Trainers… Sneakers… Kicks… Or creps… Whatever you call them, they are an £8bn industry in the UK and have moved on from a sports shoe, reserved for an evening kickabout, to an everyday fashion statement, creating individual identity and ultimate cool. Now we have a trainer culture in the UK, where originality sets you apart from the masses. But profiteering has polarised the trainer community – ‘sneaker culture has become sneaker market’. The latest launch sells out in minutes, thanks to online bots that add shoes to baskets and pay in nanoseconds. The resale market is big business, but it means the average Joe misses out. Have we reached a impasse in the trainer evolution? Who knows? But the opinions of those leading from the front, the cultivators, creators and innovators, are captured in the film SoleSeekers, which documents the rise of the ‘sneakerhead’ and the country’s trainer culture. And the Sheepers blogger was there for the unveiling at Usain Bolt’s only restaurant in the capital, Tracks and Records. In a packed basement room with what looked like a dance floor on the ceiling (I must admit I was somewhat captivated), full of sneaker-loving rum-drinking Londoners, we laughed and readily nodded our way through the documentary – interesting, insightful, informative and amusing. Did it hold my attention? Yes. Would I watch it again? Absolutely. Does a TV station need to show it? Of course. The film was a hit with the audience and with the event top and tailed with a rum punch and a hearty jerk chicken plate (give me a festival any day of the week!) courtesy of Usain’s chefs. I’m sure my limited edition tiger camo Nike/Carhartt WIP Air Force 1s were the belles of the ball!
And talking of belles of the ball… I really have to give a shout-out to the fantastically talented Day-z (dayz_art) – think of a female Banksy and I think you won’t be too far off the mark… Heading to Shoreditch’s Boxpark (if you’ve not been – think pop-ups, street food, bars and boozing), and to a long, darkened venue, the black walls were peppered with pencil drawings of modern twists on the iconic… Snow White holding an Apple logo with headphones… And a traffic warden issuing a parking ticket to a child’s pedal car, to name just two…. Friends, fellow artists and collectors all converged at the East London venue to offer their support. I didn’t stay long, but it left a lasting impression.
As did the cast of Everybody’s Talking about Jamie, the West End musical that captures the trials of life as Jamie New, the boy who wore a dress to his prom. The cast has changed… But the upbeat feel-good factor definitely hasn’t and with Eastenders’ Alfie Moon AKA Shane Richie playing a retired drag queen, you’d be in for a night to remember. Who knew he’d look so captivating in a dress?
Check out the next blog where we speak to our very own Sheepers’ director, Nicola Skowronek… Learn more about the brain (and considerable brawn) behind the brand.