FRESH LACES X HARVEY NICHOLS MANCHESTER
So I'm up early to head to the rainiest city in the UK for a sneaker event at the prestigious Harvey Nichols. To my delight the rain holds off and that's good because Fresh Laces have come from London to bring their own unique idea of a sneaker event for us northerners to sample.
Doors are opened for me as I walk into Harvey Nichols and I'm greeted by a sea of smiley faces and an overwhelming smell of wealth. I pass by the salesmen and women all trying to sell me some expensive aftershave or makeup, neither of which I'm there for, so I apologise politely and head to the 2nd floor.
Slowly moving up the escalators I start to see and hear what I'm in Harvey Nichols for...
Click Read More to read the event review...
I'm not in the room long before I've met Nathan, one of the founders of Fresh Laces, and after only a few minutes of talking he made me feel more than welcome and like he was pleased I was there. That to me is one of the reasons I love this event so much, its personal and more about community than any other event I've been to.
Here is our mini-interview we had with Nathan before the event:
Here is our mini-interview we had with Nathan before the event:
What was the inspiration behind Fresh Laces?
Being a massive sneakerhead I wanted to create an event for like minded passionate sneakerheads like myself. We wanted to bring together a community feel here in the UK and create a Lifestyle event which includes everything that goes hand in hand with the culture, fashion, art & hip-hop like you see in events across the pond.
When you began Fresh Laces, did you anticipate it would take off like it has?
I never thought Fresh Laces would take off as it has! We only started in 10 months ago and the support has been amazing. Ive Met some great people in the sneaker & fashion world, got to work with tons of dope brands and creative minds and hosted Fresh Laces in places like Harvey Nichols and Boxpark. Proud of the progress and looking forward to the future.
What can we expect to see from you and the Fresh Laces team in the Future?
Just more and more dope events and pop-ups. Also our website will be up and running very soon where you can check out everything Fresh Laces from previous events to FL merchandise! Stay tuned for that!
What brands are you currently into/keeping an eye on?
There's so many dope brands out there, I really think the UK is doing massive things in the fashion world right now. I've been rocking London brand BenJArt recently, think they are the next big thing coming out of the Uk. Also I've got into Patta clothing too! A recent trip to Amsterdam just added to that haha.
What was your trainer of the year in 2013, most anticipated drop of 2014 and favourite of all time?
Trainer of the year 2013 is so tuff! We did our Fresh Laces top 10 drops on instagram and our top 3 was New Balance x Sneaker Freaker Tassie Devils, Jordan 4 Fears and number 1 went to Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte ECP pack. They way they dropped with pop up shops was just dope and set the bar, RF and his Kith team done big things in 2013.
So many drops coming in 2014 and sure to be some surprise ones too but I have to say I'm looking forward to the Jordan 6 White Infrareds! Jordan haven't come correct quality wise recently but for a colour-way they are a dope shoe. Leads me to my favourite pair ever which too hard to pick one shoe but the Black Infrared 6s are right up there! Wish they were dropping next week instead of the whites to be honest.
Now on to the sellers...
Elisha Francis London - As a male I'm not the best person to have a opinion on jewellery, but I can appreciate it. For me, Elisha Francis jewellery did not look out of place on a Harvey Nichols shop floor, but I'll let the photos of her collection talk for themselves...
As I make my way down the tables I'm in the midst of the hustle and bustle of sneaker heads and also the general public who found themselves all of a sudden involved in one of the UK's fastest growing sub cultures. But everyone's blending together and that's how Fresh Laces makes itself different from other events - it's accessible to anyone, no ego, no elitist, you don't even have to know what a Huarache is.
Although all of the tables were filled with some serious sneakers, there were a few that stood out for me. 'From Virginia Ben' a Manchester lad who... started from the bottom now he's here.. (Yep, I know who Drake is). I don't know how to describe Ben's work - it's more than a custom shoe design, it's art on footwear. I think it's easy for anyone to paint a sneaker, but it takes a special person to innovate and bring a whole new idea of design to an already booming sneaker market.
Next, and not to be confused with JD sports, is the real King of Trainers. So he's a guy who dresses up like a king and knows some stuff about trainers is what you'd think, but Franklin (King of Trainers) is a one man band when it come to updating his social media followers to whats happening in the sneaker world. Not only that, he is a success story in his own right helping people with business plans and social media. Keep an eye here as a more in depth interview with Franklin is coming soon to Talk Casuals.
It was defintely a case of 'quality not quantity' when it comes to the tables at the Fresh Laces event. Mr Sneaker, Crep Protect, Kicks On The Moon, I Want Your Sole, Sultan Est, Dimension London and of course those the already mentioned above. As well as all this, there was Nathstar, through his exciting career he has proven himself as one of the UK's most diverse and innovative drummers. He's a multi-talented man with a general in-put into all aspects of the music industry. After a few moments of speaking to him, his obvious passion for music shone though. It all stems from his eagerness to do something different! As well as that, he dropped a few names of very well respected artists he has worked with in the past, so its well worth checking this guy out.
A few more pictures here to wet your appetite until the next fresh laces...
I Want Your Sole - a brilliant idea to have your favourite kicks on key rings! Jonathan Bird also has a book which he could put into mass production for all of us to enjoy, personally i loved it, great book to read on the toilet... don't worry he wont be offended by that!
Davo Howarth is a brilliant artist that is obviously influenced by sneaker head culture. I'm not sure these paintings come cheap, but neither do the kicks these days so I'd say it's a worth while investment for any real sneakerhead looking to decorate the part of their walls not blocked by stacks of kicks...
Here is a selection of things that also took my fancy...