By Andres Rangel Bolivar
When you think of an event being hosted at the Las Vegas Tarkanian Basketball Academy, you would probably expect some sort of sporting event. However, on Friday, June 28th, a team of Sin City sneaker-heads hosted “The Tark Exchange” proving sometimes, it’s what you wear that’s more important.
Although some shoe collectors may take their actions as a sport, it was more than just basketball drills taking action at The Tarkanian Academy that night. In a nutshell, it was a mixture of sneakers, music, fashion, community, and culture all taking place under the same roof.
The event was hosted by Krys Fabriquier with help of a Las Vegas based urban community collective called “Vegas Sneaker Heads.” In addition to trying to buy, sell, or trade shoes, the event came together to donate multiple, lightly worn shoes to a local non-profit chapter of “Big Brother, Big Sister.”
LasVegasStreetCulture was able to chat a bit with Fabriquier about the event’s vibe, sweet kicks, and what makes Tark an offering the city can’t refuse.
LasVegasStreetCulture: The Las Vegas sneaker head community is growing on a weekly basis. Were you satisfied with the turnout of the event? Did you expect as much local support and attendance?
Fabriquier: More than satisfied with the turnout! As long as we had people donate shoes that went to Big Brother and Big Sister and had enough money to cover our overhead, I’m satisfied. I expected some more local support with the people I had notified in advance, but we had enough tables to supply our vendors. The attendance was great for a community event!
LVSC: Was this the first Tark Exchange? If so, is it the first of many? If not, has it been the best one so far? Why?
Fabriquier: No, this was not the first Tark Exchange. The first Tark exchange started out last year by Adison Asinas. This was the second and best Tark Exchange by far! This was one was the best by far simply because of the number of supporters we received.
LVSC: What made you want to incorporate non-profit organizations such as “Big Brothers Big Sisters” in a sneaker event such as this?
Fabriquier: Originally, I wanted to collaborate with Goodie Two Shoes. I wanted to help Goodie Two Shoes in the first place because when I was in high school I was apart of DECA and We R Community and we collaborated with them. Unfortunately, Goodie Two Shoes only receives brand new shoes to give to the disadvantaged kids. Sadly, not everyone in the community can afford to donate brand new shoes, which is understandable.
LVSC: Outside of buying, selling, and trading shoes, was there any other purpose of hosting this event?
Fabriquier: Of course! The team and I wanted to see how well the community can come together as whole. It’s always great to see the many faces we see over social media in person.
LVSC: When you first created the group, did you ever think Vegas SneakerHeads would get as huge a it is now? What are your hopes for the future of the VSH community?
Fabriquier: The name VSH originally came from London Schneider who made the original VSH over ISS (which is now Sole Collector Forums). I just wanted to reinvent the wheel. I did not really care how big the community got as long as I had the amount of support of more interaction and less buying, selling, and trading. In the distant future, I truly hope people will realize there’s so much more to the game than just the sneakers itself.
LVSC: Where do you think the sneaker community falls under street culture?
Fabriquier: I feel that the sneaker community plays a huge role along with the street culture itself. Though many people are into the street culture are not into sneakers, many people who are into sneakers embrace the street culture.