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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer 2009 Means Pimpin' and Fly Kicks


The summer is approaching and it’s about that time that the people all across the urban culture will bust out their freshest kicks. Sneaker culture started in the 1970’s; around the time that New York saw a thriving Hip Hop movement and the emergence of “streetballers” on playgrounds. Since that time, rappers such as Run DMC and NBA players like Michael Jordan have spearheaded the movement. A former basketball player at Carnegie Mellon University, Elliott Curtis, even taught Sneakerology 101 for two semesters, the first bulleted academia of sneakers in the world. “Sneakerheads,” as the followers of the fashion are called, can impersonate the lead of Antwan “Big Boi” Patton who says he easily owns over 400 pair of sneakers. “Since you can really tell a lot about a person by their shoes,” Patton claims, “you gotta keep a fresh pair.” His most coveted sneakers, a pair of crocodile-skin Air Force 1’s, would sell on the open market for around $1800 — a long time since sneakers were first seen as a symbol of pimpness after Run DMC’s 1986 hit “My Adidas.” Today, Adidas, Nike and Puma compete with luxury brands such as Chanel, Prada and Gucci. The major sports shoe companies also allow customers to design their own shoes. Upstarts such as San Francisco's JB Classics and Japan's Madfoot and KKOK have snatched up market share as well. With this business model in mind, the recent release of Converse’s legendary All-Star shoes came branded by Chicago’s Lupe Fiasco. Last year’s summer season witnessed the largest gathering of sneakerheads—about 13,000 gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia. It should come as no surprise that the most recent gathering of sneakerheads came in the ATL, where fans, designers, and artists gathered at the Tabernacle to check out the freshest designs out there, from the “Ace of Spades,” inspired by MLB pitcher, Dontrelle Willis; or the winged (literally has wings) Adidas kicks, by designer Jeremy Scott. For the sake of us all, keep it fly people.

--Will Hackett currently listening to “Say Hello” by the Whigs

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