Luxury watch dealer who bought Trump sneakers for $9,000 stomps ‘Russian oligarch’ narrative

Luxury watch dealer Roman Schaaf paid $9,000 for a pair of “Never Surrender” high-top sneakers signed by former President Donald Trump at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia on Saturday. After securing the limited-edition, now-sold-out shoes at auction, Scharf came under intense media scrutiny.

Despite immigrating to the US as a teenager and reportedly serving in the US military, the American entrepreneur was cast as a Russian CEO by various publications and online personalities. The Daily Mail went further, characterize Schaaf is a “Russian oligarch” who supports Trump.

Schaaf fired back in a video Monday, correcting his origins, defending the purchase and emphasizing his patriotism.

simple background

Shoe enthusiasts gathered at the Philadelphia Convention Center over the weekend for Sneaker Con, a traveling event where collectors can buy, sell and trade sneakers. President Trump debuted a line of gold shoes with a “T” embossed on his tongue and the American flag on his ankle.

according to “Trump sneakers are not designed, manufactured, distributed, or sold by Donald J. Trump, the Trump Organization, or any of his affiliates or individuals,” the website, which has sold out all 1,000 pairs of the $399 shoe, says in a statement. “it is written like this.

Associated Press claimed The shoe website was reportedly run by President Trump’s CIC Ventures LLC. However, shoe companies clearly stated The FAQ states that CIC Ventures merely owns the trademark for Trump’s name and likeness and does not control or control the company.・Uses J. Trump’s name, likeness, and image.”

In addition to the “Never Surrender High-Top Sneakers,” the company promoted red laceless athletic shoes and white laceless shoes. report NBC News.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” President Trump told the raucous crowd. “I have some great people working on things with me, and they came up with this…and I think it’s going to be a huge success.”

Trump signed 10 of the high-tops. Some collectors had the opportunity to pick up a pair on Saturday.

Mr. Scharf, a self-proclaimed “sneaker fanatic” and CEO of Luxury Bazaar, a successful pre-owned luxury watch retailer founded in Southampton, Pennsylvania, in 2001, decided to add high-tops to his collection. Paid $9,000 at auction.

In a post to X, Schaaf I have written“I’ll pass it on to my kids, but for now I’m going to display it in my office.”

Compatibility with Russian framework

Various publications and online critics relied on the theory that Mr. Schaaf was a Russian businessman with an unhealthy affinity for President Trump.

Daily Mail published an article qualified“MAGA mania! Russian oligarch buys Trump-signed sneakers for $9,000 at auction, while someone sells limited-edition kicks for $45,000 on eBay.”

new york post recirculated The Australian publication’s article emphasized in its text and title that Mr. Scharf is a “Russian CEO.”

Various social media users with significant followings. hinted He claimed that the sneaker game provided an opportunity for President Trump and the Russian government to collude.

Olga Lautman, senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis and co-host of the podcast “The Kremlin Files”, said: I have written“What a shock.”[.] Shady Russian watch seller paid $9,000 [sic] President Trump’s flashy sneakers. I don’t know if this is going to be a new way to move money or if it’s just stupidity. ”

Scharf set a record with a core video on Monday.

“So I bought sneakers… apparently overnight I became a Russian oligarch,” Scharf said. “Hey guys, I’m a sneaker person. I’m also a U.S. Army veteran. And yes, I’m a Republican.”

“I’m actually from Ukraine,” Schaaf said, referring to the Daily Mail headline.

“At that time, this was part of the Soviet Union. I came here as a refugee at the age of 13,” the watch dealer continued. “My father had $4 in his pocket. I worked my butt off every dirty job under the sun to earn the money to buy a $9,000 collectible sneaker to get where I am today. ”

He also singled out Lautman’s comments, saying that not only is he from Ukraine, but that his organization has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the beleaguered country since the Russian invasion. He claimed to have been told.

Schaaf acknowledged that a story about immigrants, apparently of Ukrainian origin, “won’t get as many clicks as ‘Russian Oligarchy.'”

“There’s no mean tweets out there, there’s no IG posts out there, there’s no news stories out there that stop me from being me, and that’s a problem,” Schaaf said after brushing off boycott threats over his purchases. ” he emphasized. You are a patriot of this country. ”

“You want to hate me for wanting to make this country great again, sneakerheads, judge me. But no matter what, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and the republic it represents. “One nation, under God, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all,” Schaaf added.

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