Monday, September 20, 2010

This Blog has Moved

Hey! This blogspot-hosted Blog is no longer being updated. All new content is on my brand-new website, so go check it out.

Thanks for the support, hope to see you on the new site!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Parra x Patta x Nike Air Max 1

Hottest shoe of the year? Yeah, most definitely. At least so far anyways--and honestly it's gonna be hard to top this one. I imagine that 8 months from now when all the sneaker blogs are doing "Best of 2010" roundups, this will be near the top of the list.

I mentioned this sneaker last month when posting about my Patta x Nike AM1 Denim & Cords (link) so check that out for the backstory on the involvement Patta (the Amsterdam sneaker store) had on this shoe. In this post, I'm going to discuss the contribution that Parra (the Amsterdam-based artist) made.

So in case you're not familiar with Parra, he is a Dutch artist with a distinctive hand drawn style featuring Rubenesque women and wild neon color palette influenced by his home near Amsterdam's red light district. To me, his work is reminiscent of the animated Beatles cartoons of the Yellow Submarine era, although I don't know if that's intentional or not; it's just my opinion. While he was well known in the local Amsterdam art scene for many years, especially for his poster art, he didn't hit it big in the international art scene until 2005 at a London art show. I personally didn't discover his work until Stones Throw (my favorite record label) started featuring his work on album covers and tshirts in 2007--notably on the 2007 Hella International box set--and shortly thereafter his work was featured at Jeff Staple's Reedspace (link) after which I became a huge Parra fan myself.

Parra has deep roots in the art, DJ, hip hop, and skate scenes, and his connections to those worlds has made him highly sought after for a variety of collaboration with brands such as Nike, Vans, Zoo York, and Etnies but has even extended to corporate giants such as Heineken, Foot Locker, Volkswagon, and Ben & Jerry's. Parra also has his own apparel line, Rockwell Clothing (link), which is distributed in the United States through Stones Throw.

In the sneaker world, Parra has had several collabs prior to this one, including the Patta Amsterdam Nike Air Max 1 (2005), the Parra x Nike Air Max 95 Running Man (2008), the Rockwell x Alife x Patta "RAP" Everybody Mid (2008), the Parra x Nike Air Maxim 1 (2009) and two Vans sneakers in the Parra x Vans Pack (2009).

But of course, the real star of the show are these Parra x Patta x Nike Air Max 1 which created a frenzy among sneakerheads last month. Rumored to be limited to 248 pair, the bulk were sold at the Patta shop in Amsterdam with around 40-ish hitting the Nike Sportswear 21 Mercer location in NYC and a few more at the Nike Sportswear 1948 shop in London. Immediately after the release, they started to hit eBay commanding prices in the $800 to $900 range. They're currently available at Flight Club for an average price of $879. If you're really into these kicks, consider copping the matching Parra x Nike varsity jacket that dropped in late 2009 (link). Yeah it might be a bit hard to track down, but it's bound to be easier (or at least chepaer) than finding the actual sneakers.

NOTE: These are NOT my sneakers. I was unable to get them (but not for lack of trying) however my fellow Heat Seekers Krew (link) member Tom @samcolt12 was able to cop em from his buddy @_MAYOR_ of the ATF crew. Big ups to MAYOR for hooking Tom up; good lookin.


If you'd like to see some examples of Parra's art, check out his MySpace page (link)

If you'd like more info on how the releases panned out, check out this (link) on the Patta Amsterdam release day and also this (link) on the NYC release day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

(NIKE) RED Laces

As part of the (PRODUCT) RED initative, a brand created by U2 frontman Bono designed to raise money for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Nike created these (NIKE) RED shoe laces with 100% of the profits going to the charity and to soccer-based programs that help fight AIDS in Africa. Packaged in an elegant red & white box are two red laces, each with a red plastic dubray, plastic lace ends, and the phrase "LACE UP SAVE LIVES" printed near the end of one side of the laces.

I cop'd these and had them siting around for a minute before I figured out what to do with them--finally deciding to string up my custom LASER'd (link) white-on-white Nike Air Force 1 lows.

For more info on these and other (NIKE) RED products, visit

Monday, March 29, 2010

BAPE Baby Milo Parachute T-shirt

This A Bathing Ape (BAPE) Baby Milo Parachute Tee cost me $73. What? $73 dollars for a t-shirt? Now look, I'm well aware that there's no way to justify that kind of money for a screen printed t-shirt, no matter how high quality or detailed it is, and even if it's manufactured in Japan and imported in with a crazy currency exchange rate. But it's worth $73 to me because I love the BAPE brand, I love that it's part of the culture I grew up in, and I love the exclusivity you get with BAPE.

BAPE is a Japanese apparel and lifestyle brand created by Tomoaki "Nigo" Nagao, a music producer and DJ for the Japanese hip hop group Teriyaki Boyz. The brand really blew up here in the US when musicians Kanye West and Pharrell started sporting BAPE gear.

So why are BAPE products so pricey? Basically, it's because they're produced in limited quantities, are only available for a limited time, and are only available from official BAPE stores--most of them located in Japan. There's only two BAPE stores in the entire US, one in Los Angeles and one in New York. I actually cop'd this shirt when I visited the BAPE store in NYC (wrote about that here).

Other than dealing with a handful known-good eBay vendors (Pondon, Plainflour, Tokyoape) the only place you can cop legit BAPE products online is at the official BAPE website [link]. Everything else you see online is probably fake (FAPE) because BAPE gear is heavily bootlegged.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nike AF1 White/Red/Blue/Clear (GS)

So obviously because of the (GS) grade school sizing, you already know these ain't my shoes. Not that I wouldn't rock em, but they weren't available in my size. Nope, these are Big Kids sizes, which luckily my wife can wear.

I honestly don't know much about this sneaker--no backstory, so clue on why the colorway was designed or what the art you see through the clear icy sole is all about. But you know what? It just doesn't matter. I mean, the Air Force 1 is one of the most iconic sneaker profiles in history and I'm always attracted to them, and if the colorway is crisp and clean--like this one--then I'm generally down with it. The clear sole is the big selling point for me tho; anytime they put a clear sole on an AF1 and show artwork through it, I fall for it. Add a splash of patent, my favorite sneaker material, and BAM! I'm sold.

Damn shame I couldn't get these in my size. I think they're dope. Oh well, at least they're in my closet even if they're not on my feet.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nike Air Foamposite One - Copper

Truth: I don't really like this shoe. I mean yeah, the color is cool and all, but I'm just personally not a fan of the Nike Air Foamposite One profile. I know that most sneakerheads disagree with my viewpoint, but I just think they're weird looking sneakers--and not in the good way. I think it's because to me, the wavy lines and overall curvy look make it look clunky and I tend to prefer sleek looking sneakers.

This sneaker profile was originally released in 1997 as the signature shoe for Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway in a Royal Blue colorway matching the uniform of his team, the Orlando Magic. Penny Hardaway's entire shoe line was a runaway success back then, no doubt helped by the awesome advertising campaign led by a puppet named "Lil' Penny" voiced by Chris Rock.

For the past year or so, the Foamposite One has been retro'd heavy, and considering his "Penny" nickname, a Copper colorway is a natural choice. These actually burned up the Internets last fall long before they came out when Wale wore them early [link] causing everybody to go bat shit crazy for them. Well, everybody but me I guess.

PS - These aren't my sneakers; I passed on these joints. They belong to my HEAT SEEKERS crew member Marcus @sneakerfreeak23 who like most people happens to like them a lot.

Friday, March 19, 2010

DQM x Nike AM90 "Bacons"

I got two words to say about these sneakers: GRAILS BABY! That's right, the Nike x Dave's Quality Meat (DQM) "Bacon" Air Max 90 is one of my "Holy Grail" pair of kicks, which is to say it's one of those that I've wanted for a long, long time that I just HAD to have in my possession. Unfortunately, since they came out about 5 years ago and are one of the most desirable and iconic colorways of the AM90 ever, they command a hefty price on the after market.

You might recall last fall that Nike released the Air Max 90 Current Huarache in a Bacon-inspired colorway, which I cop'd and already blogged about [link] and yeah while they're insanely comfortable, they're just nowhere near as awesome as the Original Bacons. The subtle textures and colors of the OG Bacons perfectly capture the "meat" look, but the new Current Huaraches are freakin' garish in comparison. They just don't hold a candle to the OG Bacons. But I bought em anyways since I didn't have the originals--but now I do! Ha ha!

