You’ve probably seen lines of people snaking out the doors of Social Status in Plaza Midwood and Black Sheep in South End. But unless you’re up to speed on the latest sneaker releases attracting those crowds, you might be having a hard time wrapping your head around what motivates someone to wait in line for a pair of shoes.
In our first iPhone mini-doc, author and Johnson C. Smith University professor Jemayne King breaks down the social, economic and historic significance of what it means to be an authentic subscriber to sneaker culture in Charlotte and beyond.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better expert on the subject. King teaches the first English course in the history of higher education dedicated to identification within sneaker culture. He also wrote a book, Sole Food: Digestible Sneaker Culture, that explores how the footwear evolved from necessity to fashion statement.
When he’s not writing about sneakers, lecturing about sneakers and collecting his own sneakers (he has enough to go “a few years” without wearing the same pair twice), King also co-hosts The Gentleman & The Jerk podcast and runs Sole Food Brand, his own line of branded lifestyle apparel.