Sneakerheads in South Africa
Sneaker Collection – A new profession
Properly, consciously and continuously looking for a good pair of sneakers (mostly known as sneaks), has become a new art canvas for some and a culture for many. This phenomenon has created a common interest to those who lovingly collect soles and a new form of art for those who create.
We dive deep into the growing subculture whose members are proud to call themselves – Sneakerheads.
The beginning of sneaker collection
Sneaker collecting got its start in the late 1970s as part of the rapidly growing b-boy and hip-hop movement of New York City. Unique clothes were a craze in the early days of hip-hop, and sneakers were easily customized, either by colour coordinating laces to an outfit or by filling in the triple stripes on a pair of Adidas with a magic marker. The sneaker craze hit mainstream America when Nike and Michael Jordan introduced Air Jordans in 1985. The shoes proved so popular that, by the early 1990s, some estimates say that 1 in every 12 Americans had a pair of Air Jordans.
Doing it the South African way.
We have come to see a rapidly growing culture of sneaker collection in South Africa. From street culture at the locations to social events to pop up stores to small businesses, the term “sneakerhead” has become customary. While there might be endless debates between a true sneakerhead and a person who claims to be a sneakerhead, the motivation behind the sale of the sole initially determines who the real sneakerhead is.
Sneaker Exchange is a definition Eden to the devoted “sneakerhead. An event where sole lovers can buy, sell and trade their sneakers. An organic conversation for those accustomed to the event and rather a pretentious reality to those who are not acquainted yet. Be as it may, this event consorts the two together by educating the amateur and exhilarate the pro. It's quite heart-warming to be surrounded by people with a common interest under one roof, in this case, collectively collecting sneakers. The multiformity of having a variety of soles displayed on a table for these collectors to love, appraise, critique or simply collect is a long- standing devotion to both the craft and the love.
This type of event has bred a community of old and new connoisseurs to indulge in, educate and appreciate the culture. It has also become a marquee of opportunities for young stars to trade, businesses to grow and a new kind of canvas for artists to probe.
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