First Annual Sneaker Week Portland Kicks Off In September

First Annual Sneaker Week Portland Kicks Off In September

Organizers of Sneaker Week Portland, the first weeklong celebration of sneaker culture in the nation, will take place September 17-23 at various venues throughout the city, according to Sneaker Week co-founder Herbert Smith.

“Portland is the undisputed epicenter of sneaker culture and the footwear capital of North America,” Smith said. “Sneaker Week was designed to capture The Sole of the Culture.”

Throughout the week, hosted, sneaker-centric events include Sole Sessions, a series of interactive lectures powered by PENSOLE Academy; the Kick Flicks sneaker film festival; art and customization at the Wacom Block Party; the Kick & Roll Open Gym with George Kiel, and more.

Sneaker Week will also include appearances of pioneers of sneaker culture as it exists today, such as the critically acclaimed author Bobbito Garcia and legendary sneaker aficionado DJ Clark Kent.

Designed to empower the culture and its youth, Sneaker Week Portland is meant to connect the multibillion-dollar footwear industry with the community and culture that created it. “Sneaker Week serves as an outlet in which members of the sneaker community can curate cultural experiences within art, music, sports, and design, representing their interpretation of the boundless influence of the sneaker,” Smith said. “We want to educate and connect likeminded sneakerheads and enthusiasts through the core creative roots of the culture.”

Smith said the event was designed to encourage the footwear industry to recognize Portland as a viable market to host influential events such as Sneaker Week in the future. “We also hope this week becomes a new platform for the community to convene and appreciate the culture together, while providing a space for the next great wave of creatives to see the city for the opportunities that it houses,” he said.

Sneaker Week organizers purposely decided to host the event in Portland, as the city is home to some of the most uniquely talented people in the industry. “So many sneaker enthusiasts already contribute to and draw inspiration from this beautiful city. We want to share that excitement with the world,” Smith said.

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