Just before the launch of London’s Crepe City, we’re presenting to you an interview with one of the bright minds and major forces behind this huge event. Taking care of many different things including the social media channels, he’s got his ear on the street and shares his huge passion for sneakers on the daily. We visited Morgan in London to grab a bagel, shoot a few of his gems and talk sneakers. This is an excerpt from Sneakers Magazine issue #30. Grab the print copy for the full story.
Hi Morgan, please introduce yourself to our readers – who, where from, what and why!?
Hi, I’m Morgan and I live just outside the south of London, and I collect trainers and play a role in one of the most highly recognized global sneaker events — Crepe City.
Morgan, can you still recall the moment when you first got hooked on sneakers?
As a kid, I wasn’t really into kicks, sports footwear was seen as a practical purchase while growing up — purchases were made once or twice a year and my parents taught me to look after and cherish what I had. I attended a school for children with ADHD — this exposed me to a wider culture and various references of creativity. Throughout my teens I had a lot of friends who lived in central London who would often come and hang out in my area. The style around that time was very much G-Unit tracksuits, DW6900’s, New Era fitteds with the sticker still worn on the brim, Nike TN’s and Dunks — everyone more or less, looked like an extra from a Terror Squad video. This trend influenced my first purchase — I remember being given money to go into town to buy some new school shoes, and returned home from Footlocker with a pair of all black Nike AF1’s — ever since that day my love of sneakers progressed.
That’s surely true! Can you remember how you made your first connections to the scene?
I became fascinated with the hip-hop scene, while paying more and more attention to what was being worn, and how particular artists were being styled. Myself, and friend of mine would download music onto USB’s and watch a lot of music videos — he introduced me to a world of graffiti through his older brother, who used to do graff pieces — one of which was in a sneaker shop about an hours drive. This ended up being the defining moment for me, as I would visit the store often and browse the sale section. I remember them having a beautiful pair of Top 10 white leathers, with cream suede and silver detailing — they were priced at £30 — I genuinely thought they were amazing, but due to the fact they were white, I also knew they would get dirty, so I ended up doubling up and purchasing two pairs. I was into high top Forums, Dunks, AF1’s and a variety of Reebok. At the time, work wasn’t paying well, so I would frequent the sale sections of KarmaLoop and Crooked Tongues. I’d always buy what I liked and looking back I’ve made some odd choices!
Crepe City has been growing for the last few years up to the present day where it’s just something so huge and influential. How did you end up being part of the event?
In 2010/2011 I found out about an event called Sneaker Scoundrels through twitter as it was run by guy called James Gambo who was based around the same area as me and did reviews on SB’s. Nobody in my area was into trainers back then so I ended up going up on my own not knowing anyone and just chilling at the event all day. I remember grabbing a pair of Teal Air Flows off one of the sellers at the event who I’d now count a friend and who funnily enough sells at CC. I enjoyed it so much I chilled until the event closed, towards the end I met a guy who invited me to his own event called Crepe City. This was Ron who I’d now count as one of my closest friends. I chatted with him more and more and at the next event I helped with putting away the tables and tidying up the event. Each following event I would arrive early and place the tables and sit on the door stamping tickets. Looking back now I do miss those times — I soon became a member of the Crepe City team. After the event I took over all the social channels for the event and raised from 4k to crazy numbers in a matter of weeks. I’ve always had an eye for content and strong images. I posted what I liked and I guess this resonated. I was still working a full-time job at this time and I remember sneaking off, taking breaks and risking the wrath of management in a bid to make sure the social channels were kept updated constantly and the emails answered. Fast-forward to present day I’m now one of directors at Crepe City, I oversee a lot of the brand communication, the design and creative input. It’s pretty awesome if I’m honest, I get to work with my friends daily and talk trainers 24/7.
Sounds like a dream come true! Where do you see the event heading in the future?
The growth really is insane — first of all I see it getting bigger and bigger. I think the biggest challenge to overcome is money, and when it comes to the event these things are not cash cows — venues are expensive and a lot of the work is done in our free time. Myself, and Ron often joke about never being off the clock but it’s a reality — we never stop working. The other obstacle is perception and this has been a really smooth ride for us. People know we’re not some corporate douches who are overly fussed with being cool or raking in loads of money, we’ve got real passion, real knowledge and the credentials to back it up. While sometimes it can be a little draining, our people know they can drop myself, Ron or any of the other Crepe City team members a message at anytime, and we’ll do our best to reply as soon as we can. Going forward, Charity is a big thing for us and we’ve supported a lot over the years, with Great Ormand Street Children’s Hospital being the latest one we’ve championed. At our last event we debuted a small clothing capsule collection that sold out instantly, so we’ll be looking at improving on that in the future. My dream has always been to collaborate with brands, and hopefully one day design a shoes for our community and audience — that is a big life achievement for me, and I cant wait for it to happen.
Now let’s get back to the trainer talk! You’re a big fan of the EQT series. Why EQT?
I just love EQT’s, I think it’s the best thing adidas has ever done apart from their Boost technology. I feel similarities between both ranges especially with the Support and Ultra Boost. You can just look at a lot of EQT models and pick out bits and it’s all useful, the stripes are used as support and cinches for the laces, the extra panels are there for stability and strength, nothing on these shoes is there for bullshit. I prefer the vintage models if I’m honest and not just the runners but I find it hard locating anything in my size. I tried out the new MiEQT options recently, and spent a few hours messing around. I haven’t made anything that feels like an instant purchase yet, but I’m hoping they add more colors and hopefully the OG Ferro Green.
Let’s stick with your favorites for a minute. Can you share some special stories connected to shoes that you have in your collection?
I’ve got personal attachment to a lot of my pairs. But three special ones are the Footpatrol Gel Saga’s, Nike Teal Air Flow’s and Mclaren Asics. I camped for the saga’s and it was one of the best camps I’ve experienced it was cold but nothing crazy like they are now, I met a lot of good people that day. Flows were one of the first hyped pairs I bought, sadly had to sell them a few years later, my friends actually tracked the pair down I sold bought them back and gave them to me for my birthday. Finishing up with the Mclaren’s I own 2 of the supposedly 3 types made. I’ve never seen the 3rd one apart from a blurry magazine shot but the pairs I own came from a friend who worked at Mclaren that were found in another employees attic, both DS and both stunning.
Number one brand and why?
Well I’ve got a huge respect for all but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I swing towards the three stripes. You give what you get and adidas have worked a lot with me in the past, many of their team have now become good friends, they’ve launched shoe’s at the event, continued to support and given us pretty crazy access, I feel like they care a lot more about the sneaker community and having that positive view makes parting with your money at lot easier when buying their trainers. They also have Boost!
What else do you have on your map for this year?
I’ll try and leave out the clichés. But for me personally I just want to see the event get bigger and better, work closer with more brands and scratch off a few pairs of trainers on my list.
All the best to you, Morgan and thanks for this interview!