Roughly ten years ago, New York City was full of well known sneaker boutiques that offered all the latest and greatest in limited editions and special releases. These spots were the ultimate source for sneaker fanatics to get their hands on all the cool stuff that they’d never find at the mall chains or through more mainstream channels. The sneaker business has exploded since then, and the dynamics of retail distribution and who gets what have become a much more crowded and complicated conversation. Despite the boom in sneaker popularity and awareness, many of these shifts in the system have taken an unfortunate toll on a number of NYC’s once mighty brick and mortar spots.
There are still plenty of places to buy sneakers in the Big Apple, but the quality and quantity of respected boutique shops has been diminished down to a number you can count on one hand. Most of the heavyweight shops that ruled Manhattan for years have unthinkably closed their doors, leaving only a few survivors to supply the city with the kind of sneaker shopping experience that has come to be expected from it. At the top of that list is West NYC, a store with a long and well deserved reputation for holding down the Upper West Side as well as those who travel from much further out of their way to make it their chosen sneaker hunting destination.
While the store’s success and devoted customer base speak for themselves, West has kept a relatively low profile when it comes to pursuing the kind of collaborative projects that have been embraced and productively utilized by many of their peers. That all changed last year when they teamed up with New Balance for their “Alpine Guide Edition” MT580, a monster release that brought along universal praise and global notoriety for the store, as well as the shoe. With a tough act to follow, West NYC has jumped back into the fray, this time joining forces with Saucony to put their own unique spin on the classic Shadow 5000 silhouette.
Dubbed the “Tequila Sunrise”, the shoe features a ’90s-friendly color palette worked into a grey/black base with the added touch of a gradient effect on the midpanel to help convey the concept and give the iconic Saucony model one of its most memorable makeups to date. Added details like the special heel branding and the “tequila worm” insole graphics sweeten the deal further, helping to solidify West’s resume as a formidable collaborator and leave us all in anticipation for their future footwear endeavors. We caught up with store owner, Lester Wasserman, to get the full details on their upcoming Saucony project, so check out the full interview ahead and watch out for the “Tequila Sunrise” Shadow 5000 releasing in-store at West NYC this Saturday, September 7th.