Crepe City 11

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DSC_0977 It is said time and time again, and it may almost sound like a stuck record, but it’s true, Crepe City is continually growing with each one being even bigger than the one before. The 11th instalment was no different, and with a new room in the Truman Brewery, located just off Brick Lane, the 22,000 sq ft room was packed to the brim with trainers, streetwear, accessories, vintage clothing, customisers and much much more. With almost 5000 people passing through the doors, whether you were looking to buy, to sell, or simply just to drop by and have a look, then this was the place to be!

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It’s not often that we complain about heat in the UK, but in both the true meaning of the word and also the adopted version to describe footwear, Crepe City felt like a giant greenhouse awash with thousands of pairs of trainers. Luckily, there were plenty of flyers advertising the next event (Crepe City 12) on hand, which turned out to be very effective fans to keep heads cool, but wrists sore.

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With the vast new space all on one floor and in one room, this seemed to finally give the event a proper convention feel, and was preferred by many. The room was lined with tables parallel to one another from one end of the room to the other, and the space filled quickly with punters trying to locate the best bargains available.

Over the years, Crepe City have grown to become the biggest and best trainer event in the UK, and this shows with the large amount of new and old sellers that they attract. Sellers travel from both the UK and abroad, as well as named brands such as Puma, and stores such as Wellgosh who also regularly make the effort to sell stock at reduced prices, or even display current and upcoming releases.

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Dutch heavyweights Prime also visited for the second time in a row, bringing their amazing collection of Nike Air Max, along with everyone’s favourite releases from other brands, which meant their stall was the busiest throughout the day.

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On the subject of reoccurring sellers, the UK’s own Ropes Laces were on hand to sell their vast catalogue of rope laces, as well as their recent collection of flat laces, including some very tasty 3M offerings. With the exception of that one day, the UK experiences some shocking weather for the most part, so taking care of your trainers is imperative, and the likes of Jason Markk, Liquiproof and Sneaky Brand were there to demonstrate and sell their product.

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Trainer art has always been there or thereabouts, but over the last year or so, it has become increasingly more popular, so it’s always good to see what the UK has to offer. The extremely talented Steph Morris was at the event for the first time showcasing her exceptional pencil sketches, along with Filfury and his iconic abstract work.

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Bar and catering services were upgraded for this event, and both were jam packed throughout the day, with various great food offerings, and of course, plenty of Red Stripe to go around. The small courtyard served well for somewhere to chill, grab a bite to eat, a drink and escape the sweltering heat of the venue. The Drop Date were also sneakily positioned in the courtyard grabbing on-foot shot of those who passed through to feature on their site.

As always, these events would not be possible without the work of the Crepe City team, and all the sellers, caterers, and everyone else involved in making the event run smoothly, so a huge thanks goes out to all of them!

See you all at the next Crepe City on the 8th of November!

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Solemart Paris – June 2014

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In the run up to the next Crepe City in July, we were feeling a little deprived of sneaker events, so we headed to Paris to check out the Solemart event, and chat to some of the European sellers about coming across to sell at Crepe City for future events. The European sellers who attend these events offer something that we struggle a little to get in the UK, and that’s variety, but in particular, vintage runners and runners in general. Fair enough, like anywhere, you have your big hitters – Air Max, Jordan, and your recent releases from this year or previous, but that’s always a bonus if you happened to miss a release that you wanted. So, a little bit of background about this edition of Solemart; The event took place in the Bastille Design Centre, with 700 metres squared of space on 3 floors with thousands of sneakers for you to buy, trade, or just simply admire. The event was hosted in association with La MJC and Solemart, with a preview hosted by Adidas for the Stan Smith Primeknit.

We arrived at the event prior to it opening, and a queue had already developed, but when 11am came, the doors opened and everyone was filtered through into the event space. The building itself was extremely traditional and had an archaic feel to it, which was relatively unusual compared to UK events but fitting for the location. The tables that the sellers used themselves even looked like antiques.

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There seemed to be a lot of interest from buyers on the first floor, who had some great pairs for sale on their stalls. We even bumped into Hichem who had a small room off to the left near the entrance of the venue, and as expected, his table with full with cracking pairs.

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Moving down to the ground floor by means of an extremely tight spiral staircase, barely wide enough to have two people pass one another, this floor was again, packed to the brim with sellers in every corner of the room. The ground floor was also where CC 9 attendee Ben Coshi was selling off some great pairs.

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With a tour of the ground floor complete, it was time to check out what the upper floor of Solemart had to offer, and if anyone was looking for some Air Max or Asics, then this was the floor to be. It was also probably the nicest looking floor, with a walkway around the circumference of the room, featuring trainers all the way around the inner circle, with a couple of separate rooms at one end, which were also packed with trainers. The large atrium provided a great view down to the first floor with the Solemart banner hanging on the far wall.

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Unfortunately, we never managed to check out the Adidas Stan Smith Primeknit, but we heard they sold out super quick, and thankfully, they will be available at selected Adidas retailers soon.

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Picture from @michael_lamjc

It was a pleasure to attend the Solemart Paris event, and great to meet and chat to some of the French buyers and sellers, just a shame that the trip was brief, maybe we’ll be back across for another event in the future!

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Crepe City 10 Recap

It was that time again on the last Saturday of March when Crepe City descended on Old Truman Brewery for it’s tenth event, which was to be.. MASSIVE!

The Crepe City team consistently pull out all the stops to improve on each event to make them bigger and better than the last, and it certainly showed this time. With the event firmly establishing itself as the biggest and best buy/sell/trade trainer event in the UK, it’s inevitable that the volume of people passing through the doors grows at a huge rate. Bearing this in mind, the event has expanded over two floors, now with a total of four rooms stocked full to the brim with trainers, clothing, artwork and accessories! In between each event, there’s always talk about the queue, whether it be the length, the wait time, shelter, or the fact that it wasn’t organised well, but the extra floor and new queuing system proved pivotal in eradicating these issues.

