Sole Bloc

Last August, the people of Scotland descended on the SWG3 venue in the West End of Glasgow for Sole Bloc, Scotland's first ever sneaker festival, and for Summer 2016, Sole Bloc was back for it's second event, and it was sure to be even better than the last one.

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You'll have to forgive me though, as I had absolutely zero work commitments for a change, so the photos are few and far between, but if you're ever in doubt about attending, hopefully the small selection of images below will be enough to convince you to go! Also be sure to check out my write up from last year's event here.

Now it may not be the biggest event in comparison to others in the UK, or have the widest selection of sneakers, and what not, but I'll tell you one thing, you will NOT find a better atmosphere at another sneaker event than you will at Sole Bloc.

Nothing better than being able to attend a sneaker event to hang out with your mates, grab a beer, and chat sneakers and everything else. Shout out to the guys involved with Sole Bloc for giving us an event to do that at, legends.

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Crepe City 15

A couple of weeks have passed since the fifteenth instalment of Crepe City, and as always the Crepe City team absolutely killed the event. This was my eighth Crepe City event and all eight have been located at the Truman Brewery which is just off Brick Lane in London's Shoreditch.

Each event seems to get bigger and bigger with Crepe City utilising more rooms than ever, but CC15 finally saw the return of the large room upstairs, a 22,000 sq ft room which was last seen at CC11.

It didn't just stop at that room though, as the other rooms upstairs - T2, T3, T4, and T5, were also absolutely packed to the brim with trainers, streetwear, accessories, vintage clothing, customisers, sneaker cleaners, and much much more.

This event was a little different for me though, as rather than just taking some pictures and socialising, Hanon Shop and Diadora had come together to launch our third collaboration on the Diadora B.Elite which was limited to only 50 pairs, with 30 of them being made for sale exclusively at Crepe City, and the other 20 being for friends and family.

A real testament to the Crepe City event itself, the team who are behind it, and just how far they've come that they have stores and brands dropping such low quantity collaborations at their events.

Be sure to check out some of my images below, and stay tuned to @crepecity on Instagram for more!

 

Sneakerness Warsaw

Warsaw's edition of Sneakerness was definitely the perfect event to pop my Sneakerness cherry, and a big shout out to all the great people who worked tirelessly to pull off the third Sneakerness in Warsaw. Although the Warsaw edition isn't the biggest out of all the Sneakerness events, it certainly had all bases covered, whether that was from shoes for sale such as recent releases, collaborations, vintage pairs, or the combination of good music, free entry, and even the cookies & cream ice cream which was on offer, all the necessary boxes were checked.

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I spoke with many of the guys about how the "culture" compared to other places in Europe, and they certainly feel that in Poland, it isn't as big as somewhere like the UK or Germany, but it is definitely on the rise, and in the next few years, I'm sure it will reach new heights.

First off, before I even get into the shoes, let's take a moment to look at the venue, because this place is pretty spectacular.

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The Palace of Culture and Science (or in Polish: Pałac Kultury i Nauki), is the tallest building in Poland and the eighth tallest building in the European Union, standing at a whopping 758ft tall.

The event was held within a relatively small room inside the Palace, but I think it was the perfect fit for sure, and created a great vibe across both days. It was good to go to a trainer event and either not be able to hear yourself talk because of the over the top loud music, or not have enough space to even lift your arms from your sides.

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Entering the event after paying absolutely nothing due to the free admission (definitely a nice touch), and getting some more freebies, you were greeted with Crep Protect, who had a cleaning booth setup, with Puma on the right hand side displaying some new models.

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The layout of the room had brands and stores around the outside in small sort of alcove areas, with the private sellers located in the middle, which was extremely easy to navigate. The Warsaw edition saw brands like Reebok who were focussing on their collaboration with Maison Kitsuné, and also New Balance, who had a spectacular presentation of the "Real Ale Pack" and "Napes Pack". The New Balance presentation was obviously the star of the show for me.

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There was also DC Shoes, Supra and Etnies, as well as stores such as Sneakers by Distance, Worldbox, Dots, Sneaker Studio and Lithuanian based SIL, who all brought something unique to the event.

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All credit to the event organisers, the brands, the stores, the private sellers, and everyone who passed through that door on Saturday and Sunday, the event would not have been as successful as it was without all those guys, and extremely proud to see my good friend's rewarded with such a great event.

Also, big shout to all those who turned out for that crazy afterparty, a night to remember in Warsaw!

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Sole Bloc - Scotland's first sneaker festival.

It had been long overdue, but finally, on the 1st of August 2015, Scotland had it's first ever sneaker festival - Solebloc, held in Glasgow, and it was an absolute banger. The event itself was held at the excellent SWG3, a warehouse in Glasgow's West End, and was the best setting for the event.

