La Vie En Retail with Cyriac from SNS Paris
Lockdown #3. Paris, March 2021.
Almost a year after the very first “stay at home” order and we’re back at it (again!). But even from home “télétravail” (“remote work” in french) struggle is real…
So this is our very first fully remote interview with a very good friend, who’s been working hard even though he’s on vacation in Dubai.
A (Author): Yo, my G! Welcome to our “La Vie En Retail” blog dedicated to people working in footwear retail. Please, introduce yourself
S (Stiggy): Hey, my Name is Cyriac, but my friends call me Stiggy. I love sneakers and flowers.
A: Covid is still a «hot» topic and the whole world fights against it — lots of plans have been canceled. The whole country is about to reopen soon, but how did you spend this «unplanned» spare time?
S: Traveling. Man, I just realized how I miss this in my life. And I was finally able to take a break of the whole retail / sneakers / hype world. But now I’m harder than ever & ready to come back 💪
A: Excited to go back to work, huh! As well as I know, you work for Sneakersnstuff Paris from the very beginning (11/2015). I wasn’t able to attend the opening, but I remember seeing you in store when I came to Paris a couple of months later. How did you start working at SNS?
S: They called me and it’s an absolute no-brainer… a BIG YES
A: And how has the business changed comparing today and the day you joined ‘em?
S: Sneakers are getting more and more popular, that’s good, because the business is getting better and better. To be honest, the activity is slowing down due to the pandemic a bit but we have to live with it and adapt our way of work
A: Oh, yeah, I guess it might be the new reality of how things work, but I really hope NOT. And what’s the coolest thing you like about SNS? What makes it so special to you?
S: We’ve been knowing each other for a while now. And it’s a family size company, so working with family makes everything easier.
A: Got it and I love it, too, even though I’m not working with you, but as a customer I can feel that “family” vibe. Okay, let’s go back to sneakers… The business of sneakers is rapidly changing. Are there any things you miss from the «good old times» that are not existent now?
S: The old «queue» and the days where not everybody was a «sneaker addict».
A: And what are the biggest challenges of modern retail in your opinion? Any ideas on the possible solutions?
S: Hmmmm. The biggest are… To have your unique vision and a strong team. I believe, these are the real ones, because there are actually a lot of stores out there right now, and it’s important to have people in the team that share the same vision & values as a company, so it’ll be way easier to make it all happen.
A: Any advice / recommendations / ideas you’d like to share with other retailers to change for the better?
S: Stay true to your own thing and don’t copy. Never.
A: I talked to some young people and they are dreaming of working in a sneaker store, because it’s “cool”, you know. But what’s the reality… What does your typical day look like?
S: Ha-ha, yeah people think it’s cool because “you can buy any shoe and everything you want” without the hussle. However, the reality is that I have to do raffles too and I’m sweating from 10am to 7pm.
A: Let’s talk about the “culture”. In general, the state of sneaker-culture right now… What do you think of it? What’s wrong with it?
S: Everybody is an influencer/blogger. Instagram fundamentally changed the rules of the Game. Nowadays people want to wear the same sneakers, so that they can be almost identical lookalikes of each other, but they feel cool about it. An absolute fake love.
A: 100% true! Everyone is wearing the same limited-edition shoes and everyone is in the know right now. Talking about the knowledge: what’s the funniest/most hilarious (or just the one you cannot forget) thing you have ever heard from the customers?
S: The woman was swearing that she has a real OFF WHITE x YEEZY collaboration and she used to buy 37US size in Nike.
A: She’s definitely a baller then. Shaq with his 23US (56–57EU) is about to lose his NBA Shoe Size Champion title!
A: Okay, let’s talk a bit about you. If you could wear the same kicks for the rest of your life what would it be?
S: White on White AF1 for life!
A: Timeless classics, man. Dr. Dre would be proud of you! And your top 5 kicks of all-time?
S: Air Force 1, Air Jordan 4, (Nike Air Max2) CB94, Air Force Max, Air Max 94
A: Dayum, what a list! Some unexpected pairs here, but 2013 Air Force Max “Area 72” is just amazing. Going back to the past year, that despite all odds was full of dope drops, what’s your favorite release of the year
S: Salehe Bembury x New Balance 2002R and the return of CB94
A: What’s your favorite local/French (streetwear or any other) brand?
A: I was ready for it! Tell us more about your involvement in the mob… the Parifornie mob… What the whole thing is about?
S: PF is a party on a shirt and everybody is invited! It’s a crew of friends I’ve been hanging out with for years. It’s about sharing our love for the Cali vibe fused with the Parisian Sauce.
A: Thanks for all your answers, Stiggy! And before you go… Tell us the us truth about backdoor 😀
S: The truth about the backdoor is… let me tell you a secret… I really don’t know how it works. I’m just an employed man like all my colleagues and we simply have no power to do it. So I literally have no idea, to be honest, but, fundamentally, I’m not okay with the “backdoor” as a thing in the “culture”.
That’s all for Episode #4! Sorry for a long break, but we’re back it again we’ll try to write more at least once in a month.
Merci, Cyriac, for taking time to answer all the questions during your vacation. Can’t wait to see in store!
With love from from Paris & Hamburg
To sneakerheads, collectors, skaters, retailers & people who just love the kicks worldwide
Peace out ✌️
- Cover art photo courtesy of LOUISE CARRASCO & SNEAKERSNSTUFF with logo provided by CYRIAC
- SNS Party photo of Sneakerdraws
- AF MAX 2013 picture of Sneakernews