YouTube sneakerheads speak: 'I've sacrificed dinner money to save for a pair of trainers'

Interview

Sneaker collectors Danny and Lance of The Annexe on their obsession, streetwear and Glasgow's new event Urbuhn Avenue

Scotland's newest sneaker and streetwear event, Urbuhn Avenue, is launching in Glasgow on Sat 6 Apr. The event will transform SEC into a sneaker fan's nirvana, bringing together over 150 streetwear brands, individual collectors, sellers and much more. On top of this a sneaker focused panel discussion will take place featuring co-founder of Patta, Edson Sabajo, Franklin AKA King of Trainers and the guys behind popular YouTube channel The Annexe Danny and Lance.

We caught up with Danny and Lance to discuss the event, their epic collections and The Annexe.

When many think of collectors they thinks of stamps, lego, model trains and vinyl. For you guys its sneakers so we've got to ask, where did the obsession start?
Danny: It all started when I went to high school. 1994 I started and there were the guys in year 11 rocking Nike Air Max. It captivated me. As I got older I sacrificed things like sweets and even dinner money to save for a pair of trainers. In 1999 I started buying Air Max 95s and TNs but when it really got a hold of me was when one of The Hip store managers and a friend opened up a secret trainer store in Leeds called Sneakerville. They had pairs in there you've never seen before, the original Pigeon Dunks for instance.

Lance: I started as a teenager after I got my first pair or branded trainers. I decided then that when I earned my own money, I was going to spend it on trainers. At that time it was all about Adidas Originals which also extended to football boots. Still to this day, Adidas World Cup are my favourite boots.

Is a strong sense of community among trainer fanatics? What made you decide to start a YouTube Channel?
Danny: Just like any genre where people create a community, there's different groups within the trainer world. In the groups that we are part of, both online and in the real world, we have met some fantastic people that share the beliefs about collecting and the whole aspect of having the trainers you want. It was only upon meeting Lance The Annexe was suggested. We've probably become much more a part of the community since The Annexe has started.

Lance: I really like what I see and hear from groups like the The Panel and G1 as they seem to have like-minded people involved and there is a real genuine passion for trainers which leads to people actually looking out for each other. Fortunately for me I like buying trainers, love looking at them and will continue to do so considering I've been like that for over 30 years.

What does an event like Urbuhn Avenue mean for you guys and what are you most looking forward to on the day?
Danny: We usually go along and be part of the crowd at other events to document it through Instagram and YouTube mainly, but to be asked to contribute at Urbuhn Avenue is simply amazing. The best thing about going to events for me/us is meeting people that share that same love and passion for trainers.

Lance: We were excited when we got the invite. It is a real validation for us that we are doing something right and, more importantly, The Annexe is something that people enjoy and want to be part of. I'm looking forward to spending time with people we know, meeting new people, oggling at lovely sneakers, learning something new and hopefully shooting some hoop (provided my leg is up to it).

Any secrets you can share with our readers as to what you will be talking about at Urbuhn Avenue?
Danny:I like to go with the flow and see what topics are being talked about. Lance isn't seen on camera in any of our videos, so people will get to see him at Urbuhn Avenue. We are always asked when Lance is going to show his face.

Lance: If you watched any episodes of the annexe you'll have worked out that we very rarely plan anything we say. For us that means it should be spontaneous and authentic, which is what we hope The Annexe comes across as. Plus the fact I probably won't be able to get a word in with Danny!

Interview

You've been doing this since 2016 now, have you seen the trainer industry or community evolve? If so, how?
Danny: I think since starting The Annexe I haven't seen a massive change per se. One thing that has changed, and is continuing to evolve is how certain rare or hyped pairs are released. (Almost) gone are the days where people can go to the store and find a gem, or even queue up on a first come first served basis. It's raffles or Instagram entries that are becoming the norm.

Lanny: If anything we have seen the true collectors and those that are in it for the hype get further and further apart. I definitely sit on the collectors' side. I also think it's amazing how much the old silhouettes still play such a big part of the scene, the Air Max 1 in 2018 being a great example and it looks like 2019 could be a year of dunks if the start of it is anything to go by.

Best pair of trainers that you always go back to?
Danny: I've always been into Nike SB Dunks, and it would probably be my go to pair if I could choose only one. I think if you said one specific pair I'd have to grab a pair of Heineken Dunks. I fell in love the moment I saw them, but haven't seen them in my size for a reasonable price, sadly.

Lance: Can I have 2 please? Adidas Micropacer and Nike Air Max 1.

What advice can you give to new collectors looking for new finds and rare gems?
Danny: Get involved in the community side of it first. Find people and groups that have similar interests and they will guide you to where you can get pairs that you are after. Don't just follow the crowd, find your own groove.

Lance: Social media gives you all you need at your fingertips so get involved with that. Look for like minded accounts and follow them. An obvious one is trawl through eBay and go to great events to meet some genuine people.

Danny and Lance will be speaking at Urbuhn Avenue on 6 Apr 2019 at Glasgow's SEC. Tickets for the day are on sale now.

Urbuhn Avenue

New sneaker and street-wear event with up to 150 pop-ups from brands such as Doric Skateboards, Vindicate, SNKR STAKE and Hello Sock, featuring exclusive lines, collector's showcases, a panel discussion and more.