Monday, March 1, 2010

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]

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