This story starts at 4:45am on a Tuesday morning. Actually, we could go back two weeks to the moment when I received a direct message from the most personable of institutional Instagram accounts. Foot Locker Canada reaches out to me and asks if they could get in contact with me later in the day to discuss my availability. Now I don’t know about you, but whenever THE store for sneakers in Canada comes a calling, I answer with the quickness. A pace-around-the-room type phone call later and I am set, New York City in two weeks to celebrate the Week Of Greatness by Foot Locker Canada. Flash forward to the earliest of wake ups in a while and I’m on my way to the airport to catch my flight to NYC. My luggage situation carefully planned, I’m running with one duffel bag with an empty backpack, you know, in case I find something to purchase on the trip! *fist bump*
The rest of the Canadian Crew, coming in from Toronto, is set to land 20 minutes after my flight. It’s a funny thing to have wait time when you’re going on an exciting trip, time seems to rev by at an adrenaline filled pace and all the little downtime activities I had planned get left aside. The mindset for one of these trips is part excitement, part nervousness. Excitement, because you never know what they have planned for you, and the opportunity to meet great people in the industry always gets me hyped. Nervousness, because part of me sees this trip as a work situation, where I was invited to complete a task and I am hoping to perform and not disappoint! Self-inspection aside, I am pretty much guaranteed to be wearing an inexplicable smile on my face whenever I forget to act cool about it all. Once I finally connect with the Toronto people, we decide to grab some grub to get energized for the event. Amongst the 416 faithful, I find my dude, Heat Ledger aka Thomas, I meet a beast of a photographer, Charlie aka DonCharleone, and we followed our lead from Foot Locker Canada aka the one who takes care of us while we are on this mission! A pastrami sandwich from Katz Deli later, we got ready for our next move at 6PM.
On to the celebration at The Aula we went. What used to be a recreation center has been transformed into a space used as a stage and studio where they sometimes events, shows, and presentations. As we cross the doors of the spot you can;t help but notice the basketball hoop still hanging above, acting as both the perfect flag for a WEEK OF GREATNESS display and a perfect photo op for all social warriors. The lighting was dim and the beats were bumping, Foot Locker must have been going for a very loungey vibe and par to the supposed course, a drink station at the middle of the floor. Paintings around the room, multiple sneaker displays bookending the stage at the back, and a sea of people consisted of the social sneaker community’s trend setters and reporters overwhelm the senses in an awesome wave. In all doubt with where to start, always head towards the sneakers. On display were all the upcoming releases for the Week Of Greatness. Getting up close, you can;t help but slip into the regular giddiness inducing feels of peeping new sneakers all clean, crisp and shiny. Taking a few steps back and you shake your head and just absorb the realization that sneakers are beautiful… Just incredible. Snap! Snap! Snap! A few runs around the room and then a few minutes to try to talk to the big names in the crowd before our attention is drawn to the stage. Host, Peter Rosenberg, in cadence with DJ Cipha Sounds gets right to it and hits us with all the new commercial spots for the Week Of Greatness by Foot Locker. These ads are hella funny and always bold in the way they get the athletes to poke fun at themselves. Then BAM, the man of the hour is introduced, and right there in front of us stands Carmelo Anthony! Down to earth and realer than real, the man speaks about using his platform to speak about the truths and situations of our current times. Big ups to the man!
A few drinks later, some sneaker shenanigans, some green screen photo pose-downs, and witnessing a mannequin challenge or two, and the evening just kep enveloping me in a warm groove. If I could pan out and take a wide view of the room, I would probably be in awe at the type of sneaker power that this room contained. Standing amongst all the big names from all the outlets, I took a minute to ask myself how I got here… Then snapped myself out of it and decided I rather enjoy the moment, hang with my friends, and be thankful for how great sneaker culture made me feel.
A special thanks to Foot Locker Canada again for inviting me out to New York City; the hospitality was inspiring. Shout-out to my running mates from Canada, as a team we had a task to give you guys a brief look at what was going down during the celebration of the week of greatness and I hope you enjoy the photos.
Stay tuned to part 2 of my visit to New York City where Foot Locker Canada took us on a tour of their shops on 34th St and Head Office.
And, of course, get yourselves ready for the Week Of Greatness at Foot Locker going on right now! Hit up your local spot and visit online to get the latest and greatest Foot Locker has to offer!