Recently, I bumped into my old mate Estevez, who I met on the Sole Collector forums back when there were only 5-10 regular users, probably 4-5 years ago now. We spoke about how crazy it was that the sneaker scene has spread so quickly and is catching on quicker than ever with the aid of the Internet. Now, every potential shoe collector has a whole resource of information and insider gossip on the latest releases. It’s just a matter of copping the kicks and hoping that it was marked as “gift” to save on the exorbitant customs fees. Then it’s just YOU with those limited edition shoes.
I guess that the UK divisions of Nike (and sub-brand Air Jordan) have noticed the rapidly growing number of people looking for more specific and unusual shoes, leading to them “retroing” colourways constantly and being more adventurous with their current colourways. That trend, along with Nike ID expanding it’s range of materials and colours with each day that goes by, means it’s becoming easier and easier to have a pair of rare or one-off kicks that no-one else will have.
The turnout at Crepe City 5 is testament to the growth of the UK sneaker collector scene.
The event was at Bar Music Hall on Curtain Road, bang in the middle of Shoreditch.
Due to a serious hangover and Sunday traffic, I only rocked up to Crepe City at 3ish, so I guessed that a lot of the serious heat might had been snapped up. I’m a size 11, which is a popualr size, making it worse!
Finally arriving the venue, it was hard not to be impressed by the sheer volume of trainers on display.
There were stalls upon stalls from independent sellers, sneakerheads and up and coming brands alike from all over the UK. I brought up four pairs of Jordan’s that I could have sold, but you know, half of me wanted to keep hold of ‘em too! No doubt, Bar Music Hall was full of serious heat. Providing some themed artwork was Pinspired, who had an array of hand painted work, tees, and a couple of canvasses that looked great. For one of his pieces (below), he used an actual Air Max 90 shoe, which “exploded” out of the canvas. Music was old school hip-hop to get heads nodding (DJ, link me a mixtape in the comments section please!).
Some personal highlights from the event were the Year of the Rabbit Air Force 1′s, burgundy Jordan V’s, oreo 7′s and even some of the Bape kicks there too! I’m not all that into Bape personally – but Bape is like marmite. Love em or hate ‘em type affair.
I’m mainly into Dunks and a few Jordan’s, and I was spoilt for choice at this event. In fact there were lots of pairs there that I thought I’d never see at a UK event, but people really came through!
Tiffany lo’s, Ronnie Fieg Asics salmon toes, Safari 87′s MF Doom Dunk Highs, Stussys, Raygun lo’s, Hawaii lo’s, FLOM Dunks, De La Soul Dunk highs, Patta x Nike AM1′s, Year of the Rabbit AF1′s…
Alright, I realise that string of names doesn’t mean anything to most, but to sneakerheads, some of those are holy grails.
I didn’t find a lot of the shoes that I was looking for, but in all likelihood I missed them earlier in the day. I had Mighty Crowns, Skunks Highs, Asics Purple Alvins, Safari Air Max 90′s and Viotech Air Max 90′s on my list, maybe bartering for the Jordans I had in the car.
Unfortunately, after one lap I quickly established that there weren’t in my size or they had sold earlier in the day. There were bargains to be had for sure if you were the right size!
Props to Victor on the excellent organisation of this event. There should be a few similar events going off in the summer; Crooked Tongues usually has a decent BBQ in the summer which attracts die hard collectors from quite far afield.
As you can imagine, most people were wearing some kicks that were rare and expensive – I was wearing Nike SB Bloody Sundays and no, you probably haven’t seen them in the shops! With the scene floruishing, 2012 should be a good summer for UK sneakerfreaks.