At 23 years old, Nikita Efremov opened his namesake flagship streetwear concept boutique, NE Store, in Mall of the Emirates.

A haven for sneakerheads and streetwear collectors, NE Store offers a curated selection of exclusive pieces from rare and sought-after collaborations from around the world such as Nike Air Force 1 x Tiffany & Co., Nike Travis Scott to name a few as well as the finest collectibles and hype-worthy merchandise.

Fuelled by his personal interest in streetwear culture and community, NE Store represents Nikita’s unique vision in this one-of-a-kind retail destination. Here, Nikita Efremov talks sneakers, taking calculated risks and capitalizing on the hype and collab culture with Emirates Man.

What are your main passions in life?

My main passions in life include achieving success, seeing my ideas and thoughts come to fruition, and providing opportunities for others to grow along with my brand, which reflects my personality. I’ve always dreamed of doing what I love and doing it successfully, and now I’m living that dream.

What inspired you to start your own brand?

The inspiration to start my own brand came when I won a chance at a raffle to buy a rare pair of sneakers. After purchasing them, I sold them for twice the price when I left the store, and that experience sparked the idea to create my own brand.

Tell us more about the store concept.

The NE (Nikita Efremov) store in Dubai is unique as it offers a multi-experience concept. We have a NETTS cafe for relaxation, a collection of Be@rbricks and Kaws for home decoration, a jewellery corner of our partners, rare apparel brands fitting our concept, limited accessories like Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami suitcase, and a NE clean section for restoring shoes and bags. The highlight is our sneaker area, featuring rare pieces like Tiffany & Co. x Nike, Nike Dunk Low Off-White, and Travis Scott.

Our store attracts customers seeking special and exclusive items that can’t be found elsewhere.

Which brands or pairs have been most popular to date and sell out season after season – was this as you predicted?

We’ve been fortunate to have a remarkable analytics team and effective patterns in place. This helps us predict and comprehend the most sought-after brands, pairs, and pieces for each season. The process involves analyzing current trends, staying connected with the community, and gaining valuable insights. In summary, Nike consistently performs well, thanks to their frequent collaborations, while other specific tools aid us in identifying other popular items.

Throughout your career in the re-sale space so far, what is one of the most unique pairs you’ve come across?

Daniel Arsham x Dior Eroded Basketball Sculpture. When it comes to sneaker collaborations, the Travis Scott SB Dunk Low collaboration stands out as one of the most remarkable ones.

Do sneakers are a good investment piece? Tell us your thoughts.

Sneakers can be excellent investment pieces, especially if you manage to get them early upon release. While some rare pairs now command high prices, there are still opportunities to enter the market. Continuity in investing is crucial to maximize potential profits. Overall, sneakers can be a lucrative investment if approached strategically.

How do you suggest collectors take care of their collection?

To maintain and preserve your collection, I recommend using cleaning services and restoration facilities. Keeping your shoes in their original boxes and avoiding harsh chemical treatments will help maintain their value and prevent fading over time, particularly if you view them as an investment.

What advice would you impart to those starting their sneaker collection?

My advice to those starting their sneaker collection would be to follow their passion and choose sneakers based on personal preferences rather than solely for profit. Sneaker culture values authenticity and genuine enthusiasm, so being a part of the culture, loving it, and living it will bring a more fulfilling experience to your collection journey. Embrace the culture, connect with like-minded enthusiasts, and let your heart guide you in building a collection that resonates with your true interests and style.

– For more on how to look smart and live smarter, follow Emirates Man on Facebook and Instagram

Images: Supplied by NE