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Meet Sawsun Khodapanah of Sneaks Clothing Brand

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sawsun Khodapanah.

Sawsun, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a young man – just turned 24 – from San Diego. Growing up, I always loved basketball, and with that naturally came a love for sneakers. As I got older, I began to have more and more shoes sitting around in my room; shoes were all I ever really spent money on growing up. I always had an entrepreneurial and creative spirit and knew I wanted to create something for myself. I just didn’t know what that was yet. When I came back home after graduating from UCSB in 2017, I still had not really started anything for myself and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Weeks of looking for work passed by, and I began to think “I already have spent so much time in the worlds of shoes, basketball, pop culture, and other interests why not put all that to use?”. What ended up coming out of that was a sneaker-selling business that I started out of my basement called “San Diego Sneaks”. As time progressed, my Instagram account gained traction and I soon opened a website to direct customers to and sell products.

On July 7th, 2018, my childhood friend Tyson Youngs and I successfully launched our First Annual San Diego Sneaks Summer Classic 5-on-5 basketball tournament at our hometown La Jolla Rec Center. As part of our thank you to the registering players, I designed and produced commemorative t-shirts for them to keep. On the day of and the days following, family, friends, and tournament-goers asked where they could buy themselves one of the commemorative shirts. After receiving so many requests, I decided to take orders and make one more run of these shirts for the people who wanted them. That moment signified the transition of the business from “San Diego Sneaks,” the sneaker-selling business to “Sneaks” the clothing brand. In the following months, I would turn my focus and energy to designing, producing clothes, and cultivating a brand.

 Now, in 2020, the “San Diego Sneaks” aspect of the business has been fully phased out and “Sneaks” clothing brand is going full-throttle. I decided I loved the creativity and avenue of expression that Sneaks provided infinitely more than the monetary gains I received from the sneaker-selling game, and over time moved more and more towards the direction of my desire. In 2020, and the coming years, I hope to continue building Sneaks as a trusted, quality brand that is loved by and representative of the community.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not always been a smooth road. When I started this business, I never knew it would turn to be a clothing brand – that in itself was a big adjustment. But throughout the process, there are bumps of discomfort and growth constantly. I like that though – if I didn’t feel that, it would mean that the company and myself weren’t growing, so I love to feel that and I just want to keep it going.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Sneaks Clothing Brand – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Sneaks is a San Diego-based clothing brand and media entity. It started as a sneaker-selling business – “San Diego Sneaks” – in 2017, but The First Annual San Diego Sneaks Summer Classic Basketball Tournament (a 5-on-5 basketball tournament we put on in San Diego every July) signified the first tides of the transition of the company to a clothing brand.

We pride ourselves in making quality clothing that is representative of our community and made with them in mind. Our products range from t-shirts to sweaters, outerwear, headwear and shorts, and we are constantly growing and building to take on new ideas. We are still building as a company that can claim years of work of excellence that can speak to why we are special. Until we reach that point, I like to say that our hustle, our feet to the pavement, authenticity, and love for our community sets us apart. And we will continue to strengthen and elaborate on these core foundations of the brand until our track record of consistent excellence can speak for itself.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We look to continue laying down consistent excellent products while growing product range, to continue adding to our catalog and track record. We also have dipped our toes in the world of media – we look to grow in this area as well moving forward, creating and sharing content to our community in the form of interviews, publications, video content, and more.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Models include: Maggie Barnet, Cyrus Farsoudi, Sawsun Khodapanah, Jack Ready, Jon Schroeder, $haka Zulu

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