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London Sneaker School: A Sneaker Revolution

Sneaker popularity over the last ten years has expanded at an unprecedented rate and now, what started out as a subculture intertwined with music, sport and skateboarding has blown up into a leading economic industry. At the same time, we live in an age of growing creativity amongst young people, where individuals want to create and learn about processes which may result in their favourite pair of shoes. Luckily for us, learning these skills is no longer out of reach, as professionals of the art have moved in a more transparent direction when it comes to sharing their knowledge.

In a movement which began primarily in the US, sneakerheads now have the opportunity to have hands-on experience in the process of shoemaking by deconstructing and reconstructing iconic kicks. For the first time, this once in a lifetime experience is available in the UK as of last week. London Sneaker School (LSS) is the collaborative effort of a team with over 15 years of shoemaking experience, founded this year by Jase Cooper and Thomas Rowe (pictured below). Their aim is to develop LSS into a platform which teaches people about the ins and outs of sneaker assembly while bridging the gap between product and consumer. For the most part, the sneakers we wear on our feet are manufactured thousands of miles away on the other side of the world. This is something which the team at LSS are attempting to overcome, believing that “bringing production closer to home opens up new opportunities for creativity and expression by understanding our sneakers on a new level”.

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How it works.

London Sneaker School will be offering a range of five-day intensive shoemaking courses, the dates and details of which being posted on their Instagram (@londonsneakerschool). The first course has already been announced and has sold out, due to take place on the 22nd of June 2020. This first set of students will learn how to make a pair of Nike Air Max 1’s using a range of modern and traditional techniques under the guidance of experts at LSS. The classes are kept to a maximum of four students per shoemaker in an effort to maximise your time shared with the professionals. A range of leathers and materials are available to use in order to craft your ideal pair of Air Max 1’s, allowing a substantial level of customisation creativity. At the end of the five-day course, you will have learnt how to use tools and machinery, gained a knowledge of the processes as well as go home with your own 1 of 1 Air Max 1’s!

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Whether you’re an experienced sneaker customiser or a novice enthusiast, you will be catered for at LSS. The courses accommodate for everyone, so previous skill or experience is not required whatsoever! If you’re looking to deepen your footwear industry knowledge, start your own brand and want more insight or just want your own handcrafted sneakers, their courses are for you.

The sneaker making courses offered at LSS are available for the price of £1700, which can be paid upfront or in instalments over three months. When comparing the price to other similar programmes, this course is one of the more economical if you consider what you get out of the five days. One similar programme was introduced by popular sneaker customer and designer, The Shoe Surgeon, in 2018. His courses were based in Los Angeles and cost $3,000 (around £2,460), a substantially higher price than that at LSS. The Nike Bespoke programme is another sneaker customisation outlet costing £1,000 and allows you to design your own Air Max 1 or Air Force 1’s. The programme enables you to get up close and personal with materials, patterns and colour pallets. However, the Bespoke programme does not teach you how to craft your own sneakers, instead, you design them and Nike put them together for you! Furthermore, NikeLab is no longer offering Bespoke appointments in London, meaning it is only available in the US. Today, London Sneaker School have announced their next course dates. Their follow up session will take place on the 10th of August 2020 at their workshop in Hackney, London.

For more information on LSS, their next course dates and how to get involved, follow the link below to their website. I have also linked their Instagram account down below so you can stay up to date.

London Sneaker School online – www.londonsneaker.school

London Sneaker School Instagram – instagram.com/londonsneakerschool 

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COVID-19 Relief

With the ongoing pandemic, many of our favourite sneaker and streetwear brands have come together in an effort to provide aid to the healthcare systems around the world. Healthcare systems worldwide have become strained with the overwhelming consequences of COVID-19. Here is what they are doing to help and how you can contribute.

The well-known sneaker and streetwear reselling platform, StockX, has been busy setting up numerous raffle-based sales in an effort to raise money for COVID-19 relief. The platform is donating 90% of all proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets towards the fight against the pandemic. Headlines were made this week when rap legend Eminem got on board, donating a pair of his elusive Carhartt x Eminem Air Jordan 4’s. The collaboration came about in 2015 to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Shady Records and pairs were auctioned off on eBay for charity. On secondary markets, pairs of Eminem’s Jordan 4’s have reached well over $10,000 but StockX is now offering a pair for the small amount of $10 with purchase of a raffle ticket. Only one pair is to be raffled off in a size US10.5 (UK9.5) and you can donate and enter the raffle by clicking the link. Good luck!

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Slim Shady’s Air Jordan 4’s are not the only bit of heat in StockX’s charity raffle. There are numerous pairs available for the same price of $10 a ticket. These include; a signed pair of Ludacris WHO x Puma Clydes, StockX Jordan 3’s, Sacai x Nike LD Waffles and many more. You can buy up to 1,000 tickets per auction so what are you waiting for, the bigger the donation the better. Follow the link above to donate to any of the StockX relief raffles.

Supreme is famous for its simplistic box logo design, only producing one product a season with the distinguished box logo on the front. In 2011, Supreme released the ‘Japan Relief’ box logo T-shirt, proceeds of which went towards assisting the earthquake and tsunami victims in Asia. This year with the devastating pandemic in full force, Supreme released another relief themed box logo to provide aid to healthcare facilities. The brand teamed up with Takashi Murakami to produce a very memorable box log T-shirt, one which incorporated the contemporary artists’ acclaimed flower design. The T-shirts released towards the end of April and were exclusive to the U.S. and Canada with the aim of raising $1,000,000 for COVID-19 relief. As you can imagine, people were upset that it wasn’t a worldwide drop as consumers in Europe and Asia were denied the chance to get one and donate. This is probably one of the most desirable Supreme box logos ever.

gq april 2020 supreme releasing covid relief tee

Yesterday another streetwear heavyweight, Palace Skateboards, dropped three items aiming to raise money for the health services. Palace has a deep-rooted London heritage, meaning the money raised from the drop went to the National Health Service in the U.K. The three items all feature the brand’s Triferg logo, with the letters changed from ‘Palace’ to ‘National Health Service’ in a collection dubbed ‘NHS TRI-TO HELP’. The drop consisted of a white hoodie, a short-sleeved and a long-sleeved T-shirt each with a light blue triferg, referencing the NHS logo. As you would expect, the drop was an instant sell-out and it is now hard to find any piece from the collection if you didn’t manage to secure yours. This is due to many reselling platforms and groups banning secondary selling of charitable items.

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In an effort to combat the scarcity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), many companies have changed their production to the manufacture of face masks and other PPE equipment. At the forefront of this change is New Balance, the first sneaker manufacturer to make this extreme but crucial transition. Working with medical professionals, New Balance has created a face mask for general use to be used by healthcare workers in the field. Their goal is to produce 100,000 units of the FDA approved masks every week, with coordination from authorities for distribution purposes. NB has now also moved into the production of gowns, foot coverings and other protective equipment in the fight against Coronavirus.

These are just some examples of how our favourite brands have been helping during these pressing times. But of course, it’s not just the big corporations that can help. Anyone can donate to support those in need whether that’s through one of the charity raffles listed above, giving money directly to your local health services or volunteering.  Below I’ve left a few charities which you can donate to right now! Thank you to all the Healthcare and Key workers keeping the world afloat!

Stay home and stay safe everyone @CrepCultureBlog

NHS Charities Together 

Captain Tom Moore

Oxfam Coronavirus Emergency Response Appeal