In the wake of the tragic fire at London's Grenfell Tower public housing complex in June, a U.K. sneaker scene stalwart is using footwear to raise money for the victims. Magdi Fernandes, who lived at Grenfell from 2006 to 2014, is running a sneaker auction on Saturday, July 22, with the proceeds from items sold going to relief group The Real Community.
"My cousin still lived there, but thankfully he was able to make it out. But many friends and neighbors I knew, unfortunately, were trapped and didn’t make it," Fernandes told Sole Collector. "So raising money to help give back to a cause that is so close to home was a must. Hundreds of families have lost everything and are living day to day with whatever they can find."
Fernandes, who ran a sneaker store in London called Slammin' Kicks from 2002 to 2007, says that he's received donations from brands like Nike, Supreme, and Patta that have brought the total number of pairs in the auction up to 200. No doubt the most exciting shoe in the group is a friends and family-only pair of "Dirtee Stank" Nike Air 180s from Grime legend Dizzee Rascal.
"Dizzee used to shop at my store that I had back in early 2000s, and when he came in he remembered me," Fernandes said. "We spoke a bit about the auction and Grenfell Tower, and he went in to his stash of shoes be brought with him and handed over these gems! It was crazy how it all happened, and we are now auctioning one of the rarest shoes that's ever came out of the U.K."
The auction, a rebirth of sorts for Slammin' Kicks, will happen at 4 Holywell Lane in London on Saturday, July 22. Those outside of London will be able to bid on the sneakers online here.