With months of planning, and many more months of talk about actually doing the event, there was quite a lot of apprehension in the air, but because of the consistently brilliant work from three of the most hard working guys I know - Rob, Al, and Mark, the event was a blinding success.

Even the typical Scottish weather wasn't going to be able to rain on our parade that weekend.

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First events aren't always expected to be a huge success, but with names like hanon shop, Main Source, Schuh, Ropes Laces, Angelus, Solegrain, Stance Socks, Forty Clothing, Abandon Ship, a number of names, Fat Buddha Store, Transalpino, Manifesto, Lace Jam, 80's Casuals, Red Bull, and our very own Sneakers ER and NB Gallery, as well as all the private sellers, it truly did seem like Sole Bloc had everything covered.

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My absolute undivided attention was given to our NB Gallery Exhibition which was held in the most perfect room on the second floor of SWG3, where we showcased over 250 pairs of New Balance in a unique pyramid style. You can check out some of the highlights below, but jump over the a full run down of NB Gallery @ Sole Bloc here. I must extend a big thanks to all of our friends who helped put on the exhibition, namely Blair Massari, Mark Watson, and Sean Taylor for providing their shoes, as well as Arkadiusz Skolak, and the rest of the guys who put in a good shift of building IKEA units and making copious amounts of NB boxes. It was all greatly appreciated, truly.

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Moving on from NB Gallery but not too far away, we had Sneakers ER out in the hallway of the second floor, where Rob himself put in an absolute shift answering any and every question put to him about all your cleaning and restoration needs. He even showed us all how good at multitasking he is, by not only being on hand to answer questions, but also on hand to demonstrate the full capabilities of the Sneakers ER product.

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It didn't end there though, if you were convinced by the product, then all you had to do was head down to the ground floor and grab yourself some of the product which they had for sale in the first room.

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Another attraction of the event which really has to get a mention is the sheer generosity from the guys at hanon shop, who held a lottery for three of their favourite collaborations, with all proceeds being donated to CLAN Cancer Support in Aberdeen, Scotland. Over £1700 was raised and donated, a pretty special gesture from the hanon shop team if I do say so myself.

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Without sounding like a broken record, the event had a great vibe all day, even when the heavens opened, this didn't dampen the spirits of everyone at the event. A really awesome day was had, and this wouldn't have been possible without every single person that attended, so thanks to all the old and new faces who swung through on the day! Thanks to the organisers, the sellers, the DJs, the bar staff, the food vendors, the helpers, every last one of you. You guys are the shit!

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New Balance Real Ale Event

The last Wednesday of July, as NB Gallery, we headed to Cockermouth, a town in Cumbria, England, for the official global launch of the New Balance Real Ale Pack, and boy was it good. The hospitality over the few days that we were there was absolutely faultless, big big shout to all those involved for nailing the event. The plan was to arrive in Cockermouth and check into the Allerdale Court Hotel, easily one of the nicest hotels I've stayed in - rooms, bar, breakfast, and staff all excellent, and in the perfect spot in this lovely Lake District town. Fashionably late, we arrived, checked in, and were greeted by a NB Welcome Pack filled with goodies, such as a pair of the Real Ale CT300's, beer mats, ale, NB USB, and our intinerary for the next few days.

We then made our way up the road to the Trout Hotel, where there was a buffet and drinks laid on in the Derwent Restaurant, and we caught up with old faces, and met plenty of new ones, and talked footwear, and drank beer into the early hours of the morning.

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Sucking it up the next morning, with a bottle of water in hand, we passed on the morning run as sport and hangovers don't mix, and instead chilled with some breakfast before being picked up outside our hotel by an amazing vintage styled bus which would take us to the New Balance Flimby Factory. Upon arriving at the Flimby Factory, we were taken to the conference room were the Real Ale Pack was on display, along with some of the team's favourite past NB releases. We watched the Real Ale Pack promotion video, and then were taken on a guided tour of the factory, which will never ever not be amazing.

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Upon completion of the factory tour, we were treated to a question and answer session with some of the NB team, again, just one of the amazing things on the intinerary. It's always great to get the opportunity to ask these guys questions, and gain an insight into what they get up to working for NB.

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To conclude the morning, a quick jaunt in the factory shop, before hopping back on the bus and heading to the Bitter End Pub in Cockermouth for some lunch!

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Treated to fish and chips at the quaint little Bitter End Pub up a tight side street in Cockermouth, we then took the opportunity to grab ourselves one of the allotted times to have some personal one-to-one interview time with the NB team at the Allerdale Court Hotel. Myself and Arek of Suede&Mesh came together for our interview slot, and you can find the full write up of the interview here.

