Last weekend Innersect took over the Shanghai New International Expo Center, bringing a ton of brands, artists, activations, and exclusive products under one roof. The two-day convention was founded by Edison Chen, a seminal figure in China’s street cultural scene, and co-founder of the CLOT brand and JUICE store.
It also included performances from artists all over the globe, ranging from Edison Chen himself, Higher Brothers, James Fauntleroy, Jay Park, and Playboi Carti. We attended Innersect and got a firsthand look at China’s burgeoning streetwear scene.
Attendees mobbed all of the activations, ranging from UNDERCOVER’s surprising collaboration with Perks and Mini, a READYMADE x Star Wars booth showing off the brand’s take on the iconic Yoda character, Medicom’s booth full of rare Bearbricks and artist editions, and Polo Ralph Lauren’s coffee truck and Winter Stadium collection.
Among the hotly-anticipated items was CLOT’s collaboration with Jordan Brand. The label tapped inspiration from China’s famous terracotta army, resulting in a clay-colored take on the Air Jordan 13 Low. The accompanying installation resembled an archaeological dig site, replete with staffers wearing Nike gear that wouldn’t look out of place at an expedition.
Nike also used Innersect as an opportunity to show off some of its other collaborations, like Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God 1 , Samuel Ross of A-COLD-WALL’s Air Force 1 Low, a few new colorways of Virgil Abloh’s ongoing collab, and a few kicks from Carhartt WIP’s collaborative capsule. Jerry Lorenzo and Samuel Ross even made the trek to Shanghai to celebrate the sneakers in-person.
They weren’t the only designers who showed up. NEIGHBORHOOD’s Shin Takizawa came out to fete the release of a collab with tattoo artist Dr. Woo, and Rhuigi Villaseñor flew straight from our event at Art Basel in Miami to spend some time at his booth.
Bodega was one of the highlights of Innersect, turning their section into an American city block. In addition to building out a pretty accurate representation of a bodega, they built out a ’90s-era record store (complete with a blacklight-lit back room) to house their PLEASURES collaboration, and created a take on mom-and-pop sportswear shops to show off their series of collaborative footwear and apparel with Reebok.
In addition, they dropped a collaborative incense chamber with ACU, and a few Medicom items under the company’s [email protected] imprint, including a welcome mat, house slippers, and various small accessories covered in an all-over print resembling old newspaper classified ads.
Bodega, Highsnobiety, and Reebok also hosted a panel at Innersect. We sat down with Bodega co-founders Oliver Mak, Dan Natola, and Jay Gordon to talk about Bodega’s growth over the years, and discovered that China is actually their second biggest market. Bodega’s Andrew White also shed some light on the design behind their Shanghai-sunset inspired Reebok collab, which marks the first time the Daytona silhouette has been given a gradient upper.
The panel was emceed by Wes Chen, a seminal figure in China’s hip-hop scene and host of The Park, the country’s most mainstream hip-hop show. So it was only appropriate to have him interview Reebok’s guest of honor, Cam’ron. They spoke about the influence of hip-hop, the legendary Harlem rapper’s trademark sense of style, and the next iteration of his Reebok collaboration.
Get a full look at the installations, exclusive products, and panels in the galleries above, and stay tuned for an upcoming episode of our Highsnobiety Conversations podcast that revolves around the Chinese streetwear market.
Now check out all the dope street style from Innersect 2018.