When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

07 September 2006


Basketball star Stephon Marbury, who grew up in the Coney Island projects, doesn't want to see kids paying $200 for a pair of celebrity-endorsed sneakers. (That's a family's grocery bill for a week or more, after all.)

He's lent his name and star power to a line of simple, well-designed sneakers and clothes that are being sold exclusively by the Steve and Barry's (no relation) chain.

The flagship sneaker, the Starbury One, costs about $15 a pair. And he's planning to wear them on the basketball court next season.

Slate has full coverage. Excerpt:
The Starbury line is available only at the up-and-coming cheapo apparel retailer Steve & Barry's. Steve & Barry's started with a single store at the University of Pennsylvania in 1985, expanded to other college campuses, and then to malls. Today, there are about 130 stores, with six opening in August and September alone... Steven Shore and Barry Prevor have managed to undercut Wal-Mart and Target by scoring great deals from landlords at crappy malls, buying directly from overseas, and offering only house brands. The result: absurdly low prices. Walk through the aisles and you'll shake your head in disbelief: polo shirts, rugby shirts, hats, university T-shirts, bulky hooded sweatshirts, jeans and khakis, shorts, warm-up jackets, all for less than $10. You could clothe your family for a year for $100. If Steve & Barry can figure out how to make a few pennies on each sale, they can certainly figure out how to make sure Marbury gets a penny or two.


This morning, the Manhattan Mall was generally empty--except for the line of 75 people queuing up outside Steve & Barry's to get a look at the shoes, which had arrived earlier this month. Inside, many were frustrated by the lack of selection and the two-pair-per-person limit. But that didn't stop them from loading up on Starbury apparel--T-shirts and varsity jackets, jeans, satiny warm-up jackets and baggy shorts, basketball jerseys--all for a tiny fraction of what similar products would cost at Niketown or at the New York Knicks' online store. Meanwhile, foot traffic at the Foot Locker one floor down was nonexistent.
Marbury vs. Madison Avenue (Slate)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently bought a pair of Starbury SMX for $10 plus tax. They're much better than the Starbury Ones. Yes, the Starbury Ones's thin sole, midsole and innersole add up to the fact that you can feel the floor when you jump in the shoes. However, while the SMX's are touted as a lowtop shoe, they come up about half an inch past the ankle, giving quite a nice ankle support, something I need a lot. Yes they're a bit clunky and resemble "old-school" sneakers a lot, but I like them quite a bit. No I don't play basketball, but they're rather comfortable and so far have held up to what I've thrown at them. In case you're wondering, I'm a 25 year old Graduate Student with medium Cerebral Palsy (I get around witha walker or crutches); I'm not a CEO, nor a basketball player; I'm just a regular guy who wanted a pair of comfortable sneakers to get around town with. I think I got more than my money's