Sneakers have flourished in India, thanks to capsule collections and insane drops. We speak to Vedant Lamba, the founder of one of the country’s biggest sneaker selling platforms, on what India’s sneaker wave looks like. It’s no doubt that the sneaker reselling culture is a global phenomenon, which is now taking India by storm. From […]
Sneakers have flourished in India, thanks to capsule collections and insane drops. We speak to Vedant Lamba, the founder of one of the country’s biggest sneaker selling platforms, on what India’s sneaker wave looks like.
It’s no doubt that the sneaker reselling culture is a global phenomenon, which is now taking India by storm. From collaborative capsule collections to drops that get sold out within minutes, today’s youth is highly invested in keeping up with the world’s sneaker updates. Intrigued by the industry, 22-year-old Vedant Lamba first started out with his YouTube channel, Mainstreet TV, in 2017. Four years later, it turned into The Mainstreet Marketplace, one of the biggest sneaker reselling platforms in the country.
“The Mainstreet Marketplace was a natural addition or extension of Mainstreet TV. The business never started because of our passion for YouTube or for making videos about sneakers. It started because we felt there was no presence of sneaker culture in India, so the first opportunity was content, then commerce,” explains Lamba.
For Lamba, the gap in the industry ignited the need to build a platform with a unique brand aesthetic and culture. “I learnt of sneakers sometime in 2016. When I understood how sneakers performed as assets in a financial market, I was intrigued, and wanted to learn more. Further, it appeared to me that there was no presence of this culture in India. It seemed like an opportunity, and I’ve been chasing it ever since. Our vision is to build on this opportunity, and flourish the sneaker and streetwear market in India. Most times, the sneakers we sell are available only exclusively around the world, and it’s our mission to bring them here.”
Starting in Pune, the Mainstreet Marketplace has lengthened its appearance into multiple cities, including Mumbai and Delhi. From YouTube to actually opening physical stores, Lamba says he always believed in himself, and as he started working at the age of 16, he always spoke of having big plans in life. “Now I know how little I knew, but it was just about wanting to learn, and now suddenly, a lot of the things that I wanted for so long have been happening.”
Authenticity is a very important aspect in the sneaker space (as it should be). At Mainstreet Marketplace, a buyer can approach the brand through their website and other social media platforms, wherein a designated customer service executive is assigned. Every item sourced or sold goes through a 23-step internal authentication procedure. Their products are either ready to ship, or available within a massive network of over 500 sellers from around the country, which are all listed on the brand’s website.
He may be selling the sneaker culture, but Lamba is not a consumer of it. “My closet is extremely simple and functional, which is organised from a requirement perspective. Additionally, there’s this idea that if I wear something of any sort of hype, the metric of the hype I hold will be comparable to the metric of hype the store holds, and I don’t want people to judge anything to do with the store in relation to what I’m wearing,” he explains.
Ever since the pandemic hit, there has been a sudden rise in thrift stores, and acceptance of secondhand clothing. For a person who started out through reselling, Lamba opines, “I am personally passionate about the sale of used goods, even though we have been pushing it for several years now. About five per cent of our product that sells are pre-loved goods. Although there’s not much industrial change in our space, I am glad about the general trend change in the terms.”
Lamba plans on moving internationally as well, and hopes to build a sneaker trade culture in India. Here’s to upping the fashion game, with each drop.