A couple of weekends back saw Crepe City Sneaker Festival 7, the biggest one yet and most probably the largest sneaker event yet to happen in the UK.
Firstly, let me try and portray the size of the queue to anyone who didn’t get to witness it in person – even these images will not do justice to the scale of this beast. If you are familiar with Shoreditch you will get a good idea of scale when I say that the queue went to the end of the Holywell Lane, around the corner, to the end of Great Eastern Street, around that corner and all the way along Shoreditch High Street as far back as Boxpark. It was pure madness. To be honest I can’t decide wether I respect those that queued for their commitment or think they’re crazed lunatics for waiting that long for anything. It was a real jaw dropper when I first saw that queue.
Regardless, the fact remains that for as long as I can remember I have never seen or heard of a sneaker event in the UK getting as much attention as this did. It’s a surefire sign of the (very) recent adaptation of sneaker culture by the mass market. With this in mind, it may explain why a lot of people were enquiring over how much the “Milan” Air Max 1’s were being sold for (and buying them at a mark up) when they are still on sale at JD Sports, or going nuts for the adidas x BAPE x UNDFTD three-way sneakers even though they were set to hit a couple of extra stores such as End Clothing a week later. Perhaps this is the side effect of spending 4 hours in a queue – you aren’t thinking straight by the time you get in the venue.
Regardless of mind boggling hype purchases (I overheard someone discussing dropping £750 on one pair), there were plenty of legit gems in and amongst the endless sea of Swooshes. A few that caught my eye were the 2006 Ben Drury “Hold Tight” Air Max 1’s, several nice OG Air Max 93’s, the 2009 Livestrong Air Max 1’s, OG Air Stabs from ’88, OG Jordan IV’s, OG Air Icarus’ and a pair of OG Nike Duellist’s … and I will happily put my hands up and say that before this event I had never even heard of the Duellist, but it’s now firmly in my love-list of late ’80s runners thanks to Simon at Etc. Store. This list could go on and on and on, but I’ll cap it there.
Think what you will of those who have recently discovered the joys of sneakers and grail hunting (and the peculiar leather fashion trends that they bring with them), but it can only be a good thing that sneakers in general are getting this much love in the UK. It wasn’t too long ago that I wasn’t being let into clubs for wearing “shoes with a bubble”. And don’t think that this queue was founded by hype kids either – the sneaker scene as a whole has gelled and grown in the UK over the last few years more than I’ve ever seen it. Lastly, I have huge respect for the Crepe City boys and girls who ran this event, because as you can imagine it must have been a nightmare to run something of this scale as smoothly as they did.
Until the next one.