When 12am Run co-founder Nick Sakai was approached to open a shoe store with hip-hop legend Nas, it couldn’t have felt more like a dream.
Having already launched the successful sneaker boutique CRSVR at the Cosmopolitan, Sakai met with the Queens icon at the construction site of the Linq Promenade to discuss new possibilities. Today, 12am Run isn’t just a dream; it’s a success story. “We were in hard hats,” Sakai says of that first meeting. “I had to kind of sell it to him, but I didn’t want to come off as some sales dude.”
Luckily, Nas loved the pitch. “Forty minutes after meeting him, he started tweeting, ‘At the site of my new sneaker shop in Vegas.’ So I was like, all right, I’m in.”
Despite Nas being one of the busiest men in hip-hop, he still makes time to be hands-on at the shop. “He’s got an eye for it and a passion for it,” Sakai says. “He wants to be involved in everything. He designs our stuff; he brings in brands. It’s awesome because it’s real.” So real that when Nas is in town, it’s not uncommon for him to just kick it at the store. On the right day at the right time, you might even bump into him.
It’s that vibe—and the equally memorable kicks—that make 12am Run special. From contemporary designs like the taupe Adidas Yeezy Boosts to the Tubular Doom Primeknit, everything is minimal, fashion-forward and ridiculously sleek.
“As a kid there were three things I did religiously: watch Michael Jordan, ride my skateboard and listen to hip-hop,” Sakai says. “The funniest thing is, here I am, 25 years later, and I have a business that’s focused around Michael Jordan, skate culture and hip-hop. It’s been a part of me forever.” 12am Run at the Linq Promenade, 702-912-5968; Sunday-Thursday 10 a.m.-midnight, Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.-1 a.m.