‘We come with open arms’: The Sneaker Shop to open on Telegraph Avenue

photo of Diffusion Studios, Berkeley's new sneaker shop
Madeleine Fruman/Staff
The Sneaker Shop on Telegraph Avenue will be celebrating its grand opening Saturday. The storefront will be the first business to open in the building since 2020 and will sell an array of brand-new sneakers and clothing.

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The Sneaker Shop, a business enterprise in collaboration with Neyborly, will be celebrating its grand opening Saturday on Telegraph Avenue.

Located at 2305 Telegraph Ave., The Sneaker Shop will be the first business to open in the building since Brandy Melville closed in 2020. The Bay Area-based storefront will sell brand-new sneakers, vintage clothing and other “hype gear,” according to Anthony Decarlo, co-founder of The Sneaker Shop.

The business was founded by Decarlo, who operates an online sneaker shop through the Instagram account @southbaygems, and Joseph Duran, who oversees the online sneaker store @sadrockst4r on Instagram.

In addition to sneakers from Decarlo and Duran’s respective inventories, The Sneaker Shop will also sell clothing from online vendors Jonathan Chang, or @jooglifeco on Instagram; Brian Haan and Janibert Ryan, or @sagoxstudio on Instagram; and Gabbi Villanueva, or @villanzvtg on Instagram.

While Decarlo, Duran and Chang knew each other through the sneaker community on Instagram, the commercial real estate company Neyborly was what brought them together.

“We work with landlords and we partner with them to activate empty space,” said Sahar Ali, head of marketing for Neyborly. “What we’re trying to do is bring these brands that have a strong digital platform, and giving them physical space.”

The Sneaker Shop’s first location opened at Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose with success, according to Ali. After seeing how that space went “above and beyond anything that anyone could have expected,” plans for a second The Sneaker Shop in Berkeley fell into place.

Decarlo noted that Ali had reached out to the online vendors via Instagram and has since assisted in the development of The Sneaker Shop.

Since then, the process of determining the store’s physical location and setting up the shop has taken roughly two weeks, according to Chang.

Duran and Decarlo personally curate the collection for the store by examining current trends in the sneaker market and obtaining the most popular shoes.

“After the Michael Jordan documentary that came out, Jordan 1s blew up out of nowhere, and as you can see, we have a quarter of our wall that is entirely Jordan 1s,” Decarlo said. “You won’t see a Jordan 1 High sitting at the mall.”

The grand opening was set to happen Sept. 7, but complications, including product delays and a leaking ceiling, pushed it to Sept. 11, according to Duran.

Despite the bumps in the road, excitement and enthusiasm for the upcoming opening has not diminished, Duran added.

“Everything about the shop is authentic and we come with open arms for any questions that anybody has,” Decarlo said.

Contact Karen Vo at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @karenvo_DC.

A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled Sahar Ali’s name.