|Sneaker Capitals. L.A., New York, London, Paris, Munich, Tokyo?|
you think that Munich doesn’t fit too well into this list of sneaker
capitals you are 100% correct. The question is – does it have to
fit? Is it preferable to be living in a sneaker metropolis? What are
the advantages? What are the disadvantages?
Let us begin with the positive side: there are sneaker specialty stores, the important clothing lines have at least one outlet there (which will get the collaboration models), there is a high number of tourists from sneaker-loving countries that are setting standards in regards of what they are wearing in the street and requesting in the shops, and there is a good chance that you’ll meet people who share your interest and who are more than willing to talk to you about it. There is some sort of a sneaker culture present.
There are negative aspects, as well: everyone knows the sneaker specialty stores, boutiques, and release dates so you have direct competition when ‘hunting’ for a ltd. model, the tourists from sneaker-loving countries often plan their trips in accordance with release dates for ltd. models (= more competition), the bigger market might also draw more resellers to your city (= even more competition), and, finally, the number of releases might not run parallel with your financial capabilities.
What about living in Munich then, a non-sneaker capital. Of course Munich is missing most of the advantages like having sneaker specialty stores or boutiques where the owners are buddies with the street wear dons (Bape, Goodenough, Recon, Stussy, Supreme, etc.). This means no Stussy Huaraches, no Stash Air Maxes, no Supreme Dunks, no Undercover Vans will ever appear in any of the local shops. Not too many tourists from sneaker-loving countries visit Munich and when they do they wouldn’t probably be looking for sneakers. So, no high standards in regards of what they are wearing nor in what they are requesting. And will you meet a lot of people who share your interest? Not in the street, unless you have a couple of weeks time to look for them.
However, there is some sort of a sneaker culture present in Munich. Things are a bit more difficult, though. Most of the sneaker stores here are run by people who either have a business- or sports background. Not many of them will understand why an Atmos (suggested) Air Max 1B might be so appealing. And after doing the math they will probably come to the conclusion that an Air Max Plus will be more profitable – no need to do the phone calls to Nike then. The other sources for sneakers in Munich are fashion stores which have widened their spectrum to sneakers. Problem is, most sneakers that are fashionable in Munich (or Germany) might not correspond with the tastes of a sneaker head. You can literally get hundreds of colours for the Puma Mostro, Speed Cat, and so forth.
Ok, this might not sound too great for Munich. However, there are people who do get what they want and who know where to get it. The fact that ltd. models are not available will let you get more creative. Suddenly you have friends all over the globe, exchanging Euro Footlocker Exclusives for Artist Series. You will make phone calls to Hong Kong and Singapore. You’ll see yourself running to shops that you usually wouldn’t set foot in, to get shoes that you laugh at – because they are so readily available. Not in L.A., New York, or Tokyo though. But the biggest advantage is this one: if Munich ever sees exclusives, there is no need to get hectic. No resellers, no tourists, not too many other sneaker heads in front of you. No lines. If you are lucky (and the model is too bright or unacceptable to the regular buyers) you might even cop a pair at a discount.
Our experiences tell us that it doesn’t really matter where you
live. If you are collecting sneakers you will always find ways to get
the pair you are looking for. Be reasonable, though, and don’t
follow the easiest ways (ebay and resellers). Get connected, travel,
meet people, exchange and trade, and talk to your local stores. Try to
establish a sneaker scene. Get some of your friends to join you. Maybe
your non sneaker captial will become one through your efforts. At beinghunted
here in Munich, we are working on it.
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