Sneak­er­heads get their kicks at show

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - CITY | STATE - By Chevall Pryce STAFF WRITER

Whether it was to buy a new pair of Yeezys or sell a pair or Jor­dans, more than 5,000 sneaker en­thu­si­asts showed up to Sneaker Con Sat­ur­day at NRG Cen­ter.

Sneaker Con, a con­ven­tion held glob­ally since 2009, in­vited Hous­to­ni­ans and sneaker en­thu­si­asts world­wide to in­dulge in their hobby by buy­ing, sell­ing and trad­ing sneak­ers as well as hand­made art­work and cloth­ing. At­ten­dees could also get their pur­chases ver­i­fied for au­then­tic­ity for free at the event.

William De­bord, mar­ket­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Sneaker Con, said the event has not been in Hous­ton since 2015. He said the event is a chance for “sneak­er­heads” to so­cial­ize and do busi­ness with each other.

“It’s re­ally just a nice en­vi­ron­ment for peo­ple to come out, hang out, see sneak­ers, be around like minded peo­ple and if they want to do some com­merce, that’s some­thing they can do as well,” he said. “You have any­one from ba­bies forced into be­ing sneak­er­heads by their par­ents to grand­moth­ers en­joy­ing the show with their grand­kids.

The more than 5,000 at­ten­dees had the op­tion of brows­ing booths set up by ven­dors sell­ing

rare shoes, in­clud­ing Yeezy 350s and Nike Air Off-White Prestos, as well as trad­ing their own shoes in the des­ig­nated trader pit. Trader Diego Bon­fil, who trav­eled from Cal­i­for­nia, said he has been to ev­ery Sneaker Con.

“This is just a step for me to take to open­ing my store,” he said. “I chop it up with peo­ple and try to cre­ate busi­ness re­la­tion­ships. I have my hands on pretty much ev­ery­thing, but I’m af­ter a cou­ple pairs.”

Can­dace Richard, ven­dor and owner of Sole Dy­nasty, said she comes to the con­ven­tion for her love of shoes and the chance to pro­mote her busi­ness.

“It’s a pretty dope ex­pe­ri­ence to see all of the shoes ev­ery­one has,” she said. “I’ve al­ways loved shoes, I’ve al­ways col­lected shoes. I got into the sell­ing as­pect a few years ago. I ac­tu­ally went to Sneak­er­con in At­lanta this year.”

Ven­dor and sneak­er­head Blanca Ber­langa was sell­ing cloth­ing and rare shoes with her boyfriend, in­clud­ing brands like higher-end Adi­das shoes and Supreme shirts. She said the cul­ture of Sneaker Con fits Hous­ton’s ur­ban fash­ion scene.

“This is a brand new event for us and I think it’s go­ing to be su­per im­por­tant to be a part of it,” she said.

Sneaker cul­ture pol­i­tics are much a part of

“This has be­come an art av­enue for a lot of these peo­ple in the sense that they are able to ex­press vi­sions that they see.” An­thony Fer­nan­dez, owner of Sole Premise

Sneaker Con, in­clud­ing the re­selling mar­ket and shoe pref­er­ence. Chance Davis, a ven­dor, said the mar­ket has be­come flooded with “hype-beasts,” or con­sumers who buy what is pop­u­lar rather than what they like. Ven­dor Whit­ney Salahud­din said she per­son­ally got into sneak­ers for style rea­sons.

“I didn’t re­ally grow up wear­ing a lot of sneak­ers be­cause my mom wouldn’t let me,” she said. “I like be­ing around the shoes I didn’t get to get. I like the sil­hou­ettes and if they fit my feet re­ally cute and don’t make them look like boats. ”

An­thony Fer­nan­dez, owner of Sole Premise, a sneaker back­pack com­pany, said the com­mu­nity has gained a life of its own over the years.

“This has be­come an art av­enue for a lot of these peo­ple in the sense that they are able to ex­press vi­sions that they see,” he said. “We have a guy mak­ing cus­tom wrist­bands, there’s a guy that spe­cial­izes in sell­ing small kids’ shoes. Those things are in­valu­able in the sense that no one is do­ing it.”

An­nie Mul­li­gan / Con­trib­u­tor

Ro­drigo Ojeda holds up a pair of Nike Sa­fari Air Max shoes dur­ing Sneaker Con at NRG Cen­ter. The con­ven­tion brought thou­sands of sneak­er­heads ea­ger to browse booths and check out rare edi­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.