words // Nick DePaula
From one print sneaker publication to another, who happens to be clear across the globe yet holding steady to an awesome platform in sneaker culture all these years later, a huge congrats goes out to the Sneaker Freaker team as they celebrate their 10th Anniversary today.
Since the very first issue dropped during the fall of 2002, we've all come to enjoy "bookazine" founder Woody's quirky writing voice and unique takes on the footwear landscape and the team's vivid and scenic product photography.
My very favorite feature happened to be Woody's expertly timed account of the struggle that sneaker boutiqes began to face towards the close of this past decade, harshly but justly titled "Death Of The Independent Store." As mall-based retailers and brand's own direct-to-consumer web stores began to flex even more muscle and take hold of the industry's most powerful currency -- exclusive releases -- Woody dove deep into where boutiques could turn, and it was a grim but fair forecast of today's reality.
Along with great features and exclusive looks at some of the decade's most memorable sneakers, the Sneaker Freaker team also made a mark with a variety of collaborations. As dudes that simply love shoes, what better way to be involved in the industry than to lend their own lens to some iconic models from the back catalogs of Puma, Asics, New Balance and several others.
As the print world continues to evolve into this next digital dominated decade, we'll be looking forward to seeing what the team has in store and for many more issues of Sneaker Freaker ahead.