When I rejoined Sneaker Freaker in July of 2014 I was involved in the operations of Sneakerness, Europe’s largest sneaker convention. While I didn’t play a part in the planning of Sneakerness Paris I was put in charge of organising the website as well as planning Sneaker Freaker’s appearance at the show.
Ironically, I had never been to a Sneakerness convention before even though the arguably most successful Sneakerness takes place in my hometown of Cologne every year since I got into the sneaker game. But somehow I always managed not to be home when it took place.
The plan was to promote and sell the original Sneaker Freaker Magazine in Paris. The idea of creating a special French edition just for the show was also discussed, for which my French skills would have been in demand. Unfortunately the Australians did not approve of the idea and the project was scrapped.
Nevertheless I picked out all of the English magazines we had at the office in preparation for our trip to Paris, as well as stickers, promo pens and other stuff we had lying around the office for our booth.
We left on Thursday 4 September and took the company van to drive to Paris. It took us a little longer than we had liked, having run into traffic, so we were all exhausted when we finally got to the hotel. We had a bit of trouble parking the van, since Paris is not suited for big vehicles, but we eventually found a car park that could accommodate our Fiat Ducato.
While the hotel was not the best (the bathroom door that couldn’t open without hitting the fixed baggage rack being the mandatory Ibis Hotel imperfection) the neighbourhood was picturesque – it was located by a promenade alongside le Canal de Saint-Denis. The adjacent streets were narrow and filthy, the café on the corner was frequented by French hipsters and the man seated by the canal with a fishing rod next to a sign that said “pêche interdit” (fishing not permitted) was the icing on the cake – beautiful!
The next morning we headed to the Centquatre cultural centre were Sneakerness Paris was going to take place. I was in charge of setting up our booth. The location in the venue was perfect, right where people would make a U-Turn and devote all their attention to our stand.
On Saturday 6 September the event finally kicked off. Long lines had formed way before the doors were actually opened. Part of the reason was the release of the Sneakerness x Puma XT2 “Parisian Lights” of which 150 pairs would be sold exclusively at Sneakerness Paris. As part of the team I managed to get my hands on a pair. I’ll tell you more about them in my next Sneaker Spotlight.
Our Sneaker Freaker booth turned out to be a great success. Part of our setup was a photo wall where people could take pictures for freebies. An instant photo print machine that would print out polaroids of Instagram posts tagged with #donnedesailes and #sneakernessparis was also close by making our booth a popular destination at Sneakerness Paris.
Another highlight was the one-of-one SF Flux, a promo sample of the miadidas ZX Flux with a Sneaker Freaker sticker collage photo print upper. Given the Trademark regulations of the miZXFlux App the shoe could not be replicated.
Sneakerness Paris was a wonderful experience. The event itself was massive with the amount of shoes and “hype shit” put on display and offered for sale – mostly for exorbitant price tags that I could/would never pay. I did manage to get some great deals though, like my SPoT x Nike SB Dunk High “Cigars” for Retail and the aforementioned “Parisian Lights”.
It was great returning to my forbidden city that was the scene for many unpleasant childhood memories – which include missing out on the Star Wars x Adidas Top Ten Low “Droids” – and I look forward to the next one.
Make sure to check back on Sunday for my Sneaker Spotlight on the Sneakerness x Puma XT2 “Parisian Lights”.