8 Questions With Sneaker Con Co-Founder Yu-Ming Wu

8 Questions With Sneaker Con Co-Founder
Sneaker Con co-founder Yu-Ming Wu.
Isa Wipfli.

New York City’s anticipated sneaker-centered event is almost here.

Sneaker Con NYC — the event co-founded by Yu-Ming Wu — is scheduled to take place Saturday and Sunday, taking over the Javits Center North. With the event quickly approaching, the renowned sneakerhead and event organizer spoke with Footwear News about the city’s first two-day event, what brands sneaker fans can expect to see a lot of, and what shoes he wants to add to his personal collection.

Why did you decide to make this the first two-day event in NYC? Was there a need for more time?

YMW: People have been waiting for this New York City show for almost a year and a half, and we wanted to make sure everyone gets a chance [to come]. A lot of times people will tell us, “I missed the shoe; it was on a Saturday and I was working” — we get a lot of those emails, a lot of those tweets. We decided, “Let’s do a two-day show; let’s start kicking off bigger festival-like shows where we’ll have some activities.” We just couldn’t fit all the stuff we wanted to do in one day. We wanted everyone to come on Saturday and have one experience, and come on Sunday and have another experience.

Is there a particular shoe or brand that you expect to see more of this year than in years past?

YMW: We are definitely going to see a huge increase in Adidas sneakers, primarily Yeezy, NMDs and Ultra Boosts, as well as other popular models. When we first started the show, Adidas might have been less than one percent of our general merchandise from all of our vendors combined. Today, I believe it’s up to 25 — and possibly 35 percent — of the available merchandise from all of the vendors.

Adidas Ultra Boost Triple White A look at the Adidas Ultra Boost “Triple White.” Courtesy of Adidas.

Has today’s digital age of buying, trading and selling had any impact on Sneaker Con?

YMW: It definitely has not had a huge impact on Sneaker Con. People still want to come out and see the shoes in person, pick them up in person, touch them, feel them, smell them. They’re coming out to meet these people and have a more personal experience.

What sneakers will you be wearing for the two days in NYC? Will you bring multiple looks to choose from?

YMW: For me personally working the show, I definitely will be wearing something extremely comfortable. Over the last few shows, I’ve been wearing the Ultra Boost quite a bit. I will be wearing either Ultra Boosts, NMD or something similar to ensure I can survive the two days.

Are you hoping to find a sneaker you are looking to add to your own collection?

YMW: There’s stuff that I’m always looking for; the problem is I don’t always get a chance to see enough of what’s available. I usually get lucky towards the end of the show when we’re shutting down. At the previous show [in Maryland] I picked up my second pair of the Yeezy Boost 350 V2. I was actually trying to buy it for a friend of mine. As we were shutting down I let the team know and said this guy has them for pretty inexpensive. I walked over and he said he just sold it, but I have these other sizes. I said, “Oh look, it’s my size, I’ll take it.”

Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 v2 "Beluga" The Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2. Sneakers.by

Are there still sneakers on your wish list, or do you have everything you could ever want?

YMW: There’s always stuff on my wish list; there’s always stuff I’m looking for. Over the years you miss out on certain things or you have to let some things go. I’m starting to revisit some of those; my only problem is I don’t have enough space, so I have to limit my Holy Grails to a select few. Most recently I realized I’m missing the original [Nike] x Supreme Dunk Low in the white and blue colorway.

Has your personal collection shifted from being Nike dominated to a more diverse selection of brands?

YMW: [Nike’s] still pretty dominant, [but] it’s being infiltrated by all the other brands, anywhere from Saucony, Asics, Diadora even. There are few of those in there, and Converse has been huge for me over the years, and over the last two years or so Adidas has definitely cut into my space. I’m starting to see a lot more blue boxes, three-stripe boxes, in my collection.

What’s the craziest sale or trade you’ve ever seen go down?

YMW: I didn’t see it with my own eyes, but I know it happened because everyone was talking about it. There was a guy from Sweden: He flew into our Dallas show to buy a signed pair of the [Nike] Yeezy Red Octobers. It was in the $10,000 range. Someone put it on Facebook and the guy who sold it said, “Yes, that was me.”