Since our photoshoot and interview with Sadelle “Delle” Moore took place, if you’ve been following @TeamDelle on Instagram, you would have seen pictures with Lil Baby, courtside sneaker POV photos at the NBA Paris Game and such inconceivable access at Louis Vuitton, Rick Owens and Amiri fashion shows that it felt like you were there.
To those that know Delle, this is quite literally the least surprising thing ever. I actually would have been concerned if he wasn’t seen in the background of practically every piece of content I saw coming out of Paris Fashion Week. Everybody loves Delle. And Delle loves everybody. That natural-born charisma is just one of the many qualities and talents that has put Delle in the position he’s in today.
Delle currently serves the Brand Experience Manager under the Cultural Marketing arm of StockX. But as the founding authenticator at the company, his influence has been deeply woven throughout the fabric of StockX since his days developing the initial verification process in a 10×10 foot ex-janitorial closet in downtown Detroit.
“He’s a right hand man when it comes to amplifying our brand because he is someone who so authentically represents the StockX brand.” StockX COO Greg Schwartz passionately conveys. “One of the great things about Delle is he doesn’t have an ego. He’s humble, he’s incredibly personable, and he’s someone you want to spend time with.” Schwartz continues.
“He’s never sitting there as the center of attention and he doesn’t want that. He’s helping facilitate relationships.” Schwartz concluded.
Delle’s rise to widely proclaimed “Sneaker Connoisseur & Dot Connector” is unprecedented. And both Delle, and StockX, are reaping the benefits of groundwork that has been put in place for decades.
Jacket: Supreme Junya Watanabe CDG Man Patchwork Puffy Jacket | Pants: Christopher’s Denim | Shoes: Jordan 3 Retro Fragment
Nobody can quite quantify why the summer of 2016 was objectively amazing. The stars aligned and the universe gave us Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Drake’s Views, Netflix gave us Stranger Things, Leo won his first and only Oscar and iconic Cavs and Cubs championships were won in dramatic fashion.
THE UNIVERSE GAVE ME DELLE.
After graduating high school, I began an internship at a little-known tech platform out of downtown Detroit called StockX. Doing under 100 trades a day at the time, I was eager to come in and use the plethora of knowledge I’ve learned in my 18 years of life to help grow the company. I had ideas to incentivize trade volume, get influencers involved and propel this small startup into financial nirvana. I was already starting to visualize it: myself on the cover of Forbes’ inaugural 20-Under-20 as the “intern-turned-CEO”. So I presented my fresh ideas to two of the co-founders, Josh Luber and Greg Schwartz, and ever so politely, I was met with a “these are great, but we’re doing or planning to do these already!”
I was crushed. How else was I going to get on the cover of the non-existent Forbes 20-Under-20?
After a “great work” and a pat on the back, I was sent to the sneaker verification room where I met a charismatic, always-happy, swagged-out, Sadelle “Delle” Moore; AKA, my new boss.
At the time, not only was Delle personally leading the verification process, but he was also tasked with translating that knowledge so sneaker-novice-interns like myself could comprehensively and accurately verify a sneaker. In the 3 months I worked at StockX, Delle taught me the art of sneaker verification, the strategy of networking, and the complicated technique of properly folding a shipping box. Who knew the inside flaps were done before the outside? Why wasn’t I taught this in school?
Although Delle and I have stayed close friends, I recently realized our relationship has been a bit one-sided. It’s typically me asking him for backstage access to a concert in Detroit, a connection to one of his celebrity friends, or if somehow, some way he can get me a discount code on StockX. (Sidenote – this is not how StockX’s business model works. They don’t own inventory so there is no such thing as discounted shoes. I now know this so you all must know too). So after 6.5 years of me barraging Delle with favors, on the Friday before he left for Paris Fashion Week in the StockX VIP sneakeasy, I decided to give Delle a favor of my own: more questions.
Shirt: Supreme André 3000 Tee | Pants: Relaxed Fit Duck Bib Overall | Shoes: Nike Air Yeezy 1 Net Tan | Accessories: Louis Vuitton x Nigo Keepall Bandouliere 50 Monogram Blue
AUD: WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT STOCKX THESE DAYS?
DM: “I manage a roster of talent relationships to develop creative ways to collaborate to develop brand love. I oversee the talent seeding program and help with social and integrated content, operations, activations, and more. I’m typically the boots-on-the-ground at fashion weeks, Grammy’s, etc.”
AUD: YOU SOUND BUSY. WHAT’S BEEN ON YOUR AGENDA THIS MONTH?
