By Charles Wade-Palmer
A student who will happily splash £800 on a t-shirt he will rarely wear has insured his clothes for £40,000.
Streetwear nut Eric Whiteback, 21, took several days just to record his inventory of clothes which involved rummaging through a storage container he rents especially.
Eric insured the contents of his wardrobe and beyond for £40,000 after valuing his vast clothing collection and bizarre matching accessories by the same brand.
Eric said: “At one point I purchased a number of t-shirts valued in the $500-$1000 range in a single week.
“It was then that I started to realize that my inventory was becoming pretty valuable, so I began to document everything.
“This process started more out of curiosity than a desire to insure my inventory. All I knew is that I acquired almost all of my items at retail price or less.
“But when I documented every item and added up their current market values, the sum surpassed $50,000. The decision to insure naturally followed.”
Eric from Pennsylvania, USA, says he has afforded his collection that many shops could only dream of having in stock by selling off his childhood sports collection.
He swapped his childhood sports memorabilia collection for what might be the world’s largest collection of highly sought after streetwear brand Supreme.
Eric said: “I’m still a full-time college student, so I don’t have a steady job. When I was younger, I amassed a pretty sizeable sports memorabilia collection.
“Selling that collection off really provided me the additional funds to go out and expand my closet. I also pick up odd jobs here and there to make a few extra bucks.
“Documenting my inventory was a multi-day project. For each item, I recorded the brand, size, condition, quantity, and approximate market value.
“From the time I started organizing everything to when I typed the last item into my Excel spreadsheet I think it was three days.”
The streetwear geek has becoming an internet sensation for fanboys of the popular brand, Supreme having amassed almost 30,000 Instagram followers.
Far from just buying anything he could get his hands on, Eric dedicates hours on end everyday to hunt down bargains online but often cannot resist eye-wateringly expensive garments.
Eric said: “When I started out, I didn’t have any brands offering me discounts or free merchandise. I was just an extremely discerning shopper.
“I would scour Instagram, eBay, Grailed, and other online marketplaces for the best deals. I’d often scroll through thousands of item listings daily without making offers on more than a few.
“For every few thousand items I viewed, I would maybe buy one or two.
“The t-shirt I’m wearing at the moment actually costs less than $10. I’m wearing a black Supreme/Hanes Tagless Tee.
“Some of my most expensive items are ones that I don’t wear that regularly. As funny as this sounds, it’s really a hassle wearing a $1000 t-shirt on a warm summer day.
“Trying not to sweat in it, having to eat super carefully. It’s kind of stupid. But to answer your question, I have a $350 pair of sixteen jeans that I wear almost all fall/winter.
“Yeah, it’s definitely kind of surreal. Realistically, I’m just a normal guy who likes clothing and who posts his outfits on Instagram.
“But somehow I’ve accumulated a super loyal following of people who really care about what I’m doing, what I’m wearing, and how I’m wearing it.”
“There’s definitely some irony to it though, as you mentioned. The people who would really appreciate the free clothing from these brands are usually not the ones who it’s being offered to.
“As crazy as this sounds, I turn down a wide majority of the merchandise that I’m offered. If I’m not in love with it, or if there are strings attached, I’m not accepting it.
“I’ve always kind of had that “collecting gene.” It was hats, it was baseball cards, it was soccer balls… it was always something.
“But these collections just sat in a room somewhere and never saw the light of day. Why not collect something that I can use and that other people can enjoy as well?
“Right now I’m somewhere in between. As a temporary solution, I’ve bought a number of stackable plastic crates that I store most of my clothing in.
“This works for now, because a lot of the crates contain clothing that I don’t regularly wear, and thus don’t need to access.
“I would guess that I only wear somewhere between 10-15% of what I actually own. But it’s becoming a bit difficult to walk around my place, so something might have to change soon.
“There’s a lot of money to be made in this industry. Some people do it by lining up for days at a time, buying the product and then immediately flipping it.
“I do it by buying and holding, even though my “profit” is almost entirely unrealised at the moment.”