Welcome to My L.A. Workday, a series that takes you inside a day on the job with some of the city’s most fascinating people. Interviews are edited for length and clarity.
CoolKicks on Melrose Avenue may look like a simple sneaker shop — one of those places sneakerheads love to haunt for new releases and secondhand shoes that other collectors have sold to the store.
But inside, it’s more like retail-theater-meets-game-show as shoe buyer and lead authenticator Rami Almordaah does his thing behind the store counter. He’s unleashing a steady stream of patter — and prices he’s willing to pay for your shoes — as he flips, pokes and even smells sneakers to determine if they’re the real deal. (Pro tip: glue smell means it’s fake)
Rami Almordaah is chief authenticator at sneaker resale store CoolKicks. It’s his job to identify fakes and drive hard bargains for sneakers.
Authenticators such as Almordaah are crucial to the multibillion-dollar global sneaker resale industry because customers need to trust that the expensive shoes they want to buy or sell aren’t cheap knockoffs.