DM: “Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. Roc Nation Brunch. Super Bowl. NBA All-Star in Utah. Then back to Paris for Women’s Fashion Week.”
AUD: WHERE DID YOUR LOVE FOR SNEAKERS COME FROM?
DM: “I always loved shoes. My whole family loved shoes. Shit, in elementary school I was selling candy and Cheetos just so I could buy shoes. I’m telling you, I was obsessed. I remember in middle school when I bought my first pair of Jordan Concords. I was going door-to-door to all my neighbors like, ‘Let me rake your leaves. Let me shovel your snow. Let me cut your grass.’ I’d go to barbershops and sweep up all the hair for $10 and I would save all that money to buy shoes because my mom couldn’t afford that. I had to make my money in the neighborhood. Since I was good at basketball, I would play all these older high school guys one-on-one for money. That was the only way I was going to be able to buy shoes. That’s that Detroit hustler mentality.”
AUD: HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO DEVELOP SUCH AN INCREDIBLE NETWORK OF PEOPLE?
DM: “If you want me to go all the way back to the start of my career, it really evolved from basketball. I was kind of good at basketball growing up, but even more than that, while I was on these AAU programs, I was able to make friends and network. A lot of those friends ended up playing for the NBA and NFL. I always kept those relationships close to me where I didn’t need anything from them so we were able to just remain close friends. After I was done with basketball, I was selling shoes that I would buy. So when I would travel to go visit all these famous friends, I was able to network even more and build what would later become my clientele.”
AUD: HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH STOCKX?
DM: “In 2015, my friend Joe Crawford (Renaissance High School basketball legend) reached out to me saying I need to connect with this guy Greg (Schwartz). Greg called me and said ‘we would love for you to come in for a meeting’. So I met with Greg, Dan (Gilbert) and Chris Kauffman. A couple weeks later, I met with Josh Luber (former CEO of StockX) and we spent the whole day together talking about shoes, reselling and we just kicked it off.”
AUD: WHAT WAS EVERYTHING LIKE THERE AT THE BEGINNING?
DM: “At the time, there was no StockX. It was more like we were trying to figure out building a platform and putting the right pieces around. After the meeting with Josh, I got a call a week later from Greg saying ‘we don’t know what we’re going to do yet, but we want you to be a part of it.’ So I stopped my full-time reselling and joined what would become StockX.”
AUD: I KNOW YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING THE NEXT GENERATION. WHAT WOULD BE A PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO THE KID IN DETROIT WHO WANTS TO FIND SUCCESS DOWN AN ALTERNATE PATH?
DM: “My pathway to success is a unique one but it’s not something that nobody else could do if they have the dedication to do it. That’s what it takes in my opinion. Hard work and consistency at whatever you’re passionate about. ”
AUD: WHEN DID YOU GET HIT WITH YOUR FIRST FAKE?
DM: “The first fake I got hit with that made me lose my mind was a Jordan 6 Champagne. At the time, it was very rare that something like that would be a fake. This must have been 2013. I bought it off somebody then I was going to sell it to this guy at a decent markup. Two days later, the guy I sold it to calls me up mad as hell saying ‘Yo, this shit is fake.’ I thought he must’ve been mistaken but I hadn’t done a deep dive or anything. I never did back then because it was so early on in the game.”
AUD: DID THAT CHANGE HOW YOU WERE OPERATING YOUR BUSINESS OF SELLING SNEAKERS?
DM: “Yes. After that I became overly obsessed with fakes. I wanted to know everything I could about a fake so I never got caught holding another again. I started to know the factories that were making them and I would buy as many as I could to learn what their tricks were. It was all self taught. The factory isn’t going to tell me their secrets. I would just have to buy a fake and compare it to the real one and teach myself what all the differences are. Then I became really good at it.”
AUD: I’M ASSUMING BUSINESS WAS BOOMING AFTER THEN BEING KNOWN AS THE GO-TO-SNEAKER-VERIFIER IN THE CITY?
DM: “When I got really good at telling the fakes from the real, all my friends would be hitting me up asking me to tell them if their shoes were real or not. Then through word of mouth and because people knew that I could get them shoes, people started to find out and tell their friends ‘Yo, go to this guy and he’ll tell you if your shit’s real or not.’ So then random people started DMing me asking if I could tell them if their shoes were fakes. I was getting hit up so much that I started to charge $20 bucks a shoe and I was doing, like… oh my god, like, 20 shoes a day. Mind you I am having to do this off a photo so that’s how I got good – I had to get good. That was, like, my real world education.”