Kniqi Knados made this song. I met Kniqi last year in Oakland when she was selling shoe laces at Sneaker Ball June 2019 at Starline Social Club. She was in a khaki tuxedo and I was in some cups. I can’t even remember how we reconnected after the event. Over the next several weeks, though, Knados opened my mind to what “sneaker culture” really was, what craftsmanship looked like, and why the Bay Area needs authentic artists like Kanye needs Jesus.
Kniqi made what would could have been a ho-hum ESPN project really pretty interesting and original.
Through it all, Kniqi never told me she made music. She played a little commercial jingle she produced for her laces that appeared in her ESPN appearance. When she first played it for me, she smiled when I stuttered and stammered in disbelief that she was Really made music. Songs and albums. She downplayed herself and her art all along and let me find it on my own only recently. The first time I heard “Come Close” I couldn’t finish the first verse. It took me weeks to listen to the whole song. I was sad to hear her hurt and to feel like a voyeur to a life with layers way above my pay grade. Today, I am grateful to tell my friends and family – and now you, dear reader – I look up to Kniqi Knados.
So now in 2019 as we watch the supposed death of mono-culture and the mutation of niche markets we can only speculate on what the future of sneaker culture will be. Who better to lead us in to the next phase than footwear futurist Bobbito Garcia?
Sneaker Con, Ward Wear, Darius x Eric at MG, Figgs at 8&9. Ahmad and AJ, Lace Attire, Rona, Wilson Pang, David Zhao, Sergio Gonzales, Demone Carter, Khafre x Hip Hop for Change, SoFa Market, David Ma, Nate LeBlanc, Needle to the Groove, Bobbito Garcia, Oaktown Beef Jerky, Wax Trippin, DJ Lex, DJ Jahbaz, Justice System, Pierre and the staff at Back Bar, San Jose Convention Center, Upwork x WeWork teams, Fern Bar. And Kate Saker Inc. #SneakerNet