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Heron Preston on eBay’s Decades of Success, His New Auction and Bidding on Sneakers in 2001

EBay has debuted a new series of drops dubbed “From the Collection,” featuring items belonging to people of note in the worlds of fashion, sports and entertainment. The online marketplace’s first launch is with designer Heron Preston.

The first drop, which is titled “From the Collection: Heron Preston,” allows for fans to bid on more than 50 pairs from his personal collection, all starting at 99 cents. Sneakers in the auction include the Adidas Yeezy Boost 750s gifted to him by Kanye West, his first-ever pair of Nike Foamposites, the New Balance x JJJJound 992 and more. Also, the sneakers will delivered in revived condition with help from Reshoevn8er.

Starting today, Preston’s drop can be shopped via Ebay.com/HeronPreston.

What’s more, eBay confirmed that all proceeds from the sale of Heron’s collection will go to the Fashion Scholarship Fund, which helps people from diverse backgrounds find potential careers within the fashion industry.

Before the auction, Preston spoke with FN about the auction’s charitable component, pairs he second-guessed putting up for auction and his future with eBay.

The secondary market has several major players, including eBay. What makes eBay so important to the landscape?

“I joined eBay back in 2001, and it was always a big player in the sneaker game when I was collecting. High school and my early college years, that was the go-to destination — and maybe the only destination at the time. EBay was the only auction site at the time where I would find and get access to my grails and all of the sneakers that I really wanted that I may have missed out on or old vintage. I was really into buying OG Jordans back then. I remember I got like the OG ‘Bugs Bunny’ 7s that came in the black box with the red ‘Flight’ writing on top. That era and that moment, for me, was really about buying original Nikes that I could get access to. What’s really amazing and why I still choose to use it, aside from having been a member since 2001, is that they haven’t really changed. It’s still the same platform that I understand, but they’ve made it a little easier to buy or sell. It’s just what I’m familiar with. All the new platforms are a little too confusing and it’s kind of like I don’t really get it, I don’t know how it works. And I have great feedback, I have like 100% positive feedback, so I have a history as well that’s already built in versus these other platforms where I don’t really have any history. Aside from just sneakers, I’m always still on there. I do research on there sometimes, and even when I’m not buying or selling, I’ll just go and look at old sneakers or old garments to research for images.”

What are some of your more notable eBay purchases or sales?

“I sold my dad’s car once on eBay. We were in San Francisco and I sold his 1964 [Ford] Thunderbird on eBay. The father and the son drove down from Oregon or Seattle, Wash. to pick up the car. Purchases, those OG ‘Bugs Bunny’ Jordan 7s and I got a pair of Zoo York x Nike SBs that I really miss. I really wish I had those around still. I got a lot of OG Dunks, I was a huge dunk collector at the time. I remember the I got the Nike ‘Brazil’ Dunks on eBay. So many Dunks and Jordans and Nike Air Force 1s. Those were the top three sneakers that I would always seek out on eBay. Those moments when I would win an auction on an original, OG pair of sneakers and unbox those were everything. I had sneaker shelves in my closet. I remember taking the rods out, taking all the clothes out and my neighbor, he was a carpenter, he helped me build wooden shelves in my closet. I would put my sneakers on the shelves, tuck the boxes away and go to sleep looking at my sneakers. I felt like I was sleeping in a sneaker store. That was just like my everything at the time, I wasn’t really collecting anything else but sneakers.”

After this conversation, what is the first sneaker you’re going to search for on eBay?

“Probably those Zoo Yorks. I really want those back, those Zoo York Dunks.”

eBay Heron Preson
Some of Heron Preston’s sneakers that will be auctioned off on eBay.
CREDIT: Courtesy of eBay

Were there any pairs of sneakers that are part of this auction that were particularly tough to give up?

“When I went through boxing these all up, I had made up my mind. I boxed them all up and shipped them to eBay to prepare for the auction. When I got to set to shoot the content and create the assets a couple of weeks ago, we were staging the set and I saw my Yeezys. At that moment I was like, ‘Wait a minute, maybe I want to take that pair back. Do you really want to sell these, Heron?’ That was one of the last moments where I had that second guess moment. They were the 750s, his first drop was Adidas. I remember all of us receiving them — me, Virgil [Abloh], Jerry Lorenzo, Nate Brown — we were in New York, [Kanye West] was getting ready for Yeezy Season One fashion show. We have group photos of all of us wearing them. I had to stick to my decision, pass them on and keep it moving. I still have a lot of very sentimental objects and things that reminded me of my time working with Ye and being on tours. I have those backstage passes, the lanyards, voice notes when he would grab my phone and asked me to record things of stuff in his head that he was singing. That also kind of helped me move on with the sneakers.”

Proceeds from the sale will go to the Fashion Scholarship Fund. Why was including a charitable component important to you?

“There’s a message here with why I’m doing this. Extending the life of an object, this this secondhand first kind of philosophy of giving objects a second hand at life that may otherwise deteriorate or go to a landfill. It what I call a Less Environmentally Destructive (LED) approach, this is kind of my new term of sustainability. I felt like this was a great moment to continue to develop these ideas around LED sustainability. I wanted to use this moment to communicate and maybe help inspire the next generation to think and design with purpose, and to remember the impact that we’re creating on Earth from consumption and materialism. I wasn’t thinking about this back then because I wasn’t quite there yet. Now, I think through my practice as a designer, and even the work that I’ve done with the Department of Sanitation. I have started to take this stuff very serious, and I know that we suffer from excess in the world. We have too much stuff. I still have like 50 pairs of sneakers left, even after this big sell, and I noticed that a lot of those I don’t really wear every day. I really think about this a lot. I thought about this as a moment to start an initiative. That initiative is called the Heron Preston LED Initiative, and I’ll be partnering with the Fashion Scholarship Fund to use all 100% of the proceeds to support young students who are imaginative and who are looking to practice innovative solutions around sustainability and LED. I hit up Peter Arnold from the fashion scholarship fund to figure out how they can help partner with me to support this initiative, so here we are and I’m really excited that we can use this moment for a good cause.”

Heron Preston eBay
Heron Preston with some of his sneakers that will be auctioned off via eBay.
CREDIT: Courtesy of eBay

What does the future hold between you and eBay?

“I have a storage unit that has T-shirts, I have tons of racks of clothes. I think I have four or five racks of clothes. Maybe we continue our relationship with apparel next time. I really just love eBay, and that’s why I’ve used it since 2001, so I definitely see a future of continuing to work with them. I just love that they reached out and they saw a really great connection, supporting what I had always kind of dreamed about. They noticed one of my Instagram posts, which was awesome. I had reposted DJ Khaled’s exploded Yeezy and I was like, ‘You know what? I’ve got to do something about my collection.’ DJ Khaled had Ye over a couple of months ago and he grabbed one of his old Yeezys and they exploded. Khaled Instagrammed that. That reminded me that this is already personally happened to me. I had just moved storage facilities and was just opening boxes like, ‘Oh, there are those black Jordan 5s that I haven’t worn forever, let me break those out’ because things become forgotten, even in the back of your own closet in your home. I found these Jordans, I put them on and they literally exploded when I was a block away from my house. I was walking home with the sole flapping up and down, leaving all these little bits and pieces of crumbs all over the lobby of my building. One of my friends from eBay who I went to college with, she saw this on Instagram and was like, ‘Hey, Heron, it’s Emily from Parsons. I’m at eBay now, I would love to help support if you want help selling your collection.’ So here we are.”

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