Photography by Tyler Mitchell
Dunkxchange is a breeding ground for the future hustlers of America. Instead of slinging narcotics, a male-dominated crowd that ranges from kids, to grown-ass men are out and about for the same reason: to move the rarest of sneakers for mega bucks.
Recently, Dunkxchange hosted its largest event in New York at Citi Field, with the festivities taking place on the stadium’s concourse. The stretch of concrete was lined with numerous vendor tables filled with the most highly coveted kicks from the past decade up for sale.
Although the sneakers are the main attraction, Dunkxchange also provides a full on experience featuring music performances, sneaker battles, and even a fashion show. It’s evident that sneaker culture is alive and thriving with events like these.
Now hold on to your hats, cause we are gonna break down everything we learned about sneaker culture from Dunkxchange.
Dunkxchange is the Originator
Currently, advertisements for sneaker conventions taking place nearly every weekend in a city near you drown out social media feeds. However, Dunkxchange is responsible for starting that trend. It all began in 2005 when founder Gary Hughes was scammed online in attempts to purchase three pairs of Nike SB Dunk Low “Heinekens.” Out $1,400, Hughes came to the owner of the nightclub where he would DJ nights and pitched the idea of what would become Dunkxchange.
Hughes drew inspiration for Dunkxchange from the baseball card conventions he would attend as a kid. The Queens native recalls, “When I was a kid I used to hustle baseball cards. Every year I would wait for this show to come to the convention center around me. It was basically a baseball card-palooza: 400 vendors, 10,000 people, celebrity autographs, all the sports figures. It was a whole weekend festival. So when I started this concept I envisioned convention centers as venues.”
The Dunkxchange grew rapidly and now stands as the premier sneaker convention, with stops at nearly every city across America and even international shows. The convention shows no signs of slowing down either, Dunkxchange is slated for 60 appearances worldwide in 2014.