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It’s the 26th July, I’m wandering around Brick Lane, already feeling the crazy heat even at 11am, trying to find an entrance for Crepe City. It’s no use, I can see through full windows of what looks like a square building, but there’s no doors, instead the doors are replaced window pane after window pane. The other side of the windows? Heat, serious numbers of heat as the Crepe City queue stretches back and forth, there truly is an insane amount of people waiting to get inside what is an absolute must-see event for any sneakerhead. Just as I was giving up, one phone call later and we’re in. We’re inside, finally and our first thoughts? ‘My god it’s hot in here!’ Then we saw the stalls, and the stalls, and the stalls, and even more stalls. Around that corner? You guessed it, more stalls. The heat quickly became a concern of the past, my main concern now was what the hell am I going to spend my money on?
The 11th Crepe City was held at The Old Truman Brewery and the incredibly large venue was transformed once again into a sneakerheads Mecca. The eclectic Brick Lane was a perfect fit for #11 to take place and it was only once my panic of not finding an entrance wore off that it hit me how much of an incredible location this is. As I mentioned, the sun was shining brightly on us and it wasn’t the only one who brought some serious heat. This mammoth sized celebration clearly took priority in a lot of peoples calendars after seeing the punters in the queue enter the venue.
Crepe City featured over 200 stalls of the rarest sought-after sneakers and urban apparel. The Brewery was no longer a blank canvas; it was a myriad of urban lifestyle markets and quite possibly a greenhouse (I think I mentioned it was hot?) But that didn’t stop sneakerhead disciples browsing through the runway of never ending stalls of sneaker gems with an ice cold Red Stripe in one hand and wafting a leaflet with their other hand. With prices starting from a mere £20 soaring up to four figures for desired deadstock, the ambiance was electric, everyone trying there hardest to get first pickings on what was for sale. Fashion followers, sneak lovers and shopaholics were in graceful conversation about what they were here to cop. The atmosphere was truly inviting, the Crepe City team had created a sense of community, a sneakerhead family at one and that is something the entire Crepe City team deserve an awful lot of credit for.
The Old Truman Brewery became home to the buy/sell/trade vendors. There was certainly an all-sorts mix of sneakers, from exclusive vintage 80’s Nikes to an exhibition dedicated entirely to Jordans to guys and girls sporting giants like New Balance x Ronnie Fieg Daytona and Reebok Classics. One of the nicest parts of the day was to see an admiration for other peoples heat and to see the acknowledgements and appreciation shared throughout. Some of our favourite sellers made a continuing appearance at #11, such as The Inherited Shop, Prmstore, WellGosh.com, and 6ACRE. Another stall, Ropes Laces, who we are huge fans of, provide a fresh way to revive your sneakers with a selection of colours of ropes and their newest drop, flats! The Crepe City guys definitely carried out some diverse sourcing and hosted numerous independent top street-wear brands, with snapbacks by Modu and sportswear by ADYN. A truly inspired mix of both garments and kicks.
Crepe City went all out for the ladies too, an area that is often all too forgotten by the male sneakerheads. However with Queen of Trainers and Aprils Kicks, there was an array of sneaks, as well as having an individual girls area, which included re-worked and vintage jewellery. Something I, and I’m sure every other chick in the place loved!
If anyone struggled to find the Brewery, much like myself and my editor, after being distracted by the countless pop-up shops Shoreditch has to offer (and the lack of doors), Ropes had the chief idea for navigation. They threw some sweet artwork of laces down on the walls of the venue, so you knew you were heading in the right direction! They proved far more helpful than maps on my iPhone. Brick Lane truly went hand in hand with Crepe City bringing aspects of art and lifestyle together. I found my eyes drift left, right, and centre at some of the distinctive East London street art. So many side streets and lanes lead to more exploration, every which way you turned there was an appealing piece by D*face, Invader and our boy Ackers (Sheffield’s Kid Acne who has covered a previous Crepe City Venue, the Village Underground), all of which are artists who are clearly notoriously celebrated here. It almost feels like you are trudging through an open-air art gallery of paste-ups. The street artists of Shoreditch have without question honed the area. It really is a renowned place for me to find all kinds of hidden treasures to clutter my house some more.
Brick Lane is well known for supporting emerging artists and upcoming labels. A Number of Names held their huge sample sale just below Crepe City, offering the biggest names in street-wear for pocket money prices. Gourmet footwear stacked high along with rails full of Human Made, Bape, Billionaire Boys Club and more. Peeling my fingers from the hangers of sweaters was the hardest part of my day; the heat inside I could just about cope with (it was insanely hot though!) but not this early A/W wardrobe temptation. Finding the sample sale, and a door leading to fresh air, was a bonus. Especially as punters were congregating outside in the raw sunshine to simply ‘cool down’.
The majority had dug out their best kicks to rock in the Shoreditch sunshine. And what better way to enjoy this sunny day than with the CC family and friends. I was spoilt for choice stepping out of the venue, as there was a series of powerfully flavoured, gourmet street-food stalls a few feet away, right in the midst of the surrounding street art. Brick Lane is famous for its all-over-the-world foods; it ensures no shortages of snacks while you get lost in the eccentric history. There was such a variety of quality, which was served with genuine passion. It was definitely one place for me to get reacquainted with Brick Lanes bustling food culture scene and providing a gentle reminder that no other city in the country can compete with this.
After a brief break we headed back to Crepe City and with clear heads we realised the event proved to be more than just a main focus on sneakers. Throughout the year, there have been various styles of sneaker art developing and becoming more popular, artwork from some very talented kick enthusiasts had groups of fans memorized with their unique work up close. Our friend Stephanie Morris had her growing collection of ornate, hand drawn sneaker sketches on display for us to gawp at while she worked away on her next clear-cut piece. Puma showcased a selection of upcoming future Disc releases, one of which I am itching to cop come October! While Jason Markk freshened up your much-loved worn sneak with their cleaning stall, you could check out the live sneaker customisations.
Inside The Old Truman Brewery the killer beats helped liven everybody up after the heat had seemingly drained all energy from every soul in the place. At times they also supplied a relaxed vibe for a sweet blend of an all day bar (for our dehydrated needs), cultural infused premium street food, giveaways and all round good conversation. You could feel the friendships being built between the community of street-wear shepherd’s.
Despite the crazy heat (have I mentioned that it was hot? I have right!? OH MY GOD IT WAS SO HOT!!!) Crepe City successfully hosted a supreme, elite sneaker and lifestyle event by renovating the setting into an underground market, a true sneakerheads paradise. A huge amount of work was put in by the team not just to pull the event together and fan us down but to bring old and new faces together on that one day, for sharing thoughts and catching up and belonging to something extraordinary. That is what makes going to Crepe City worthwhile, to be a part of something that you know others just do not get. From what Kolekto has heard the CC crew already have bigger plans for number 12 and personally I cannot wait for the next soiree!
As ever with our coverage of lifestyle events we’ve managed to capture it on camera, so enjoy our recap video below.
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