If the shoe fits, wear it: Prestige Kicks introduces River Region to trendy styles

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

LAPLACE — Bilal Yousef owns an assortment of more than 150 pairs of athletic shoes he never wears, a collection he considers too valuable to tarnish with everyday use.

That love for shoes was cultivated as a young boy growing up in a shoe store family business. A resident of Baton Rouge, he oversees a series of stores in the area but noticed his managerial responsibilities gave him little opportunity to interact with customers.

The August 2017 opening of Prestige Kicks in LaPlace expanded Yousef’s eclectic shoe and athletic gear selection to River Region customers.

Working at Prestige Kicks, located at 140 Belle Terre Blvd. Suite D, allows Yousef a chance to interact with customers, learn local trends and adjust his inventory accordingly.

“I spend most of my time here because I want to take care of my customers and see what they want,” Yousef said. “I ask every customer who walks in what they’re looking for, and if I hear three or four customers say they want this one thing, I get it for them.”

Bilal Yousef keeps accounts with popular brands including Jordan, Nike, Adidas, Puma, K-Swiss and others. He said Jordans are, by far, the most requested items in LaPlace.

Yousef keeps accounts with popular brands including Jordan, Nike, Adidas, Puma, K-Swiss and others to keep his inventory stocked. Each year, he attends market shows in Atlanta, Long Beach, Calif., and Las Vegas to keep tabs on the latest trends.

Retail prices depend on sizes and brands but generally vary from $50 to $250, and Prestige Kicks features daily 25- to 40-percent off sales on select items.

A lot of customers have been repeats, Yousef said, and he’s noticed community trends separate the LaPlace location from his Baton Rouge stores.

Jordans are, by far, the most requested items in LaPlace, he said, and the River Region trails a few months behind New Orleans and Baton Rouge when following trends.

Yousef said it was important for him to reach St. John the Baptist Parish customers because the local shoe and sportswear market is undersaturated.

“In Baton Rouge, there are way too many stores like this,” Yousef said.

“There’s no competition over here, except Hypnotik and Hibbett, and I don’t really consider those competition for me. We sell different items. What I have, they don’t have.”

Mike Odeh, representative of Boost Mobile in LaPlace, said Prestige Kicks offers a wide selection of shoes, apparel, hats and accessories in a professional environment.

Odeh said he’s inspired by Yousef’s kind and understanding demeanor with customers.

“I like the way he communicates with and treats his customers,” Odeh said. “Even when there is a conflict, he is patient because he doesn’t want anyone to leave upset. He’ll take customers’ phone numbers and try to get what they want into the store.”

LaPlace is a beautiful community in need of stores like Prestige Kicks, Odeh said, and he hopes Yousef’s business thrives for years to come.

Sales are looking up since the beginning of tax season, according to Yousef.

If Prestige’s growth sees continued success, he may establish another nearby location focusing on women’s and children’s clothes.

Yousef credits his wife, Dianah Hamideh, for supporting his business ventures and naming the LaPlace location.

Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 985-618-3005 or visit Prestige Kicks LaPlace on Facebook and Instagram. An official website, prestigekicksla.com, is expected to go live within 10 days.