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As myself, Rob, and Arek managed to secure the 1500, 576, and CT300, we decided to go explore Cockermouth a little to find some nice spots to take some shots of the pack, and you can see these shots below.

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So you're wondering where the Real Ale part of the pack comes in, right? Well, Thursday evening was set aside to head over to Jennings Brewery where we were given a guided tour of the brewery and learned how traditional British ale is brewed. A big shout out has to go to our guide Sharon, who was both extremely knowledgeable and welcoming throughout, awesome job.

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What is there to do after a guided tour of a brewery? Well, eat some food and try out the ale that is brewed there, served straight out of the Ale Bar at Jennings.

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I must admit, when I first seen the itinerary for the event, one of the things I was looking forward to the most was the NB Pub Quiz. Honestly, I'm not competitive, I swear... After being cheated out (not really) of a 'who can lace the shoe the fastest' competition (mine were perfect, no joke), it was time for our 'NB Gallery' round. In all honesty, our questions were both a little ridiculous and a little hard, but it made for good entertainment anyway. The scores were totalled up, and our team, the 'Chosen Few' were overall winners, with only something like three points separating the teams. We were presented with this lovely engraved tankard, a really neat prize for sure. Big shout to the quiz master Joe who done a solid job!

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More beer and laughs followed, and then sadly it was time to depart Jennings Brewery, but we headed back to the Trout Hotel to continue where we left off.

It has to be said, New Balance really know how to put on an event. Some of the best people, plenty of food and drink, too many laughs, and just excellent hospitality all round. Big props to all those involved!

NB Gallery @ SoleBloc

For the SoleBloc event in Glasgow on August 1st 2015, with New Balance Gallery being official sponsors, we decided to create a showcase of New Balance footwear, along with various pieces of New Balance memorabilia. Our aim was to have something for everyone, covering all things New Balance, with 250+ pairs, from vintage models, to collaborations, to the most recent releases. There was to be many shoes on display from some of New Balance’s most well know collaboration partners, such as the complete set of Hanon Shop shoes, and shoes from Solebox, SNS, and Crooked Tongues, as well as never before seen samples.

We never anticipated that our exhibit would turn out the way it did when we started setting up on Friday, but we are extremely happy with the outcome, and with the reaction of those who attended the event.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures, because there's lots of them!

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As well as the main display, we had a number of cabinets surrounding it, so here are some pictures detailing what was inside.

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Also, thanks to my good friends Mark Watson and Sean Taylor for providing me with the full New Balance x Solebox 1500 set which was absolutely amazing to have on display.

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With New Balance stepping back into the football world, we felt it was necessary to have some football boots on display, as well as the most recent Visario pair, thanks to Joe Connolly for letting us borrow them.

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The third and final cabinet was used as just a mixture of everything and anything, including some stunning vintage New Balance 997's.

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The space at SWG3 which we used for the exhibition was absolutely perfect, and there was a particularly good view from the roof.

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We provided everyone who swung past the event with an in person look at the recent New Balance MD1500 Deconstructed Size? Exclusives, and thanks to Krate&Co for supplying some boxes.

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With over 250+ shoes on display, we didn't want all the pairs to get lost in the pictures of the full exhibition, so take a look at some detailed pics of various pairs that were on display below.

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New Balance and Celtic FC Kit Launch

Many years ago, New Balance gear was seen regularly on the football field, and footballing greats such as Bryan Robson wore New Balance boots, but 2015 was to be the year that the brand would take a giant leap back into the footballing world. First, New Balance announced that they would be sponsoring a number of players, including Tim Cahill, Vincent Kompany, Alvaro Negredo, Adnan Januzaj, Aaron Ramsey, Fernando Reges, Marouane Fellaini, and Samir Nasri. Secondly, they announced that they would be kit suppliers for the following teams, Liverpool FC, Celtic FC, FC Porto, Sevilla FC, Stoke City FC, the Panama National Team and the Costa Rica National Team.

If you watch football regularly, you may have spotted various pairs of New Balance boots being worn by some of the afore mentioned players, but I'll bring you a post all about the boots at a later date.

Anyway, the Celtic FC kit was to be launched on the 4th of May 2015 at Celtic Park, so being that I support Celtic FC and New Balance as a brand, it was a no brainer, and I made the journey south for the event.

The event kicked off with a question and answer session with John Collins and John Kennedy who were wearing some NB training gear. Following this was the unveiling of the new home kit with a few players from the men's first team, and a couple from the ladies' first team, followed by a brief question and answer session with regards to the players' thoughts on the new kit.

Check out some of the images below, and if you want to find out more about New Balance Football, go to the website, www.newbalance.co.uk/football/

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