As a resident of the Plaza Midwood area, I regularly walk down Central Avenue. Recently that walk had me passing by the Social Status storefront. On more than one occasion, this boutique store has had a line formed in anticipation of the latest sneaker release. I talked to Store Manager Brandon Ollish who filled me in on the buzz.
The store has been in the neighborhood since 2010 and it frequently draws lines out the door for big sneaker releases.
Social Status‘ flagship store is this one in Charlotte, but the store also has locations in Raleigh, Greensboro and Pittsburgh, Penn., where store owner James Whitner resides.
“Outside of offering some of the most exclusive contemporary and street wear brands, we strive to create a space where we take as much input from our customers as we can. People just love sneakers,” Ollish said. “Fortunately, we are able to offer some of the highest tier accounts with all the best footwear companies, providing a product that is unmatched for miles and miles around.”
Michael Tepedino is from Greensboro but goes to UNC Charlotte. He was in line with some friends picking up some new shoes last week.
“I’ve been camping out at Social Status for about a year now, they have a lot of releases, whether its Adidas or Jordans that I’m interested in,” he said.
I would hardly call myself a sneaker head. Growing up, my interest in the latest shoes came from watching NBA games in the ’90s that featured great ads like this.
But the shoe game has blown up since the days of “Grandmama” Larry Johnson and Mars Blackmon. And not just for use on the court.
The new Air Jordan 6 Pinnacles were released a few months ago and some people waited overnight outside Social Status to get themselves a pair. Most said they might wear them once, then they’re going on the wall to add to the collection.
“Our store serves as a place to embrace the current culture and all things that come with it,” says Ollish. “Hip-Hop culture and athletes have absolutely created a new lane when it comes to fashion. Social Status is possible because of the athletes we looked up to as kids and continue to look up to.”
And as the popularity of the NBA and the population of Charlotte continues to grow, so will Social Status.
“We are in a great area with great individuals,” said Ollish. “I can say that we are all excited to see Plaza Midwood keep taking off so we can evolve with it.”
The most recent shoe release at the store was a collaboration between Social Status and Sneakersnstuff, a boutique brand out of Sweden.
“Two separate boutiques work with each other to create two shoes to launch with Adidas,” he said. “We were one of 22 boutiques chosen in 2017. We stuck with the extremely popular Adidas Ultraboost to unveil our black and white color way on. We had nearly 200 visitors join us, we had snacks, and a live Dj.
“Since Social Status and Sneakernstuff were the only places releasing the shoes, the demand exceeded our expectations.”
Photos: Jonathan Lee