Friday, 5th of October 2018, saw a unique event hit Dublin’s, Brown Thomas. The event was set up to showcase some of the latest trends and styles that will be hitting the shelves of Brown Thomas this winter, with a number of models modelling the latest sneakers and clothes from high-end brands like Gucci, Versace, and Off-White, there was also some great style on display by the people with everything from Supreme, Off-White to Gucci and Dublin brand, Diamond Piece. Like all great sneaker events, there was a lot of heat on foot, like the ever so popular Yeezy 700 and various different Off-White X Nike collections all while dining fashionably to champagne and food to offer by Brown Tomas.
The main attraction of the event was undoubtedly the sneaker panel consisting of Baz Ashmawy (sneakerhead & TV personality), Tommy Mallet (Founder of Mallet footwear), Ben Leaver (men’s senior buyer for Kurt Geiger), and Phil Boyle (co-founder of sneaker event Coffee & Kicks). The guys tackled all things sneaker-related and spoke in depth about collaborations, how the internet is changing the game, their personal favourite sneakers and upcoming trends in store.
One of the first topics that came up was inevitably about Kanye and his famous Yeezy line. The panel all agreed that the new Yeezy 700, is by far one of the hottest sneaker drops of the year. It was clear to see that the attendees agreed, as there were multiple pairs of the Yeezy 700 on a show. When asked about Yeezys, Tommy Mallet said that he loves them and loves that they are now widely available, especially after the recent 350 v2 triple white ( “cream” ) restock, however, he states that they have lost their ‘Wow’ factor because everybody wears them and you even see people wearing them as a gym shoe!! Tommy didn’t hold back on the heat, as he wore the brand new Nike x Off White Blazer that released on Wednesday 3rd of October and had a wardrobe change and threw on the Balenciaga Triple S. Check out Tommy’s latest range at https://malletfootwear.com.
Baz was on great form on the night, wearing the Nike React Element 87 in the grey-blue colourway, and shared the details of the first pair of kicks he had that made him fall in love with sneakers. He told the crowd that he picked up a pair of KangaROOS when he was younger that had a pocket on the side and inevitably, where he kept his change. Since then, he has become more of a Nike and Adidas fan and recalled the feeling of trying on a Yeezy for the first time and how it felt like a slipper. Baz talks about pairs that are close to his heart and said that he has a couple of Air Max in his collection, though his kids don’t think they’re cool, he says he will never get rid of them and does what he can to keep them, box fresh.
Without giving too much away, Ben Leaver was able to give great insights into how stores like Brown Thomas choose what stock will be a hit or miss in the coming seasons. Ben also mentioned that brands like Puma and Nike can have samples ready to present to buyers up to two years before the shoe is ready to hit the shelves, which can make the job of predicting trends really difficult for stores. Another thing the Ben noted was the utility and hiking style shoes are making a huge comeback and Nike have a couple of great things up their sleeve.
Phil Boyle, a co-founder of Coffee & Kicks, who was sporting the brand new Pharrell x Adidas Solar Hu Glide, was asked about how the internet is influencing the current sneaker market. Phil explained that Instagram is the trendsetter for what is considered ‘Hype’ these days. Even to the extent that if you see a shoe that you don’t necessarily like, it will keep popping up on your feed or you see your favourite music artist, sports star wearing it, it will end up at a stage where you want to buy it. Phil was also able to give an insight on how brands work when releasing new silhouettes and used a great example of how the Adidas NMD went from being the hottest shoe in the market to be a shoe that sits on shelves in almost every high street retail stores. Phil also made the comparison between the NMD and the new Nike React Element 87 and expects that the React could be Nike’s NMD, saying that they have already released a number of really limited colourways along with a collaboration and have introduced a cheaper model, the React Element 55, which leads us to believe that we could be seeing a lot of this style over the coming year with the model becoming more accessible in the near future.
The event was really well received by all in attendance and it was again proof that sneaker culture in Ireland is exploding right now.
Stores like Brown Thomas and Nowhere; releasing more and more high-profile sneakers and fashion, there is, certainly no signs of it slowing any time soon.