You know, I wanted these DQM Bacons so bad that I actually made a point to go to the DQM shop in NYC [link] just to catch a VIBE off the place...and all that did was make me want the Bacons even more!

Oh and in case you were wondering, and just to clear up some confusion, there were TWO releases of the OG Bacons. Well okay THREE if you count the special "Friends and Family" version that didn't go to retail. But of the two that did, the first run (2004) had a "Dave's Quality Meat" tongue tag and the second (2006) had a "Nike" tongue tag and came with a matching t-shirt. Both were released in extremely limited quantities that didn't come anywhere close to filling consumer demand, which is why they sell for $500 dead stock on eBay, ISS, etc.

Fuck it tho, you only live once, right?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

HUF x Nike AM90 "Hufquakes"

HUF [link] is a sneaker/skate/streetwear shop--or to be more accurate "shops" since they have multiple locations--based outta San Francisco, California, founded by lifelong skateboarder Keith Hufnagel. Since 2002, HUF has been one of the biggest names in the sneaker scene. Want proof? They're one of just 6 ultra-exclusive Nike Tier 0 shops in the entire US. They're at the top of the sneaker food chain along with the likes of ALIFE Rivington Club, Dave's Quality Meat, Undefeated, Patta, Atmos, and Colette. HUF is most definitely a powerhouse brand in the sneaker/skate/streetwear world.

This pair of HUX x Nike Air Max 90 "Hufquakes" released as a quickstrike in 2007 at Tier 0 shops and caused long lines everywhere it dropped (YouTube is full of videos showing the campout lines f you're interested). It wasn't produced in quite as limited of numbers as some other Tier 0 releases, but it's still one of those shoes where demand outstripped supply--hence the campout and lines.

The HUFquake has since become one of the most recognizable and iconic sneakers in the Air Max line. The San Francisco earthquake-inspired "HUFquake" cracked concrete pattern has shown up on a number of Nike HUF colabs (Air Max 1, Dunk Low, Air Force 1) and of course was recreated last year on the Air Max 90 Current Huarache [link]. In fact, the cracked earthquake pattern is even available on Nike iD now (on the AM90 of course). It's also been put on other Sportswear items like shirts and jackets, often in the grey/blue colorway to match these sneakers. That sort of thing only happens with the most iconic, classic Nike sneakers.

This is one of my very favorite sneakers out there--hell, it's been on my personal Top 10 Sneakers list for years. In fact, it's the first "Grail" sneaker I was able to snag...but certainly not the last. I've got another one to show you tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A.R.C. x Nike Dunk Hi Supreme

So I pulled these ALIFE Rivington Club (A.R.C.) x Nike Sportswear Dunk Hi Supremes outta my closet a few weeks ago to wear down to Austin and it dawned one me, "I never did a blog write up on those." Well here we go, time to catch up on one of my favorite pair of kicks.

Surely every sneakerhead already knows about the ALIFE Rivington Club, right? If not, STOP RIGHT NOW and go read my blog post about it [here] and then come back to read the rest of this. [waiting...waiting...waiting] Alright, we cool now? Okay, on with this post.

The A.R.C. Nike Dunk Hi Supreme is a limited Tier 0 Nike Sportswear release, a "Classic Lining" (CL) Dunk and NOT a Nike SB like so many of the popular Dunks out there. Personally, that's a good thing for me since I prefer Sportswear over the Skateboarding line. While not flashy in appearance, the materials choices on these are insane: super-plush black suede, Schoeller technical fabrics, and a .44 sticky rubber gum bottom. They also came with a set of white laces that I put in for a while, but I ended up switching back to the originals.

These kicks caused a little bit of a ruckus when they released this past summer (along with a matching "Black, White, Gum & Bang!" t-shirt FREE to the first 100 buyers) with a big-assed line that streched down the street. Like all their colabs nowadays, ALIFE released the shoe across the street from the actual Rivington Club at their A.R.C. Sports storefront, but afterwards everybody filtered into the back patio behind the Rivington Club for a party. Here's a [link] to event coverage with pics from Freshness Mag if you're interested.

Like I said, these are one of my favorite pair of sneakers. They're clean, classic, durable, and very wearable--and of course my memories of going to NYC to cop em are priceless.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

PHANTACi x Nike Air Max 1 Grand Piano

HOLY CRAP. Is this the best looking pair of sneakers in my house? Yeah, very possibly. Too damn bad they're not mine! Naw see I tried like hell to grab a pair of these, but since there were only like 400 pair made, all released in Asia, I couldn't manage to find em in my size. Thankfully, I did find them in my wife's size though, so she bought em. Hey, at least someone in the house owns these.

The PHANTACi x Nike Air Max 1 Grand Piano is a colab with Taiwan-based sneaker store PHANTACi and obviously the colorway was inspired by a grand piano as well as the signature pink color of the PHANTACi stores--but didja know that it was co-designed by Taiwanese pop culture superstar Jay Chou? You never heard of him, right? You're sitting there wondering, "who's he?" right? Yeah well, since you don't know, lemme drop some knowledge on ya: Jay Chou is one of the most popular musician/singer/songwriter/producers in Taiwan. He's just the biggest selling Mandarin Chinese recording artist of the past four years. In China, he's the second most searched celebrity behind Britney Spears. Oh shit, did I forget to mention that he's also written a book, starred in a bunch of movies, and even directed movies?

So yeah, he's kind of a big deal.

The fact that he co-designed these kicks shows just how big of a name he is over there. I mean, how often does any celebrity outside of the sneaker world get to design sneaker colorways? Okay yeah, so Kanye got a shoe. Who else? Yeah see, that's what I'm sayin.

The first 200 pair of these were offered in special packaging with some freebies (cool pink box, t-shirt, pink dubrays, and a bracelet) but those sold out pretty much instantly so I couldn't get my hands on them but to be able to get these AT ALL is special enough since there were so few made whatsoever, special packaging or not.

By the way--even if Nike woulda made fifty-gajillion of these, I'd still think they're the best looking sneaker in my house. They are DOPE-AS-HELL, regardless of their limited production.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Patta x Nike Air Max 1 QS Denim & Cords

PATTA [link] is a sneaker store in Amsterdam--yeah, that Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, where it's totally legal to smoke herb--that happens to be one of the 17 exclusive Nike Tier 0 shops in the world. If you don't already know, Tier 0 is the highest specialty Nike account level, with only six stores in the US, six in Europe, and three others scattered about the rest of the planet. So yeah, it's safe to say that Patta is one of the top tier, most exclusive sneaker shops in the whole world.

Founded in 2004, Patta celebrated their 5 year anniversary at the end of 2009 with a series of limited edition "Quickstrike" Nike sneaker colabs, all on the classic Tinker Hatfield designed Air Max 1 shoe, which apparently is the hotness in Amsterdam. The first four dropped in '09 but the last one, a collab with Dutch artist Parra (yeah I know, it's confusing) was delayed and just dropped this past weekend.

All of these sneakers were released in extremely limited quantities (250 to 500, thereabouts) with the bulk being sold at the Patta Amsterdam shop, so getting them here in the US is no easy task. Thankfully, the Denim & Cords model (which was one of my favorites) popped up at one of the Asian Tier 0 shops and ended up online, which is how I was able to snag them.

Patta x Nike Sportswear Air Max 1 Premium Quickstrike Denim & Cords (boy that's a mouthful of a name) has a great mix of materials; dark navy corduroy upper and tongue, denim mudguard, blue suede perf'd toebox and ankle, and a green Nike Swoosh and Patta logo. Interestingly, there's no Nike or Patta logo on the back panel. I wonder if that's because embroidery on the corduroy didn't work well? I dunno why really, but there's nothing there. Kinda cool.

All in all, I think this is an incredibly hot sneaker. It's got great materials, great colors, and it's not something you're gonna find on too many people's feet. Definitely out of the ordinary, that's for sure.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Manny Pacquiao x Nike Trainer 1 - Lights Out

Surely you know who Filipino professional boxer Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao is, don't you? Well just in case you don't, let me tell ya: Pacquiao is the current WBO World welterweight champion, rated by Ring Magazine as the number 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world. He's the first boxer in history to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions. He's also the only boxer to win the lineal championship ("the man who beat the man") in four different weight classes. Impressive, right? Naturally, an athlete with his credentials is signed with the greatest sneaker company in the world--Nike--and he's had a few sneakers put out with his name attached, including these amazing "Lights Out" Trainer 1s.

