Student works for YouTube success

Matt Troher, A&E Editor

Junior Ryan Marek walks the halls donning a pair of customized sneakers, painted then overlined in permanent marker with his initials. For Marek, fashion is not just a way to dress, but a way to promote his passion.

Run from a self-built studio in his home, Marek writes and produces videos dealing with fashion and fashion culture. He focuses the majority of his videos on shoes, reviewing and showcasing his latest purchases from Footlocker, or even Goodwill.

How most kids get their start in a sport or their activity of choice from a young age, Marek had a similar discovery for his love of shoes.

“In sixth grade, I saw a kid wearing a pair of Nikes,” Marek said I don’t know why, but I found it so cool how the shoe formed to his foot, and gave him his own sense of style, ever since then I’ve been hooked.”

It’s apparent that Marek has an interest in shoes. He wears a different pair every day for a month, owning 31 in total. What set’s Marek apart from his fellow sneaker aficionados is his ability to share his passion with the greater internet community.

When Marek started his channel, titled “RM Sneakers”, in 2013, he originally posted sneaker reviews filmed on his phone camera. Since then, Mark has branched out both stylistically and production wise.

Enlisting his friends Billy Vodak and Adeleke Sanni to help with production, Marek’s channel has been revamped in the past couple years. With Vodak contributing his camera skills, the channel has expanded with videos covering all topics of fashion culture, as well as self-written skits and vlogs.

“I try not to keep it too sneaker-related, I’ve realized that people on the internet can get bored quickly. I try to spice it up.”

Walking the halls of North, it’s not untypical to see various students sporting merchandise supporting Marek’s channel. In the past year, Marek has set up shop to help support his channel and spread his brand, selling t-shirts bearing the name of his channel.

“I was curious on what making merchandise was like, ” Marek said. “I wanted to make something cool that was other than videos, and I thought merchandise was the perfect opportunity for that.”

Using the website Teespring, Marek currently sells t-shirts as well as stickers to spread his name. For the future, Marek is considering branching out by selling custom shoes and has experimented with designs of his own.

The majority of content on Marek’s channel is still reviews of new shoes and fashion lines. When writing a review, Marek is sure to be as detailed as possible.

“I’m doing the channel for myself and just doing it for the experience and the fact that I’ve always wanted to create something that was mine”

Marek has been running his account for five years now, and as of May 7, his “RM Sneakers” account has garnered 237 subscribers, and a total of 16,050 views.

For aspiring content creators, Marek has some advice to offer.

“Have fun making videos,” Marek said. “Don’t worry about the views and the subscribers, that will come eventually, but it’s better to have fun making the videos instead of forcing yourself to do it.”

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Photos provided by Ryan Marek