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It’s always good to see the regulars at the event, whether it be people selling, buying, or just coming along to catch up with old and new. As always, the Wellgosh crew made the trip and had a stall packed with heat, along with Dutch heavyweights Prime who brought tonnes of our favourite Asics and Air Max runners. We also saw the good people at Puma drop a huge glass pyramid in the middle of the ground floor showing off some of the upcoming Trinomic releases, getting many excited for some of the more vibrant colourways.

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As always at the Crepe City event, the team like to have all angles covered, and Truman Brewery was awash with trainer-related accessories, whether it be everyone’s favourite cleaning product Jason Markk, or Ropes Laces who really have went the extra mile with the product, setting them apart from all others in the same market. There were also some hands on demonstrations which was always a nice touch and if you doubted the potential of Liquiproof, then all you had to do was check out their stall where they poured anything you could think of over a pair of trainers to demonstrate their product. Let’s not forget the heavyweight Stance socks who were selling on the upper and also hid numerous pairs around the venue for event goers to find.

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Sneaker art is fast becoming a new craze it would seem, but it was a pleasure to have two of our favourites at the event. Steve Piantoni’s unique style of Sneaker Toons reminds us of the car illustration posters that were decked out with large rear wheels, and Carroll Lynn had kitted out three of our favourite models on canvas in a stunning teal colourway for the event.

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Our friends at U-Dox who recently revelled in the success of their new book; Sneakers – The Complete Limited Editions Guide, had both new and old publications for sale on the day, along with a first hand look at some of the rarest pairs that have graced the book.

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However, the real star of the show was the adidas Flux Pop-up exhibition in association with Crepe City, which was located around the corner. If you took the time to have a look, you would of been given an insight into adidas’ celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the ZX8000 that was first introduced in 1989 and featured continually throughout the 90′s. Progressing from the ZX history, you were hit with an array of colourways of the new ZX Flux, the epitome of the curation. We have to give a big shout out to the people at adidas and Robert Brooks for putting this exhibition together! Be sure to check out my other blog post on the Adidas ZX Flux Pop-up.

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It didn’t just stop there, as well as the exhibition, adidas were also giving away one of their ‘not for retail’ adidas ZX 8000 Flux, limited to 100 pairs, and all you had to do was wear a pair of adidas to be in with a chance of winning. Congratulations to Sunil for winning by wearing his unreal adidas Icone.

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As always, the event wouldn’t be possible without the Crepe City team and the continual hard work they put in to make each event the success that it is.

Be sure to check out some of the other photos below, and I’ll upload a post with some on-foot shots from the day too.

See you all at the next one!

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Crepe City 9 – Recap

The last Saturday in the month of November brought the 9th Crepe City event to the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London… and it was to be the BIGGEST yet!

Crepe City itself has been growing in popularity and quality, quickly becoming the biggest and best sneaker event in the UK. Following the success of CC8, it was going to be a hard task to beat but with VIP tickets selling out in under 10 minutes, along with 1000’s of tickets available to purchase on the door, and mixed in with weeks of chatter on social media about the event, it promised to be huge… it certainly lived up to those expectations.

Being from Aberdeen, which is a 12 hour train journey from London, it was only my second event but once again, the Crepe City team nailed it and the event was a huge success. As always and as expected, the queues were big with some people showing up before 7am, so thanks to everyone who waited patiently to get in!

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With the two rooms filling up quickly with 50+ vendors, and the new addition of the third room which housed Gerard’s World Exclusive Jordan Exhibition, the event was starting to take shape, all we needed now was to start letting the eagerly awaiting crowds in! Much like CC8, the atmosphere inside the venue was electric with everyone trying their hardest to get first pickings on what was for sale, whether it be sneakers, clothing, accessories or artwork….. Or a burger supplied by Wishbone Brixton, and washed down with some Wray & Nephew Overproofed Rum if you were thinking with your stomach!

This time around, the Crepe City team had worked hard to introduce some sellers from across the pond to add more variety and pairs that you wouldn’t normally see for sale in the UK… such as Colette GLIIIs, Bread and Butter GTIIs, and many more runners! On top of that, all the regular sellers were there with a huge range of kicks to cater for the whole family, men, women and children alike.

Throughout the year, there’s been various styles of ‘sneaker art’ developing and becoming much more popular, whether it be a large wall hanging painting or these mini Sneaker Toons made by Steve Piantoni, there was plenty to look at and take home to hang on your living room wall.

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It wasn’t just on the seller’s tables that there was a massive amount of heat, the CC events bring out the pairs on-foot also, and I uploaded a separate post with some on-foot shots, however, a couple of my favourite pairs spotted coincidentally have strong ties to the London ‘sneaker scene’.

Crepe City 9 was to house a World Exclusive Jordan Exhibition which featured some unseen pairs and always pairs worn my Michael Jordan himself! Whether you were a basketball lover or not, it was well worth paying a visit to and getting a 5 minute history lesson from Gerard himself, the man behind the amazing collection. The pick of the bunch for me being these game-worn signed Carmine 6’s.

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Check out the Crepe City Instagram page for a little Jordan history lesson on the pairs featured.

For me personally, it’s not all about the buying and selling, there’s a huge amount of work put in by the team for every event to not only pull it all together, but to bring the sneaker community to Truman Brewery for that one day. Putting the trainers on hold, meeting old and new faces, sharing a drink, and catching up is what makes going to the event worthwhile, it’s a true testament to the growth of the UK scene….

….. see you all in Spring 2014 for the tenth event!

Until then, give the official CC9 recap video a watch;