STAY FRESH and BannedLA are once again collaborating for Sneakercon Vancouver. Eric HB Park, one of the founders of BannedLA, will be attending the Vancouver event where he will be hosting a sneaker conversation panel. BannedLA's online presence and community has seen rapid and significant growth as of late. We recently had a chance to get Eric's views on the sneaker/streetwear scene, the Sneakercon connection, working with STAY FRESH, and sneakers he's currently on the hunt for.
How did BannedLA start?
Bannedla started on Facebook as a buy/sell/trade sneaker Facebook group.
What are some trends and cultural differences between SoCal and the rest of the world?
This question can be based on one’s opinion but imo, SoCal has a few parts to it. You have Orange County where Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa has a large surfer/skater influenced culture and you normally see your average joe (in terms of fashion) in Hurley shorts and Rainbow flip flops.
LA also has your downtown cats and your Fairfax cats as well as Beverly Hills. I believe a lot of celebrities are coming to LA for a few reasons, one is the weather and two is the weather.
To answer your question, LA is MULTI-cultural which is attracting as you see many different styles, perspectives and colors.
What are some surprising differences you’ve experienced in the sneaker and streetwear culture in Vancouver?
Surprising differences is the lack of resources in Vancouver in regards to retail stores and lack of stores with hyped sneaker drops. I guess it could be a good thing but more of a bad thing as people will probably have to pay more money for things with duty/taxes and also shipping.
How did BannedLA get involved with Sneakercon?
We got involved with Sneakercon by going to almost every show on the west coast, and when we did go we made a mark by our collection of shoes we were selling from Ultraboost to Vans and of course Nike. We had all the hype stuff in quantity and Alan, one of the founders of Sneakercon liked what we were doing and we just took it from there.
What is your favorite sneaker of all time?
Favorite sneaker of all time is a tough question, but i gotta say the Bred 1.
Which sneaker or sneakers are you currently on the hunt for?
Looking for Haze dunk, Dunk Low 99 Michigan reverse, and Dunk Low SB Piet Mondrian.
Tell us about the BannedLA and STAY FRESH collaboration for 2020. What was the concept and thought process behind this year’s design?
In today’s culture, nothing is constant. Reselling, style, fashion, retail, it’s all changing fast. Hence, it feels like a dark hole sometimes so the dizzy feeling of going in circles was a concept we started with.
What are some upcoming plans for Banned LA?
Upcoming plans we have I won’t say too much but we are currently working with Footlocker and Footaction on a few things and also most importantly, we’re opening up shop on Melrose around May-June 2020.
BANNEDLA RUINED MY LIFE
Interview by: Eugene Lau
Photography by: Darren Vargas