Over the weekend Alin and myself decided to check out the “2014 Michigan Sneaker XChange” held at the ‘Ultimate Soccer Arena’ located in Pontiac, MI. The event was founded a year ago by 15 year old Jake Schreier. This is his fourth expo, this time along with friends Juan Neal, Drew English, and Adam Shapiro. This was my first time attending a sneaker expo or anything like this so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. But immediately something caught my attention.
On one hand you had dudes looking like they just came from doing a video for their latest rap album and walking in behind them was a sheltered looking suburban kid with his parents. If you were the type of person who created assumptions about a person simply by looking at them and how they dressed you would’ve constantly had your mind blown. You had kids, who were as young as grade school age, negotiating deals. You had middle aged adults, who’ve grown up loving sneakers, showing off their collections. It truly was a melting pot and it was surreal knowing that a pair sneakers brought this diverse group of people together. All for their love of the gym shoe.
Now of course, being a sneakerhead myself, I instantly grew euphoric being amidst all of the sneaker collections presented. As soon as I walked in I ran into Jumpmanbostic and his collection. If you don’t know, Jumpmanbostic owns one of the biggest collections of Air Jordan’s. He wasn’t selling, he was simply showcasing. Giving each individual who came by a story about each shoe. But he wasn’t the only one there with an impressive collection. You had Retro Randy there with boxes stacked almost to the ceiling. Drew English, one fourth of the group that threw this whole thing together, had a crazy collection showcased in the back corner of the arena. Very rarely do I get jealous. I’m not going to say I was jealous but that day I wished I wore a size 10 in sneakers.
The biggest surprise came from a short unassuming older gentleman who I assumed was someone’s lost grandfather. His collection was so sick there was a paramedic on standby near his table just in case. For a minute I thought he was a University of Oregon alum because of all the exclusive Oregon sneakers he had. The Oregon foams, the Duck Jordan 5s with the green suede, the Oregon Jordan 3’s just to name a few. And if you weren’t already drooling over that then he had some ‘Marty McFly’s’ and the ‘Legends of Summer’ Air Jordan 1’s for you. Once again there was a medic on standby. There was a nice gathering of local Detroit sneakerheads and their collections and this was only their second year throwing this event. From what I saw Saturday it’ll only get bigger.
Not only were there people showing off their collections but you also had local clothing brands showing off their apparel. To name a few you had the ‘Loose Cannon Lifestyle’ brand. ‘F.S.C.L. Clothes’. ‘Hood Hustla Streetwear’. ‘Rock ‘Em Apparel’. And one of my favorites, ‘Bearded’ (quick side note, as if to drive the point home the guy selling the shirts was in fact BEARDED). Even Malaki from ‘SnapBax.com’, located in Farmington, MI, was there showing off his vintage Detroit Sports hat collection. There was a lot to be proud of as a native Detroiter seeing all of the young entrepreneurs establishing their brands. Also there were local ‘customs’ designers showcasing their works of art one of which, Billy, will be designing something special on my carmine Jordan 6’s. Didn’t see El Cappy but he’s also working on a couple of my sneakers, so stay tuned.
All in all I was impressed at the size of the event. Yeah it was their fourth event but they’ve only been around for one year and each event they throw the crowd keeps getting larger and larger. I am definitely looking forward to the next ‘Michigan Sneaker XChange’ and the types of crowds that it will attract. Even more so I’m looking forward to the rare sneakers being showcased and the people behind the collections. With all of the negativity plaguing the metro Detroit area in the last couple of years it’s refreshing to see something like this create a silver lining through the dark clouds, or maybe it was just the 3M reflecting off of someone’s shoes. Michigan Sneaker XChange; sneakerheads united.