Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Weekender: Twin Cities Snearker and Art Exchange

This past weekend, Studiiyo23 hosted the second Twin Cities Sneaker and Art Exchange at the Cabooze in Minneapolis. The event- , hosting local streetwear bands, sneaker heads, and music artists, was an all ages gathering - complete with food vendor, dj and perpetrators - like myself (so maybe just one perpetrator then). See what I mean and find out who was in the building and what went down.....More readin' ahead....

I must confess, I own exponentially more heels than sneakers. I am just beginning to learn about sneaker culture and what makes enthusiasts tick. But, if you've been around this blog for a while, you know street wear is my thing and Studiiyo23 is my spot and music is cool and people are  awesome - all of that was in one place so I was all for it.

Sneakers galore plus some more. Rhymed. Boom.
I made a couple of observations while at the event. Firstly, in talking to some of the collectors and enthusiasts at the TCSAX, I really wanted to know what made them collect and what about the culture interests them. What I found was that it wasn't only the design of the footwear but, also, the stories behind it. Much like the brands I enjoy, every edition of shoe has a story, and an inspiration behind it. It's about connection to that as much as it is about style.

Secondly, no one is ever allowed to harass ladies about their shoe obsessions ever again. Ever-never-no-more. I admit, I have a hefty collection, but I can't hold a candle to these fellas. I spoke with one collector who had somewhere around 250 pairs of shoes. 250! And I'm pretty sure that's a modest display. If I counted up all my heels/sneakers/boots/wedges - there would be .... well I don't know how many there would be - but the number is certainly not in triple digits. I guess I have some catching up to do.

Here are some of the good folks I ran into and the stories they told:

Create Karma

You've seen this brand on the blog before - it's one of my favorites. Not only do they create quality gear - they also give back. Sponsored by Overproof Printing, all proceeds from their limited edition pink Create Karma tee (top left picture) are donated to breast cancer research. All of 'em ya'll. Get it while the gettin' is good!!


Good Brand. Good people. I don't want to give too much away because you may see one of these faces pop up again soon...but DL is all about the urban mover and shaker. If you dig a classic, but fun and grounded vibe - you dig DriftLine. This brand is a consistent presence in the city, always providing events that give young up-and-comers opportunities to make meaningful connections.


If you live in a tundra-like place, such as Minneapolis, you know how important the proper head gear is. Blake, creator of the company and HKIC - Head Knitter In Charge (that's right...dude hand knits these hats. I was impressed), and I had a chance to speak a little bit. Though one dream of his was deterred, he took the opportunity to create another one - Frosty. Resilience, always a good look.

Organic Reach

New brand Organic Reach is all about bringing the global community together through fashion and art. I had a chance to feel the organic cotton shirts they carry - they feel like buttah ya'll. In addition, they also donate to local organizations that further their mission of cultural understanding. A great mission and off to a great start.

Ryan Fors Design

Ryan Fors was one of the few artists there, but he represented well. His work really speaks for itself. Not your usual sports themed pictures, there's more depth and interest to his renderings. Though much of what was show at the exchange was sports related, he does a lot of other work as well. Check out his site, see what I mean.

Shepherd Goods

This was my first encounter with Shepherd Goods, a Christian streetwear brand. I'm so glad I found out about them! Honestly, it is hard to find good Christian brands - typically people just get a random sweatshirt and stick a gigantic scripture reference on it and call it style. Not so, my friends, not so. Shepherd Goods seems to take more care with it's streetwear standing - thinking about branding, design and color story. I'm really excited to see what they do in the future.


Of course, Studiiyo23 was in the house - because, ya' know, it was the store's event - so it only makes sense. Bringing a vast wealth of sneakers (refer to sneakers galore photo) along with a group of local artists to the stage - the store, yet again, proves why it is a staple in the urban community. You really can't go wrong with a good mix of style, art, and music. Plus bringing the people together for a common event and cause is always appreciated - providing a place to share our stories, the ones that live in us and through our style.

So now that you've seen the peeps - what brands intrigue you?  Are you part of sneaker culture? What is it about the culture that draws you in? Speak on it!

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