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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Paris – June 2014

As we were in Paris for Solemart, it only made sense that following the event, we went for a little sightseeing, so below is a collection of shots taken on the day.

Just for reference, here’s a list of the trainers and those wearing them;

New Balance 577WIC x Hanon Shop – @thomaslindie

Le Coq Sportif Eclat x Foot Patrol ‘Macaron’ – @the_monsta

Asics GLIII Salmon Toes, Adidas ZX Flux F&F and Adidas Boost – @morprime12

The Louvre:

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Colette:

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Eiffel Tower:

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New Balance 1500MJC x La MJC x Colette – ‘Vivre Sans Temps Mort’

The Parisian boutique Colette have worked on a few New Balance collaborations and are probably most known for their three 1500 efforts (2006, 2007 and 2010). I think it’s true to say that they probably should have stopped after the third pair (1500MJC – the one featured in this post), as the fourth pair which they worked on with UNDFTD, to put it simply, was a bit of a letdown in comparison to the others.

Anyway, Colette and creative firm La MJC worked on this 1500 for a couple of years which seen multiple delays with the pair being eventually released quite late on in 2010, December I think(?). This was around the time that the Flimby factory in the UK were reworking the shape of the 1500 and other models, which is why a lot of people regard this pair as the ‘last of the good shape’, but as you can see, in my opinion it is still quite bulky. It’s a shame as we al know Flimby were once renowned for their quality craftmanship and stunning shape.

The design of this shoe pays tribute to the website Wesoldout.com which was founded by Colette and La MJC in 2006, however, it no longer exists today. However, what it lacks in shape, it definitely makes up for in the colourway of this model and the PREMIUM (emphasis on the word premium) materials used. The upper is mainly lush pig skin red and grey suede with stunning white cow-leather accents, but there’s also excellent use of premium brown leather on the ankle surround and tongue (my favourite part!). A premium leather is also used, which further increases the whole premium feel to the shoe, but it doesn’t stop there. What would a shoe be without some 3M? This pair features 3M reflective piping on the ankle area and also a hit of 3M on the front tip of the toe box.

The insoles have “Vivre Temps” imprinted on the left and “Sans Mort” on the right side. The phrase “Vivre Sans Temps Morts” means ‘Life Without Dead Time’ in French, made famous by protesters during the May 1968 France protests.

This shoe was always known to be notoriously bad for the suede bleed on the midsole and also the inner lining, but to be honest, I think it looks better and reminds me of the 1500CT Chiantis. Like the majority of collaborations, this shoe came with three lace sets, red, white and grey, and for me, the grey works best, followed by the white lace set.

Check out some detailed shots below and also some on-foot shots.

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