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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Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 1600 ‘Daytona’

We’ve just had one worldwide Ronnie Fieg release, and only 4 weeks later, another one will be upon us, and as always, no matter what he puts out, there will always be MASSIVE hype surrounding it!

There had been talk for a while of Fieg doing another New Balance, with plenty of rumours speculating as to what model, some saying 997 (which may still not be ruled out for next year..) and others saying 1600, which of course, that is now confirmed with the first full pictures being released following some earlier teasers.

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Image taken from Sneakernews.com.

I’m not the biggest Fieg fan but I appreciate the position that he has managed to reach now, and obviously, for many ‘sneaker’ lovers, that is where they want to be, designing their own colour ways on some of their favourite models and having them sell out in minutes.

Anyway, with regards to the shoe, an Asian made New Balance 1600, first thoughts on hearing this before the images? I guess I wasn’t really looking forward to it as the 1600 has never been a model that’s appealed to me, and much like Flimby made products, Asian manufacturing has went downhill over the years.

However, surely with Ronnie stating that they will be “the most premium NB upper you will ever see in your lifetime”, I guess we were all pretty intrigued..

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As with any big release, the good folks over at Crepe City, put a post on Instagram to gauge people’s reactions to the 1600, and here’s a screen grab of the comments and/or possibly everything that defines ‘hype’;

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Image taken from Crepe City Instagram (@crepecity).

My first impressions of the shoe is one that if you know me, it won’t surprise you;

ROPE LACES!

Overkill or what? Is it really necessary to include them on every release, whether it be RF or a GR? + in my opinion, they look horrific on this model and make it look really ‘cheap’.

Secondly, the lace locks, unlike his Asics releases, he includes branding on his NB collaborations, but again, I think they’re better served elsewhere and not on this pair.

I always thought that Fieg was up for doing designs and colour blocking that had never been done on shoes before, but it seems that certainly from some of his past releases, he’s following suit on other stores techniques, for example, the block coloured toe which seems to be extremely popular after all the Solebox releases.

However, it’s not all bad, I feel that he has definitely used the panelling on the 1600 to it’s maximum potential, showing off the excellent material use. Also, the micro-perf on the saddle and heel is a nice touch, but if used too much, could give off a sort of ‘cheap’ look.

On a final note, a lot of NB collectors/enthusiasts would overlook these, but that’s not going to stop them flying off the shelves…

Look for a release at KITH on the 29th of November, followed by a worldwide release on the 14th of December.

Also expect more of the same when they drop in the UK and EU stores, queues queues queues.

Check out more pictures below;

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Above images taken from Sneakernews.com.