The "Lights Out" is the second of two sneakers commemorating the Light Welterweight bout between Pac-Man and England’s Ricky Hatton held last spring on May (5) second (2) of '09 (9) --remember those numbers-- with the first being a red/white/gold pair. After knocking down Hatton twice in the first round, Pacquiao knocked him out in the second round at the 2:59 minute mark with a left hook. Hmmm...and there's those (2) (5) (9) numbers again. Toldja to remember those!

In honor of the 2:59 knockout on 5/2/9, Nike created just 259 pair of these black & white glow-in-the-dark Trainer 1s, cleverly calling them "Lights Out" since he knocked out Hatton. You can see the numbers through the clear sole on the bottom--well, assuming you manage to notice them with all the freakin' glow-in-the-dark details on these. WOW do these things GLOW! The laces, the swoosh outline, the specks on the midsole, and the stitching all glow like crazy!

This really is a beautiful sneaker, and it's got a fantastic back story to it that I just love...but unfortunately, they aren't mine. They belong to my fellow Heat Seekers Krew member Bruce @process817 which is pretty amazing considering the vast majority of these were only available in the Philippines (a few trickled in to the US at some select shops).

BTW, Pacquiao's next fight is against Joshua Clottey this coming Saturday here in Dallas-Fort Worth at Cowboys Stadium. In honor of the event, the crew at Shogun in Fort Worth have created a wicked cool t-shirt that I suggest you get on immediately. Shit's HOT! Oh yeah, and when you stop by the store, be sure to check out their glass sneaker display case; Bruce's Pacquiao Nike Trainer 1 sneakers are on display there.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

DJ Clark Kent at Nice Kicks

DJ Clark Kent is a legend in the music industry and in the sneaker world. I already posted once about his incredible background [here] but this past weekend I got to just sit and chill with Clark for 6 hours--that's right, I said 6 HOURS--talking about music, DJing, sneakers, friends, family, and life. After that much time talking about that much stuff, I'm gonna say something that might sound kinda silly at first:

DJ Clark Kent changed my life.

I know that sounds stupid--how can talking to a celebrity DJ/sneakerhead change your life, right? Lemme try to explain it. I expected that meeting Clark would be like meeting most celebrities. You know the drill: talk for a few minutes, chat cordially about some general b.s., and that's it, over and out. But people, that is NOTHING like what happened. NOTHING.

Clark is straight up just a regular dude. He is as approachable as anyone I've ever met. If you didn't KNOW he was a big deal, you'd never know it from how he acts. He's as real as you and me. No wait, fuck that; he's REALER than you and me because he's ALREADY MADE IT and yet he's still just a regular, normal guy. If I woulda made it big like that, would I be as straight as Clark Kent? I dunno, I seriously doubt it. I can't imagine how anyone can overcome celebrity like that, but somehow Clark has done exactly that.

So you see, his REALNESS is what changed me. I can only think, if a celebrity like DJ Clark Kent can be that real, how can I not be 100% authentic? How can I possibly ever front on anybody or anything ever again? What possible reason is there to be fake about anything?

All that leads me to this conclusion: HYPE = stupid fake shit.

If something is dope, it's dope because its designed well. If something is heat, it's heat because it's designed well. Nothing--not sneakers, not music, not clothing, nothing--is dope simply because hypebeasts claim its dope, or because it's got some artificial manufacturing limitations. That's not HEAT, that's playing the supply-and-demand game. That's just really good marketing, not HEAT.

For one point, Clark told us why Nike Air Force 1 Bespokes cost $820 dollars. He said it's because people are out there buying sneakers from resellers for $1000+, which is stupid if you think about this: you're paying $1000+ to buy something limited, something that maybe only a few hundred other people have. But conversely, that means there's hundreds of other people that got the same thing in their closet that you got! How is THAT exclusive? BUT a Bespoke...if you buy a Bespoke, you're getting a 1-of-1. There's only 1; no one else can have that same shoe, ever. And if you can get that exclusivity for only $820 dollars, why would you ever pay MORE than that for something that hundreds of other people also already got too?

So here's what's changed about me:

#1 - I'm gonna keep it real 100% of the time. At work, at home, with friends, wherever. I'm gonna be me no matter who I'm around. I mean I was already mostly like that anyways, so this isn't a big change, but what little I did pull punches on? That shit is over. Keep it real, son.

#2 - I'm gonna avoid the HYPE. From now on, I'm only going to buy sneakers that I think are DOPE, that I think are HEAT because of what they look like, or how they appeal to my own personal sensibilities. Fuck the fake artificial limited quantity bullshit. If I like something and want to rock it, I'll cop. If not, then I won't.

#3 - I will still cop expensive sneakers, retail and aftermarket, but my top dollar will not exceed $820. Beyond that and I'll go make a Bespoke. That way I can design exactly what I want on the most iconic sneaker profile there is and get REAL exclusivity, 1-of-1 exclusivity.

#4 - I'm going to start actually BUYING the Nike iDs that I've been designing. I've made a ton of dope colorways that actually mean something to me, but I never buy any of them because I'm always spending my money on the latest "limited" sneakers that drop. Hell I am a designer in my professional life--I should be putting those skills to use on sneakers I create, not just buying so many "limited" retail releases that I can't afford my own designs.

#5 - I'm going to LASER my own custom designed iDs. I mean come on, I can buy a iD for under $150 and get it custom LASER'd with my own design for $225, so for under $375 I can own as many 1-of-1s as I can dream up. Now that is limited...and that is REAL HEAT.

I know you probably weren't trying to change anyone's lives in your trip down to Texas, but you did. Your positivity and realness is inspirational, brother.

PS - the dude in the pics with the sunglasses and BAPE hoodie is Joe LaPuma from Complex magazine, and he's is another 100% REAL dude who also is from NYC. Must be something about that city.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nice Kicks - Grand Opening Pt2

In my last post, Nice Kicks - Grand Opening Part 1 [link] I mentioned the line outside the store that was hundreds of people deep--what I didn't mention that it stayed that way for 3 whole hours. WOW. Seriously, the last person in line didn't get in the door until 2:00 pm. You know it's a successful grand opening when you got that many people willing to wait that long just to get in the door.

Unfortunately, Matt and the crew had some Internet connectivity difficulties, so the check out computers were having some problems handling credit card transactions, which is what slowed the line down. I know Matt was concerned and that people were a little frustrated at the hour+ long checkout line, but he really did his best to keep things moving as quickly as possible.

It was a little difficult to really get a proper feel for the store since it was so jam packed all day, but let me try to describe it to you. Up front in the windows were some kicks on display in large heavy glass cases, including some autographed Michael Jordan Concord XIs and Matt's own Air Force 1 Bespokes. To the right is a seating area with a table and chairs under a pretty cool light fixture. Along the right wall is the sneaker display with each shoe inside a circular cubby hole. Many of them had small index cards describing the history and significance of the shoe. Nike, Adidas, and Supras seemed to be the big brands on display--pretty impressive for a brand new shop to open the doors with a heavy Nike account; that's extremely difficult to pull off. Then along the back wall are bags and a clothing rack, including the exclusive Bun B x Nice Kicks "Keep Texas Trill" tees. On the back wall there's cool artwork of a telephone line with real sneakers hanging by the laces. On the left side of the shop is the checkout counter and accessories, including Nixon watches. Finally, up front by the door was a DJ booth setup and in the middle there were coolers full of FREE Sweet Leaf Tea for the event, very nice.

In addition to the new sneakers, Matt also pulled out some limited "private stock" to sell at great prices. There were Fire Red Jordan IIIs for just $300 (currently selling on Flight Club for around $500) which my homie TaVoiras jumped all over. Some Nice Kicks X Asics colabs which Jaye was lucky enough to cop. Some Air Max Crepe Hemps that both Jake from SASneaksUp and Shoe Wolf got. And even some 2003 Air Max 1 Safaris for just $85 that I really wanted to grab myself.

