“I’ve been good friends with this man for at least ten years and he is one of the humblest individuals you’ll ever meet,” said Kadoma, laughing as readjusted his cap and continued his response to the previous speaker. “I’m not going to let him go without talking about his accomplishments. This guy is, if I’m not mistaken, the first artist to design a shoe for Jordan brand.”
The artist in question was Houston’s own Bun B. The Trill OG smiled through the audience applause as Kadoma went on to describe the CPxBB, the 2013 shoe collaboration between Bun B and Chris Paul for Jordan Brand.
Kadoma is the founder of Sneaker Summit, the annual celebration of all things in shoe culture, and the accompanying Sneaker Summit storefront, where he sells pieces collected over the past few decades. He was joined Thursday by Bun B, Tausha Quan, and Nard Got Sole for Donnie Houston’s Heart of a Hustler series, a conversation about entrepreneurship.
The panel gathered at the posh, open meeting space of the WeWork building downtown to discuss their individual paths in the street wear and fashion world. Main Street buzzed below with the sounds of people rushing to happy hours, the horns of cars fighting through traffic, and the dinging bell of the MetroRail.
The scene was much different ten stories above as the audience sat quietly as each panelist recounted tales of their grind in the industry. Each person came from a different perspective in shoe culture with Nard Got Sole speaking on his experience with sneaker customization, Kadoma weaving tales of starting the Sneaker Summit, Tausha Quan reminiscing about joining him and creating the SneakHer Summit, and Bun B regaling the crowd with tales of kicks and UGK.
“I remember Pimp C use to say that we’ll know we’ve made it if we work with Jordan,” recalls Bun B about his legendary partner. “When he was away, I was making sure to keep our name out there and I was able to make a lot of different connections. When he came home, and we were about to shoot our first video, I was able to give him a new pair. I remember being so proud when I could tell him these are Jordans...sent to us from Jordan.”
Each member spent time speaking on their unique perspective in the shoe world and how even though they are all connected by their love of the footwear there are still opportunities to push the culture forward.
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“I think that in this world there are still people that don’t take women as serious as they need to be,” remarked Tausha Quan. “I wanted to do this type of fashion because its what I loved. There need to be more women in the industry. We need to be at those design tables. We want stuff just like the guys and not just a shoe with a bunch of pink on it.”
Each of the panelists spoke on their appreciation of shoe culture and the upcoming Sneaker Summit with Nard Got Sole expressing why events like it are so important.
“I’m a family man. I’m able to support my family and make a living. I started out working at a job that didn’t appreciate me and now I'm able to make a living doing something I was just doing on the side for my friends.”