Officially known as the largest sneaker expo in Africa, Sneaker Exchange (SXC) came from humble beginnings only five years ago but now boasts close to 4,000 attendees per. Known as the place where sneaker collectors and aficionados can buy, sell or trade sneakers, as well as buy locally and internationally produced apparel and footwear, SXC is more than a product expo. Adding live music, activations and entertainment to the mix, the event is fast becoming one of South Africa’s most talked about annual events and is held annually in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein.
SXC will be in Cape Town on Saturday, 28 April 2018 at Cape Town Cruise Terminal, V&A Waterfront from 11h00 to 19h00. Pre-sale tickets are available online for R80 per person, and R100 at the door. The live entertainment line-up will include artists such as Riky Rick, YoungstaCPT, Patty Monroe, Gemini Major, A-Reece and Tshego. Local DJs in attendance are noted as being Ready D, Veezus, K$ and JJ Fresh, who will be hosting SXC alongside Smash Afrika. The event will also play host to local and international fashion labels, big-name brand activations, food vendors, live sneaker customisation, a kid’s corner as well as a mobile barber.
Special guests at the event will be Los Angeles-based SANDALBOYZ. Founded in 2016, the American label purveys premium pool slides and socks and has collaborated with the likes of Staple and Daily Paper. Described as a movement and lifestyle, existing to bridge the gap between sophistication and comfort, the footwear brand is known for their unique styles and colourways. SANDALBOYZ is the brainchild of Andrew Dharmosetio and Fran Marchello, also known as Franalations – longtime sneaker collector, who has amassed a collection that includes some of the most sought-after pairs from the early 2000s as well as contemporary releases. SANDALBOYZ will also be showcasing at SXC, which makes this an event not to miss.
The inaugural SXC in 2013 had very humble beginnings. The event saw a few dozen die-hard sneaker collectors and aficionados in attendance at a coffee shop in Woodstock, Cape Town. Since then the event has grown exponentially year-on-year in multiple city centres such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and has even been commissioned to curate sneaker exhibits across Africa including a recent activation at Gidi Culture Festival in Lagos, with more being planned for the near future. In October 2017, SXC hosted their largest event to date, boasting close to 4,000 attendees.
Founder and co-director of SXC, Zaid Osman, is one of South Africa’s most notable sneaker collectors and aficionados. Having spent his most formative years growing up in the United States of America, Osman brought with him not only a great love for sneakers but also ideas on how to build the sneaker and street culture in South Africa.
SXC offers not only die-hard sneaker collectors (also known as OGs or Originals Gangsters) the rare opportunity to see limited edition or exclusive sneaker designs first hand, but it also gives sneaker traders the opportunity to either trade in or sell their near-mint condition footwear to likeminded individuals. The event isn’t only for the solemnly devoted sneaker lover though: “The whole premise of the event is that it’s about sharing the love of a culture few people know about or understand,” says Osman. “I created this event so that I could share my passion for sneakers with others and so we welcome anyone and everyone to Sneaker Exchange.”
SXC has traditionally been the ideal platform for local and global sneaker brands to showcase their latest designs and activate consumer-facing campaigns. However, Osman ensures that wherever SXC events are held that local apparel and footwear brands are offered the opportunity to showcase and sell their designs, too. “There’s no denying that big-name and global brands will always hold a certain appeal, but it’s time South Africa rallies behind and supports local designers just as passionately,” adds co-Director of SXC, Tebogo Mogola who joined forces with Osman in 2015. An avid sneaker collector himself, Joburg-based Mogola shares not only Osman’s passion for designer sneakers but also works in the entertainment industry; giving him the perfect credentials as a business partner.
Tickets for the Cape Town SXC on Saturday, 28 April are available on Computicket:online.computicket.com/web/event/sneaker_exchange_cpt/1206560330