By the way, Nike did something pretty freakin' cool: they shipped Matt one of the super exclusive UT Nike Pro Combat College Football Pack box set [link] which were made available to 10 different Universities. UT was given 277 pair for their athletes, but only 9 pair were made available at retail (and only at the Nike Sportswear 21 Mercer shop in NYC). Shows you just how much Nike thinks of Nice Kicks.

After all the initial hoopla was over, the shop stayed open all afternoon and we all hung out in front outside chillin with DJ Clark Kent (more on that tomorrow) who went on to DJ the after party that night in the shop. All in all, I'd say the Grand Opening event was a huge success, and I wish Matt and the whole Nice Kicks crew the bets of luck in the future. I know I'll be back down in Austin many times in the future to visit the best new sneaker shop in Texas.

Check back as I talk about the conversation we had with DJ Clark Kent and how he schooled us for over 6 hours at the Nice Kicks Grand Opening.

Nice Kicks - Grand Opening Pt1

After four years of running one of the biggest and most well respected Sneaker news wesbites, Matt Halfhill of announced last month the opening an actual brick-and-mortar Nice Kicks sneaker store in Austin, Texas, prominently located on "the strip" next to the University of Texas campus. Honestly, I think it's truly incredible that someone could go from starting a blog to opening a store in less than 5 years--it really goes to show just how powerful of an impact the Internet has had on all of us.

I don't think I can stress enough how significant of a Grand Opening this was. I mean yeah, we're talking about a new sneaker shop here, but one that out of the gate has better brand recognition than most established shops simply due to the strength of the website. Because of that, people from literally all across the country--NYC to LA--came to Texas for the event. Hell, my homie @esco777 drove 1,300 miles for 22 hours straight to make it out. Now that's some sneakerhead dedication right there.

There were also some VIPs in attendance. Bun B of UGK fame made it up from Houston--and he walked down the line and personally handed out free CDs. No assistant, no bullshit, just some real interaction with the people. I got a chance to spend a few minutes chatting with Bun about sneakers and life and shit, he's completely approachable and authentic. Oh yeah, CONGRATS to Bun B for being named the newest member of the ATF crew.

Speaking of the ATF crew, DJ Clark Kent from NYC was also in attendance--and he also DJ'd the evening after-party. I've got a whole post coming up dedicated to the heavy 6+ hour conversation our Heat Seekers crew had with Clark. That's probably coming up tomorrow or the next day, so stay tuned for that.

Also coming in from NYC was Joe LaPuma, online editor for Complex Magazine. In case you didn't already know, Complex has really been doing up this sneaker thing right for a while now. JLP has that online shit on lock; I don't know if anyone in the publishing industry "gets" how to deal with the Internet better than Complex. Their online content is totally separate and perfectly suited for Internet reading. is on point.

Finally, the infamous Dante Ross from NYC made and appearance. I gotta admit I was a bit star stuck by meeting someone that was so intimately involved with the creation of some of my favorite Hip Hop albums by some of my favorite artists: Pete & CL, De La Soul, The Beastie Boys, Eric B. & Rakim, Digital Underground, Brand Nubian. Dante was instrumental in creating the soundtrack to my life. He reps for Pro Keds right now, so obviously that's why he was in town, but damn I was just floored that he was there and that I got to shake his hand. Whew.

Now about the line...

Me and my crew got to the store at 9:00 am, two hours before it opened, and there were already about a dozen people in line. By the time 11:00 am rolled around, the line went all the way down the block. The coolest thing about this line, compared to just about ever other one I've ever seen here in Texas, was the caliber of sneakers cats were wearing. Usually I see a bunch of new release Jordans and Fusions, but in the Nice Kicks line people were wearing HEAT! OG Concord XIs. OG 1990 Vs. DQM Bacons. Warhogs. HUF SBs. What The Dunk SBs. And then, whoa, the stupidest heat of the day: dude in front of me was wearing ma'fockn' AF1 CLOTS. Yeah, CLOTS!!! What the hell? That took serious bawls to wear those! Mad props to Ken for rockin those.

Read about the shop itself, how it's setup, and what kinda items were on hand for the Grand Opening event. Read Part 2 now! [LINK]

Friday, February 26, 2010


Nike SB Gucci Dunk by Bruce @process817

On the final day of the Jordan 23/25 Experience, I was pretty much worn out from the whole weekend and just sat at home while a few of the Krew went to do up some last minute LASER work. Sometime that the afternoon, my phone buzzed and I got an MMS pic of these sneakers from Bruce. I showed the photo to my wife and we both said the same thing:

"WTF? He LASER'd denim?"

Bruce used the HEAT SEEKERS box artwork that I created for my own sneakers on one shoe and put his name on the other in a similar style. But what really makes these cool--I mean you know, besides LASERing a pair of freakin' Quickstrike Gucci Dunks--is how awesome it turned out on the denim material.

The LASER didn't actually cut into the material like it does on suede or leather. Instead, it just charred the surface, turning it a cool burnt brown color. WOW! I dunno if you can really tell just how awesome it looks in these photos; I tried to take close ups so hopefully you can see it pretty well.

The LASER work looks so freakin cool on denim. I totally wanna LASER all sorts of denim shit now. Ha ha!

NEXT WEEK: The final two pair of LASER'd sneakers revealed!


Jordan V Raging Bull by Bruce @process817

Okay, okay. I know yesterday I said that I'd be showing 3 more LASER'd sneakers today, but unfortunately I haven't gotten the third pair in my hands to take photos of yet, so I've only got two to show. But hey, the good news tho is that I'll still have it and one additional final one to show next week--so two more, just later. That's cool, right? Riiiight.

So about these joints; you know what they are--the red suede pair out of the Jordan V "Raging Bull" Defining Moments Pack. Heat Seeker Krew member Process817 got these LASER'd on the toe boxes--one with his name and the other with the Krew name--and then much like Tom got the sneakerhead celebrities in attendance to sign them: Mark Smith, Bobbito, and MAYOR.

BTW, here's a funny story: Aston Chambers from Jordan Brand was walking through the crowd when he saw his friend MAYOR signing these shoes; he came over and said "WOW!" because he couldn't believe people would be wanting MAYOR's autograph like some sort of celebrity. Ha ha! C'mon son, we're sneakerheads, these people are our celebrities!

Now check out the NEXT pair of kicks, Bruce's second pair he LASER'd...

NEXT: Nike SB Gucci Duk by process817 [LINK]

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Nike Air Force 1 by Tom @samcolt12

Tom went crazy with these, didn't he? Well lemme tell you, if there's a single pair of sneakers that really captures what the overall All-Star Weekend was like for us, it's these white-on-white Air Forces.

You see first of all, Tom won these FREE at the Sport Sole + Nike Sportswear party on Thursday [link] which had to be some kinda karma or something, because when we got to the Jordan 23/25 Experience on Friday, the folks from Green Demon Laser told us that the "best" sneakers for LASER'ing are white AF1s. Naturally, the next day Tom came back with these stuffed in his backpack to get LASER'd with his Twitter name--and even stranger, with a Jordan Brand logo. Jordan on Nike? Yeah, that's a line neither of those companies will cross anymore...which is exactly why Tom did it. Haha!

But then after he got them LASER'd, he kept them in his backpack the rest of the weekend and anytime a sneaker celebrity popped up, he had them sign em. He got Mark Smith (Jordan designer), Bobbito (legendary sneakerhead), and of course MAYOR, the Air Force I Air-to-the-Throne himself.

TOMORROW: see 3 more LASER'ed sneakers, starting with a Jordan V by process817

LASER by AKUMA471 #2

Jordan Motorsports VI by Stan @akuma471

For his second LASER'd sneaker, Stan choose a Motorsports VI much like Oz1 did, but he went a completely different route.

One the left sneaker he put MOTORSPORT VI to call out the name of the release, and on the right sneaker he put SUZUKI GSXR to call out the namesake of the motorcycles that the Jordan Motorsport Team rides. You know, the white Elephant Print bike that Sole Collector magazine showcased in that pic with the VIs.

I think the type on these came out really clean; the stenciled look works well with them. In my opinion, Stan matched the fonts perfectly with BOTH sneakers he did.

