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Being Brad Hall

From internet parody to sneakers authority, who is the new face of Acne Studios?

Being Brad Hall From internet parody to sneakers authority, who is the new face of Acne Studios?

In an interview of a few years ago, Steven Smith spoke with satisfaction of what he had called his attitude as an "old white guy", the ability to wear the last pair of sneakers leaving a group of teenagers with their mouth open exactly because of his "old white man" appearances. If there is someone who has collected that legacy over the years, ending up to make it into a trademark, that someone is definitely Brad Hall

A YouTuber with 440,000 subscribers, sneaker reviewer or more simply a style icon, Brad Hall was born by chance on April, 17th 2015, when the comic actor and sneakerhead Ben Kobold uploaded his first online video, reviewing a couple of Air Jordan IV Retro Oreo. Persian carpet, wooden furniture and wallpaper are certainly not the kind of background you would expect in the video review of a pair of sneakers, where the shoeboxes piled in the background are the usual backdrop, as well as the style of Brad, who, in an analytical and almost ironic way analyzed the shoes in every single detail. Joke or not, that video marked the beginning of an unexpected success, both for Hall himself and from the rest of the community, to the point that someone began to suspect that behind those videos, where khaki chinos met the last pair of Yeezy Boost 350, someone bigger could hide rather than a simple comedian. Complex according to someone, Nike according to others. 

An "incredible compliment" according to Hall, who until a few years ago bought himself the sneakers to review on his videos. From 2015 to today, however, things have changed, and what started as a game to pay homage to a passion born with Michael Jordan has become a real job with 162 thousand followers on Instagram. Brad Hall has surpassed Ben Kobold, coming to life and becoming a brand, transforming that style that combines Demna Gvasalia's wildest dreams with Target's discount department into an icon. 

It is no coincidence that first Kanye West and then Travis Scott chose him as a testimonial of the Yeezy and Nike campaigns, in the lookbook for the launch of the Yeezy 350 V2 Butter in the company of Kim Kardashian and Ibn Jasper or in a tutorial to customize a couple of Nike Air Max 270 x Travis Scott. Brad's last step, however, goes beyond streetwear, moving towards Acne Studios' North European luxury, which has entrusted Hall to launch its new limited edition N3W. 

In the inevitable video review, Brad Hall explores the concept of transparency, gives advice on which socks to choose and adventures into an unlikely photoshoot in which he has no problem getting ridiculed. Because despite not having the numbers of Seth Fowler or Harrison Nevel, Brad Hall is different. Five years after his arrival on the platform, nobody has managed to break the mould like him. Whether it's inventive or simply courage, in a world where talking about sneakers seems to have conformed to a specific format, Hall works precisely because it is unique.
A paradox if we think of the nature of the character, which precisely because such cannot certainly boast the genuineness of many of its competitors, of those who choose to talk about sneakers in front of a camera inevitably end up forgetting a platform like YouTube, in which the community of the world street or more simple fashion seems to fade away in favour of the immediacy of Instagram. And if the YouTubers are forced to resort to formats made of expensive outfits or mystery boxes, Brad Hall works and succeeds precisely because he is a living format. Because outside that bubble made of hype and drop we like to imagine him eternally fixed in the living room of his house, with a checkered shirt and a pair of chinos bought from Kohl (Streetwear Shopping with Brad Hall is THE series) ready to review with seraphic calm the next pair of sneakers.