You’ll be tempted to describe the new store Corporate (245 McCrea St., 317-426-3813, corporategotem.com) as “fire,” but that’s too outdated for this sneaker palace. Even “snatched” and “drippy” might be on the way out here, a place where such lingo is born. Corporate’s customers know the exact hour new Air Maxs will be released and don’t need an explainer for the relationship between Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club and Icecream labels. Imagine the opposite of the corporate look, and it’s on the racks at this shop tucked away on a side street by Union Station downtown.
But Corporate is no stranger to traditional success. Thirteen years ago, Cincinnatian Matt Tomamichel opened a specialty sneaker shop in Hyde Park. By the time he expanded to a second location in Over-the-Rhine, he had told Cincinnati magazine, “I’ve sat in the offices of Jay-Z and Michael Jordan, them being filled in on Corporate and how it’s from Cincinnati. Oh, [and] we came across an artist who was starting out and looking to build his fan base…seven years later he’s known to the world as Big Sean.” It has high-level accounts with Nike and other top streetwear brands, meaning Corporate gets hyped and in-demand designs that most stores don’t.
That’s important in today’s e-commerce world when bots snap up products the second they drop online. Corporate has many of these products on the shelves, like Pharrell’s Adidas “NMD Human Race Triple Black” sneaker, a sleek Primeknit shoe with the word “Breathe” stitched onto the right upper and “Thoughts” on the left. Two long racks of clothing include Just Don, a collection of NBA jersey separates embellished with zippered pockets, patches, and the team name embroidered boldly across the front. A pair of shorts will run $400, compared to $125 for the unaltered originals. Other eye-catchers include BBC’s thickly buckled “Space Walker II” sandal ($80) and Nike’s new kids’ version of its “City Market” sneaker ($60), splashed with colorful wording pulled from rice and coffee bags.
If it’s at Corporate, it’s boss.