NEXT: Nike Air Force 1 by samcolt12 [LINK]

LASER by AKUMA471 #1

Jordan XX by Stan @akuma471

True story: this is the first LASER'd sneaker I saw when I got to the Jordan 23/25 Experience. Stan had just finished it when I came through the door and as soon as I saw it, I thought two things:

#1 - Wow, that type style fits that shoe perfectly.

#2 - WTF, he LASER'd a Quickstrike XX? DAMN he's got balls!

And the freakin' sneaker is DEAD STOCK, too. Geesh. I don't think I'd have the stones to take a LASER to that sneaker. WOW! Of course, Stan wasn't done yet--he came back the next day and got another sneaker done up...

NEXT: Jordan Motorsports VI by akuma471 [LINK]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Jordan II by Marcus @sneakerfreeak23

Here's a great example of what Green Demon Laser was letting folks do at the Jordan 23/25 experience. Our crew member Marcus choose to put one of the available pieces of Jordan art--the FLIGHT logo--on one sneaker and text reading "HEAT SEEKERS" on the other. This is really what they were setup to produce in the alloted 15-minute appointment slots. It also really shows in comparison just how much time it took to do all the Elephant Print on the sneakers Oz1 did up.

I think these IIs came out looking clean with this LASER work.

NEXT: Jordan XX by akuma471 [LINK]

LASER by Oz1

Jordan Motorsports VI by Oz1

This is the LASER job that flat out shut down the Jordan 23/25 experience [link]. Oz1 took the relatively plain Motorsports VI an had the Green Demon Laser folks run the Jordan Elephant Print pattern down the zig-zag pattern on side panels, matching the pattern that's inside on the sock liner. Holy shit these kicks are HOT!

It took two long sessions over two days to do all this work, but it was well worth it. These are probably the best looking LASER'd sneakers I saw created all weekend. BIG UP to Dustin and Christina for making this happen.

Oz1 is the freakin' Elephant King!

NEXT: Jordan II by sneakerfreeak23 [LINK]


Nike Air Force 1 by Duane @dsicle

The Heat Seekers Krew got a whopping 10 sneakers LASER'd at the Jordan 23/25 booth, and as I promised in yesterday's blog post [link] I'm going to show y'all each and every one of them. To start things off, here's the sneaker I did for myself: the always classic white-on-white Nike Air Force 1.

I choose this particular sneaker because Dustin and Christina of Green Demon Laser said the white-on-white AF1 take the LASER etching the best. I actually wanted to do an all-white Air Max 90, but I don't own those and couldn't find one in the stores that morning. I'm actually glad tho, this couldn't have turned out better.

Oh and yeah, I designed that HEAT SEEKERS block type with Dustin on-the-spot. I didn't want to use any of the stock Jordan brand art, and I wanted something more than just plain text. Came out pretty good for being knocked out in just a couple of minutes.

NEXT: the infamous Jordan Motorsports VI by Oz1 [LINK]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jordan Brand 23/25 LASER machine

In one of my follow up posts on All-Star Sneakend last week, I mentioned the FREE LASER Etching Machine [here] that was setup at the Jordan Brand 23/25 Experience. Me and the rest of the Heat Seekers Krew took serious advantage of the deal, so I'm going to spend this whole week documenting what all we had done up--but first I'm going to start off by telling y'all what the experience was like.

Alright, the first thing you need to know is that the LASER etching machine was brought in by Jordan Brand from Green Demon Laser in Portland, Oregon and was operated practically non-stop for four days by Dustin and Christina. I honestly don't know how those two worked as much as they did; they hardly took any breaks at all and they remained cheerful and professional the whole time (at least, as much as we saw them, which was a lot).

The first thing you had to do was to set up a 15-minute LASER appointment with the Jordan Brand Concierge desk. Then at your appointed time, you rolled up to the iMac with Dustin and knocked a design either using one of the many available Jordan-related images or text of your own choosing. After a few quick measurements, they prepared the shoe by removing laces, taping it down, masking it off, etc, and then lined it up in the machine. Then, after a few minutes of burning leather, your new masterpiece was complete.

During the morning and daytime, appointments were pretty booked up, but in the early evenings things slowed down--and that actually worked to our advantage. Heat Seeker crew member Oz1 wanted to do a large Elephant Print pattern on his Jordan Motorsport VIs, but it was going to be very time consuming--but hey, since there was no one else booked after us, Dustin and Christina went ahead and did it up for him.

I think it took about 30 minutes per side, but WOW the final result was just jaw dropping. I think everyone in the whole place was gathered around the LASER booth waiting to see the results. And seriously, when Christina pulled all the foil masking tape off the first shoe and handed it to Oz, he held it up in the air and it it seemed like a hundred phones and cameras were in the air snapping pictures of it!

Damn, just look at it y'all--it's such a BEAST!

The sneaker caused so much buzz that folks from the back of the VIP room started to come out and see what was going on, and that's when the Marketing Director from Jordan Brand came to see what was up. When he saw the shoe with all the Elephant Print on it, he bugged out! He took some pics with Oz and then hauled him back into the VIP room to get him a drink and show off the shoe to all the Jordan VIPs.

After a few minutes, a Jordan Brand photographer came out and asked for all the Heat Seekers in attendance to line up for a photo with our LASER'd sneakers. I dunno what they're gonna do with the pic, but I gotta admit it felt like a freakin' rock star moment for a minute when the crowd was around us as we got OFFICIAL photos taken by Jordan Brand.

I know that a lot of people got a lot of cool LASER etched sneakers made up, but the Heat Seekers Krew shut it down at the Jordan Brand Green Demon Laser booth.

If you're interested in getting your own sneakers LASER'd, call Dustin or Christina at Green Demon Laser (503) 531-3383 or check them out on FaceBook [link].

NEXT: Check back tomorrow and throughout the rest of this week as I showcase each individual sneaker the Krew got LASER'd up.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jordan Brand 23/25 Shoe Gallery

Part 2 of 2

In part 1, I mentioned what I considered to be the centerpiece of the Jordan Brand 23/25 Experience: the Jordan Shoe Gallery featuring the complete Air Jordan collection in all-white colorways. These have been out there for a while (since October 2008 actually), but are just now making an official tour around the country, kicking off with this display at the Dallas NBA All-Star Weekend. Every single Air Jordan model was on display, and in these pics you can see some of my personal favorites.

The Air Jordan III-IV-V make up the top row of pics, which I love because it's when designer Tinker Hatfield came in and DESTROYED the sneaker game with some of the most innovative basketball shoes the world had ever seen. Those three literally changed the way basketball sneakers were designed forever.

The Air Jordan VI-VII-VIII make up the middle row, which I love because those are what Michael Jordan wore when he finally took over the NBA, winning the first Chicago Bulls Three-Peat. Once the Bulls won the NBA Championship, they kept on winning and winning and winning...well, until Michael retired (for the first time) after their third win while wearing the VIIIs.

The Air Jordan XI-XII-XIII make up the bottom row, which I love because it's when Michael came out of retirement and tore up the NBA worse than the first time around, leading the Chicago Bulls to ANOTHER Three-Peat of the Championship and of course putting up that ridiculous 72-10 season record while wearing the XI, which is arguably the greatest sneaker design of all time.

One interesting note: a lot of web sites have reported that the Air Jordan III and IV "Pure$" sneakers will be Retro'd this year to satisfy demand for these all-white Jordans. While the Pure$ sneakers are mostly white, there is a touch of metallic chrome accents on each. Very close to what we see here...but not quite the same.

Oh and if you want to see photos of each sneaker (since I didn't post them all), head over to Fur Face Boy's blog [link] where The FFB posted close up pics of each one.

<< Back to Part 1

Jordan Brand 23/25 Experience

Part 1 of 2

In conjunction with the NBA All-Star weekend, Jordan Brand opened up a special pop-up space in the Victory Park area about two blocks south of the American Airlines Center. Called the "Jordan 23/25 Experience" or the "Jordan Energy Space", it was used to formally release Air Jordan 2010 sneaker as well as showcase the 25th anniversary of the Air Jordan sneaker line.

I ended up going down there 3 times: Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday night. Why so often? Simply put, because there was a ton of shit to see and do!

The first thing you saw when you walked through the door was a display showing a completely dissected Air Jordan 2010. A lot of people might hate on the shoe's visual appearance, but there's no denying that the shoe is a thoroughly modern basketball sneaker. Much like the new Nike Kobe V and Lebron VII, the Air Jordan 2010 is lightweight, slimmed down, low to the ground, and really focused on quick on-court performance.

