IOWA CITY — Growing up in Atlanta in the 1990s, Demetrius Perry can remember seeing a shoe store next to every grocery store.
“My mom would go to the grocery store and I’d go to the shoe store,” said Perry, 30, now of North Liberty.
Inside those stores, Perry’s love for shoes blossomed. At the height of his obsession, Perry owned close to 200 pairs of shoes, he said.
“I got pretty serious at one point,” he said.
These days, Perry said his collection is down to “only” 50 pairs of sneakers. His love for shoes has taken him to sneaker conventions, where he has been a vendor six times, Perry said. But, living in North Liberty, Perry said it’s a little harder to feed his love for shoes.
“The shoe culture here, it exists, but it’s hidden,” he said. “There aren’t as many places to go, which is why we’re putting together a sneaker expo.”
Perry, fellow sneaker fan Mike Stenerson and Simeon Talley, a local entrepreneur and co-founder of RADinc. are teaming up to host Kick-It, a sneaker expo in downtown Iowa City. The organizers believe it’s the first event of its kind in Iowa City. The expo takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at RADinc., 123 E. Washington St.
Talley said Iowa City is home to sneaker collectors, but there hasn’t been an event to bring them all together. He hopes Kick-It will change that.
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“We just felt ... ‘Why not make it happen this year?’ ” Talley said. “Hopefully, we do it this year and we continue to grow it year after year.”
Talley said last week they have 11 vendors lined up and are still trying to bring in a few more. Admission for the expo is $5 and will allow participants to bring in four pairs of shoes to sell or trade. The event also will feature an NBA 2K tournament, art for sale from local artists, vintage clothing vendors and music from area DJs, Talley said.
“I hope we see a wide range of sneakers or shoes sold or traded,” Talley said.
Perry said they hope to see the event continue to grow after the inaugural year.
“We’d like to see this grow to a big scale, get all of Iowa involved,” he said. “Maybe one day we’ll have to have it at the U.S. Cellular Center.”
IF YOU GO
What: Kick It sneaker expo
When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: RADinc., 123 E. Washington St., Iowa City
Admission: $5, which allows participants to bring in four pairs of shoes to sell or trade.
Info: Kick-It: Iowa City Sneaker Expo on Facebook
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