younger generations, it is able to bridge the generational gap through the shared language of satire.

“I think it is something that is needed. Just like The Onion does the news, this is like our version of The Onion,” says stylist and designer Megan Ann Wilson, who has worked with Chicago Bulls point guard Zach LaVine as well as companies like Air Jordan and Reebok. “It’s an interesting take on the culture, and I think it doesn’t hurt to poke some fun at it and just have fun with it and realize that, like, it’s life for a lot of us but you don’t have to take it too seriously,” she says.

In a world where Twitter feeds refresh faster than you can say “140 characters,” Deadstock’s comedic intuition and keen nose for emerging trends have catapulted it into popularity. But what’s the secret sauce? Well, it might be Deadstock’s ability to play to a wide range of comedic sensibilities––its cheeky attitude and lighthearted approach are just as approachable to the sneakerhead as to the bootcut jean enthusiast, giving every creed and color of fashion-obsessed fan more than a good reason to smash that follow button.

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