Immediately past the entrance was the centerpiece of the exhibit--at least in my opinion--the Jordan Shoe Gallery. Every Air Jordan sneaker was in the display case in a solid white colorway (I'll be covering the display coming up next in Part 2).

To the left from the gallery was the Jordan Hall of Fame showcasing milestones in his career, including trophys, his UNC college uniform, Bugs Bunny feet sneakers from the movie Space Jam, and an OG Jordan I, the sneaker that started it all.

To the right from the gallery was an Interactive Wall of touchscreen displays that explained the history and influences behind each Air Jordan sneaker.

On the far wall was the interactive Live Social Mosaic which created a giant image of Michael Jordan out of thousands of tiny photos submitted by Jordan sneaker fans. The images constantly moved and shifted so you could watch what the larger image was actually made of. Pretty neat actually.

To the left of the Mosaic past the Concierge booth (where they were giving out free Jordan t-shirts) was a line of iMacs setup to let you create your own ID23 Customized Air Jordan Alpha I. Secretly I was hoping for ID options on the AJ 2010, but sadly that wasn't available.

Immediately past the ID23 setup was the absolutely incredible "Elephant Printer" Laser Etching Machine where you could bring in your own sneakers to be lasered with a variety of Jordan brand images, words, whatever. This was a HUGE deal! Dustin and Christina from Green Demon Laser in Portland, Oregon worked practically non-stop for 4 long days designing and lasering sneakers for anybody that wanted it done--TOTALLY FREE! This was such a huge deal that my entire sneaker crew got in on the action...and I'll be doing a series of blog posts in the near future (maybe next week, or the week after that) just on what all we got lasered up.

Finally, the back of the space was dedicated to the VIP room. This is where the free open bars, dinner buffets, dessert trays, and the wicked cool Microsoft Surface interactive table were located. Naturally, my Heat Seekers crew got access to the VIP room (c'mon son, you know what's up) and we got to meet all sorts of people from Jordan Brand as well as celebrities. Bobbito was there of course, as was Gentry Humphrey and Mark Smith of Jordan Brand, among others. Even our guests from the All-Star Sneakend were there: DJ Greg Street, MAYOR, and Franalations.

The big VIP deal tho was really the Saturday night concert. After MC Lyte, 9th Wonder, and Bobbito warmed up the crowd at the DJ booth all evening, rappers Bun B and Wale performed on the VIP stage. The sets were short, but were crazy intimate; you could literally get within feet of the guys on stage. Big shout out to Bun B for friggin KILLING IT on the mic (after a bit of technical difficulty with the music). Bun B is a real straight dude, very approachable and personable. And I gotta say it: RIP Pimp C, UGK for life y'all.

NEXT! Check out the all-white Jordan sneaker display.

Continue to Part 2 >>

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

All-Star Sneakend Pt6: MAYOR

PART 6 of 6

Last but certainly not least, here's what MAYOR brought to All-Star Sneakend. If you haven't already read part 1 of this series, go do that now [link] and read about how he got delayed by the snow but still took over the whole damn show when he walked in the room. Haha! MAYOR brought a TON of sneakers, and for the most part he stuck to what he's known for: Air Force 1s.

  • CLOT w/cut up panels (who else has done that?)
  • Undft Entourage w/MAYOR lasered
  • Undft Entourage unreleased sample w/white swoosh
  • Nitro Underground DigiCamos
  • Ueno Japanese New Year
  • Playstation 10th anniversary (50 pair made)
  • Playstation Air Max 360/90 hybrid (24 pair made)
  • Complete 14-pair white/black unreleased Croc Pack
  • One Night Only 25th Anniversary
  • Four Levis Denim Bespokes
  • Strawberry Quick Bespoke
WOW what a helluva display of HEAT. It was literally the craziest collection of insane Air Force 1s I've ever seen. I don't think you could see a better AF1 display anywhere in the world unless you actually went into MAYOR or his ATF buddy Clark Kent's homes.

And don't even get me started on what he was wearing on his feet. Woo! Lemme just say: "White Box". That's all you need to know.

Okay, so that's the end of my 2-day long 6-part recap of All-Star Sneakend. Props to my wife @crow_about_it for taking pretty much all the photos seen in the series.

NEXT! Be sure to check back tomorrow as I cover another sneaker event held in Dallas during the NBA All-Star Weekend: the Jordan Brand 23/25 Experience!

<< Back to Part 5

All-Star Sneakend Pt5: DJ Greg Street

PART 5 of 6

DJ Greg Street was instrumental in helping put together the All-Star Sneakend event, but on top of that he also brought out arguably the RAREST sneakers at the show.

  • Wu-Tang Dunks (36 pair made)
  • Croc Converse Chuck Taylors (3 pair made)
  • DQM Air Max 90 Bacons - Friend & Family (24 pair made)
  • OG 1985 Air Jordan 1 w/original box, sweatband, receipt
  • Big Nike Kobe MVP 08
  • Patta Amsterdam Air Max 1
  • Undefeated Air Jordan 4 (72 pair made, charity only)
  • Eminem Air Jordan 4 (50 pair made, friends & family only)
  • And more!
Wow, talk about exclusive kicks. Holy crap! The DQM Bacons are one of the sneakers on my targeted list, but damn he brought "Friends and Family" edition? Straight CRACK right there.

But of course, the killer here was the unbelievable Wu-Tang Dunks. Not only is it one of my two "grail" sneakers, it's also one of the most highly sought after sneakers PERIOD. Those sneakers are worth more than my Jeep! Haha!

NEXT! Read what MAYOR brought in Part 6.

<< Back to Part 4 --OR-- Continue to Part 6 >>

All-Star Sneakend Pt4: Franalations

PART 4 of 6

Franalations is a young guy from Los Angeles known for his stellar Nike SB collection and his incredible following on YouTube--seriously y'all, Fran has over 6,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel [link]. Holy crap that's a lot of followers! Obviously, he's got the YouTube thing down. And OMG the heat this dude brought, WOW. Fran brought strictly Nike SBs, since that's what he's mostly known for, and he KILLED IT:

  • Danny Supas (1st SB ever)
  • Supreme White
  • Staple NYC Pigeons
  • Londons
  • What The Dunk (both shoes)
  • Freddy Kruegers
  • Supreme Red Blazers
  • Paris
In addition, Fran also brought all the materials, drawings, and printout of the Air Force 1 "Pikachu" Bespoke he recently designed at the Nike 21 Mercer store in New York.

While each and every one of the sneakers Fran brought were certifiable heat, I was personally FLOORED by the Staple Pigeon Dunks. That's one of my two "Grail" sneakers y'all--primarily because I'm a huge Jeff Staple and Reedspace fan. Less than 150 pair made? Literally caused a front-page newsworthy RIOT in New York City? Fashioned after one of my very favorite creatures on earth? Yeah, that's the one. I know I'll never own that shoe, but it was a real treat to be able to see it in-person at least once in my life.

NEXT! Read what DJ Greg Street brought in Part 5.

<< Back to Part 3 --OR-- Continue to Part 5 >>

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All-Star Sneakend Pt3: The Displays

PART 3 of 6

All-Star Sneakend at the House of Blues consisted of two rooms: a vendor area in the front of the building and sneaker displays in Cambridge Room towards the back. I covered the vendor area in part 2 of this series, and now here's a recap of the sneaker display area.

The Cambridge Room was setup with tables in the center and along two walls, with the stage and the bar covering the remaining two walls. Along the left side and in the center were a variety of exhibitors including Phase 2 (Alaska), Sole Supreme (New York), 16assassin (Ft Worth), Kadoma (Houston), and several local members of the Nike Talk forum. Located on the far right wall were the special guests DJ Greg Street (Atlanta), MAYOR (New York), and Franalations (LA). All-Star Sneakend literally had sneakerheads from across the entire country showing kicks!

On hand were tons of rare, hard-to-find Air Jordans, Nike Air Force 1, Nike Air Max, Nike SB, Nike Basketball, Asics, New Balance, Bape, Converse, Adidas, and quite a few "Player Exclusive" sneakers. I was really stunned at the variety of kicks on display--and even more stunned by the rarity of them. I've never seen so many unobtainable sneakers on display in one room at one time.

The coolest thing about the show to me was that it wasn't a buy/sell/trade kinda deal, but rather a "sneaker showcase"--kinda like going to a classic car show or something. So many times, sneaker shows are more about moving kicks than displaying whatcha got. As a fan, I thought it was cool that this was all about the love of sneakers, not profit.

NEXT! Check out what Franalations brought to display!

<< Back to Part 2 --OR-- Continue to Part 4>>

All-Star Sneakend Pt2: The Vendors

PART 2 of 6

The All-Star Sneakend event was held at the House of Blues which was split into two areas. The Cambridge Room in the back held the sneaker displays and raffle stage while the front restaurant area featured the DJ stage, Q&A stage, and vendor booths. Naturally, both areas had full service bars (which I used to pump myself full of too damn much Red Bull).

Every single major sneaker and streetwear boutique in the DFW area had a booth, along with the title sponsor Cowboy Scion (who even had a car outside in the Red Carpet photo area). In addition, Matt from Nice Kicks had a booth showcasing his hot new Austin store that's opening later this month on the 27th. On top of all that, Nike had 5 special guests on hand including the sneaker designers of the much loved Lebron VII who were fielding all sorts of questions from show attendees.

The sponsors in the vendor area included:
Cowboy Scion (Title Sponsor)
Adikt Footwear
Fur Face Boy
Index Skateboard Supply
Nice Kicks
Sport Sole

The feedback I heard from both show attendees and the vendors themselves was that the vendor area was very nice, especially because it was the first thing people hit when they came through the door. Also, by having the Q&A session at the end of the show in the vendor room, people were doubly exposed to the vendor booths. Seemed like positive feedback from all involved.

<< Back to Part 1 --OR-- Continue to Part 3 >>

All-Star Sneakend Pt1: The Show

PART 1 of 6

I woke up friday morning with a splitting headache and giant sense of dread. You see, the night before we'd had the worst snow storm in the recorded history of Dallas (12.5") and several of the special guests for All-Star Sneakend at the House of Blues had their plane tickets cancelled as DFW airport shut completely down. I'd already seen first hand what the snow did to thursday night's turnout at the Nike + Sport Sole event [link] and I was afraid that (A) the special guests wouldn't make it, and (B) the audience wouldn't turn out.

Our flyers had billed four guests: DJ Clark Kent, DJ Greg Street, MAYOR, and Erin Patton. In addition, we were also expecting some unbilled guests: All Day, Feets Malone, Franalations, Kadoma, Phase 2, and Sole Supreme, along with several local area sneakerheads. Of course there was also all the local vendors--would they fight throgh the snow covered streets? When a show has that magnitude of guests displaying kicks and interacting with the audience, the $20 cover charge is well worth it--but what if the guests didn't show? Who'd wanna drive through a foot of snow and pay a cover charge to see nothing? Arrg! Now do you see why I woke up with a headache?

As it turned out, we had 3-of-4 billed guests and 5-of-6 unbilled guests arrive. Only DJ Clark Kent and All Day--both from NYC--weren't able to make it. Unfortunately, MAYOR was also coming in from NYC and while his plane wasn't cancelled, it was delayed, forcing him to take a cab straight from the airport to the House of Blues. He arrived about an hour late but DAMN what an entrance! Seriously, the entire crowd was bunched up around his table watching him pull sneakers outta his luggage and SLAM them on the table! BAM! Levis Bespoke set. BAM! Python set. BAM! Strawberry Quik Bespoke. BAM! Cut Up Clot. BAM! Sample Entourage. BAM! Digicamo. BAM! BAM! BAM! The crowd went wild! No shit, it was one of the most awesome things I've ever witnessed in sneakerdom!

Show attendees got to see some of the rarest, most exclusive sneakers in the world--things they've likely never laid their eyes on in person before. All of the guests were super approachable and seemed to have a great time. The vendor area was really cool, the DJ was spinning great hip hop, the raffle gave out huge prizes, and the on-stage Q&A session with the show guests was jam packed.

All in all, I'd say the event was very successful, even with all the snow.

Continue to Part 2 >>

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sport Sole + Nike All-Star Sneaker Release

As you already know, this past weekend Dallas hosted the NBA All-Star weekend, and since basketball shoes are such a big part of the sneaker culture, it's also one of the biggest weekends for sneakerheads. I'm going to be spending this whole week recapping events from the weekend, and to kick it all off I'm going to start at the beginning: the BLIZZARD of 2010. Haha!

Dallas got slammed hard by the biggest blizzard in the recorded history of the city: 12.5" of snow to be exact. That's crazy! To put it in perspective, I've only seen snow stick on the ground 2 or 3 times ever in my 20 years here, usually no more than an inch or two, barely enough to make snow angels. Thursday we got blanketed in the stuff, it was so crazy! I think every yard in Dallas had a bigassed snowman in it the next day.

Unfortunately, the snow really screwed up a lot of travel plans for everyone (more on that tomorrow) including the guests for the official Nike Sportswear All-Star sneaker release party held at Sports Sole. Nike released six pair of All-Star Air Force 1s, two Hyperizes, a Lebron VII, a Kobe V, and a a Kevin Durant KD2.

The clipboard of RSVP'd guests was a mile long, but only a handful of people braved the snow to make it out. Sport Sole and Nike were there of course, and the Dead Stock and Heat Seekers crews made it out in full force, as did a group from Adikt footwear, but not too many beyond that. Thankfully, a couple of VIP guests made it: Franalations and DJ Greg Street, both of whom wore stupid heat in the snow. Fran was rockin' a pair of Supreme x Nike Blazers (WTF! In the snow?) and Greg Street had on a pair of 1985 OG Jordan 1s (Double WTF!). Greg went ahead and bought a pair of Nike Goadome boots at the shop to swap out into tho. Smart move for sure.

Sport Sole and Nike gave away quite a few raffle gifts: Nike Sportswear iPhone cases, a pair of All-Star Lebrons, a pair of white-on-white AF 1s, and an exclusive Air Max box set with a pair of sneakers, a tee-shirt, and a special box (I really wanted to win that, but at least my crew member 16assassin got it).

All in all, the event was "okay" but really hampered by the blizzard. Both Sports Sole and Nike Sportswear did everything they could to make the event a success, but ultimately Mother Nature won out this time.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nike Air Max 90 (GS) "Valentines Day"

It's Valentines Day, and being a sneakerhead it's only fitting that I bought my wife a pair of sneakers: these super-fresh Nike Air Max 90 (GS), part of the Nike Valentines Day (GS) pack. Being a fairly small girl, my wife can wear grade school (GS) sized kicks, and every now and then Nike drops some shoes exclusive to (GS) sizing. One cool thing about (GS) shoes is that they're often cute and cartoony, a trait she digs but usually can't find in adult sized shoes.

Also released with the Air Max 90s were a pair of Dunk Highs using the same hearts/bubbles artwork. I opted to buy her the Air Max 90s though, since she generally prefers low tops. Also, the color blocking on the Dunk Highs is a little more flashy and in your face, and while that's cool it's not gonna be as versatile as the clean colorway of the Air Max 90s. The white/pink/soft-pink/metallic-silver on them looks great, and the way the artwork shines in the silver area is really dope.

Speaking of artwork, here's some of what the hearts/bubbles read: Nike, Crush, Love, Cool, Call Me, Happy, Yeah, Yes, CU L8R, 24/7, I heart Nike, Be Mine, Run to you. Pretty cool, huh? Reads like the love notes you'd pass back-and-forth as a kid in school.

I cop'd these kicks from my homie Premium Pete at Premium Laces in NYC. I've mentioned his shop on this blog a couple times but I gotta say it again: Premium Laces is the BOMB, and Pete is the TRUTH.

PS - If you've ever wondered who the people are in the header image on this blog, now you know one: the girl in the red coat is my wife @crow_about_it

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DFW Sneaker & Streetwear shops

Are you planning on being in the DFW area for All-Star weekend? If so, you're probably already making plans to attend All-Star Sneakend, right? Well if you're coming in from out of town, you're probably thinking of hitting up some local sneaker and streetwear shops, huh? Well in case you don't know where all you should go, I've compiled a list of places you should consider hitting up.

West Village
3839 McKinney Ave, Suite 140
Dallas, TX 75204
This is one of my very favorite shops in DFW for both sneakers and streetwear. Very heavy on Nike sneakers, lotsa other brands as well. Adikt regularly gets the most exclusive sneaker releases in DFW, so you know the place is on point. Oh and yeah, they'll have several of the All-Star specific release--they already got em on display in the shop. I highly recommend checking this shop out. Just 1 exit north of Downtown Dallas off Hwy 75 (N. Central Expy).

Sport Sole
3207 W. Northwest Hwy.
Dallas, TX 75220
This is a HUGE boutique shop that carries just about everything in streetwise footwear: Nike, Jordan, Puma, Adidas, Converse, Supra, ALIFE, you name it. This is the shop that Nike choose to officially release the All-Star Air Force 1s at--in fact there's gonna be an exclusive VIP party there Thursday night. Definitely check out Sport Sole, just 10 minutes north of Downtown Dallas off I-35 and Loop 12.

3054 B University Dr.
Ft. Worth, TX 76109
On the Fort Worth side of the DFW Metroplex, nobody does it up better than Shogun when it comes to premium streetwear. It's a relatively new shop so they're not too heavy in the sneaker game just quite yet, but I don't know if there's anyone else in the area that can match them on apparel. If you're gonna be going to Cowboys Stadium for the game, you owe it to yourself to make the 20 minute drive west over to the TCU campus to check out Shogun.

Mockingbird Station
5331 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 105
Dallas, TX 75206
Centre is a fantastic sneaker and streetwear boutique located in Mockingbird Station, just 5 minutes north of Downtown Dallas off Hwy 75 (N. Central Expy). Of all the sneaker and streetwear shops in DFW, I think that Centre has the most unique aesthetic, which is most evident in their brand-new line of stupid fresh t-shirts. In addition to their regular store, Centre is going to have a special pop-up Annex store next door setup just for All-Star weekend. If you're into streetwear fashion, you will not want to miss this!

Index Skateboard Supply
Mockingbird Station
5319 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 200
Dallas, TX 75206
725 Airport Frwy., Suite 201
Hurst, TX 76053
While you're at Mockingbird Station checking out Centre and their pop-up Annex, you'll also want to hit up Index. This is a bona fide skate shop with a gajillion boards and related items and they're stupid deep in Nike SB. Really, there's no one in DFW who can touch them in the Nike SB game. Naturally they're heavy into all the other major skate style sneakers as well. Also, they have another location in Hurst, just 15 minutes north of Cowboys Stadium. Both locations are equally well equipped to hook you up.

Mockingbird Station
5307 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 107
Dallas, TX 75206
One more stop you should make while at Mockingbird Station is the KidRobot store. It's not very big (about half the size of the NYC SoHo shop I visited) but they've got a killer selection of vinyl toys as well as apparel and fitteds. I was in there this past weekend and they have both the blue and yellow Quasimodo toys--a must for any Madlib fan.

House of Hoops
Town East Mall
1012 Town East Mall
Mesquite, TX 75150
Northpark Center Mall
727 Northpark Center
Dallas, TX 75225
There are only 9 House of Hoops locations in the entire country so far, and Texas has 4 of them (2 in Houston, 2 in Dallas). What's that tell ya? Yeah well, if your hometown don't have one, you'll definitely wanna check one of the Dallas ones out. The Town East location (15 minutes east of Downtown on I-30 and I-635) is big stand-alone spot between Foot Locker and Foot Action while the Northpark location (5 minutes north of Downtown on Hwy 75) is stuffed into the back half of Foot Locker--oh and it won't be open until Saturday the 13th. If you're only gonna hit one, I'd recommend the Town East spot; it's stand alone, more fully developed at this point, and is next door to the best FootAction I've ever seen--which I've been told is the 2nd highest volume store in their chain, and I can see why: it's HUGE and they carry great kicks.

And for a little something extra...
There are two more places you might want to check out in the DFW area: the urban sneaker/fashion chain stores "DK Foot & Casual" (9 locations) and "Big Mikes" (2 locations). Neither have websites, but you can Google them to find location info. Both carry Jordan Brand and Nike urban accounts, they're both known to ignore Nike's release dates, and they're both usually located in very urban areas. They also tend to have a lot of older releases laying around that you can usually pick up at bargain basement prices.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Look who's coming to All-Star Sneakend

Y'all don't understand how crazy this is getting. The list of special invited guests, celebrities, friends, and crews rollin thru All-Star Sneakend just keeps getting bigger and better:
  • DJ Greg Street
  • DJ Clark Kent
  • All Day
  • Franalations
  • Bun B
  • Erin Patton
  • Sole Supreme
  • Dave Jeff

Also heard a rumor that Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber knows about the event and is planning on swinging through to check things out. Turns out he's into kicks as well.

There's also supposed to be some local cats from the NikeTalk forum showing some kicks as well. I don't know their names tho, so I can't list em, but I've heard they got serious heat. And of course there will be displays from some of the groups helping put on the show, too.

With so many big names and local collectors, you know there's gonna be some heat on display. All-Star Sneakend is gonna be a helluva sneakerhead event. Don't miss it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sneaker Keychains

Been buying these for a little while now, I think they're way cool. They're available online outta the UK, but I've been buying em all locally at Centre [website] which is one of my favorite DFW sneaker/streetwear boutiques, located in Mockingbird Station in Dallas.

These sneaker keychains run $10 and there's a wide variety to choose from. I picked all these up because they're kicks I'd love to have but don't own--mainly because they're highly collectible and crazy expensive on the aftermarket (well, except that Air Max 95, it's a general release). Shoot, my two "grails" are in there: the Staple Pigeons and the Wu Dunks. Doubt I'll ever own either of those. Haha!

By the way, Centre is doing it big for All-Star weekend; they're opening a special pop-up ANNX store next door to their main location that's gonna be full of all sorts of special products and deals exclusively for the event [link]. If you're from Dallas, or are just gonna be in town for All-Star weekend, do yourself a favor and go to Centre and check out their ANNX pop-up shop.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fur Face Boy - Amazing & Black Friday

Warning: this is probably the geekiest post I've ever made on this blog. You see, in a past life, I worked at a comic book store, which was a dream job for a teenager since I'd been into comic books most of my childhood. Growing up in the 80s, my favorite comic book was The Amazing Spider-Man, which was probably due to the fact that he had his own children's TV show in Japan [link] in the late 70s when I was a little kid living over there.

Created in 1962, Spider-Man's red & blue costume was a comic book icon, so it was a HUGE deal when Marvel Comics revealed an all-new, all-black Spider-Man costume in issue #252, May 1984. That summer, during the mega-crossover series Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars [link] the origin of the costume was shown to have come from an alien machine. Unfortunately, it was soon discovered to be a living alien creature, a symbiote that was attempting to bond permanently with Peter Parker. With the help of the Fantastic Four, he was able to get rid of the alien, but continued to wear the black costume for several more years (made of non-threatening fabric, of course).

The alien symbiote continued to attack Spider-Man over the years, notably in Web of Spider-Man #1 in 1985, when Peter was able to kill the alien with a giant church bell (a story which was horribly butchered in the Spider-Man 3 film). Of course the alien didn't die, and eventually it merged with a nasty fellow named Eddie Brock to create "Venom", one of the most popular Spider-Man villains of all time, who we finally learned about in 1988 in issue #300 during Todd McFarlane's fantastic run on the series. Venom appeared several more times during the McFarlane years, solidifying the villains' popularity, and has continued to menace Spider-Man through several hosts.

So okay, enough with the comic book stuff!

As you undoubtedly know if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, one of my favorite apparel brands is Fur Face Boy [link] and this past fall, the FFB introduced his series 2 line of t-shirts, and wouldn't you know it, he made a blue Spider-Man themed shirt! Naturally I cop'd it (and from Shogun, the best streetwear shop in Ft. Worth [link]) and it turned out to be my favorite series 2 FFB design. No surprise considering how personally it connects with my comic book influenced childhood.

But that's not the end of the story. No, you see, Fur Face Boy released a hyper-limited web-only (ha-ha) run of 24 Black "symbiote" t-shirts on Black Friday. FFB's clever tag line? "Forget Eddie Brock, this shirt wants YOU to be it's host!"

That's not true, of course. The shirt is made of non-threatening fabric.

I think.

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