Villa And The Swaggerjack Of The Year

Let me start by saying this is an opinion piece. You might not agree with what I’m going to say here, and that’s fine. However, I’m not too thrilled with what I’m writing about here, and I don’t think the average Twin Cities sneakerhead will be either.

As you probally already know, the Philadelphia-based chain sneaker store Ruvilla (most people just call them Villa for short) is starting to make their way into Minnesota. They’ve got a shop open in Brooklyn Park, and are working on shops in the Mall of America and North Minneapolis as well. It’s rumored that they are looking to open two more shops as well, although the locations of those shops are uncertain. 

Now that you have the background if you didn’t know what was going on before, let’s get down to the matter at hand. The Brooklyn Park store is hosting an event October 2nd, entitled “Art, Beats, and Fashion”. Here’s the event flier for those who may not have seen it.

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Seems like a pretty decent idea right? It would be, if they weren’t shamelessly ripping off the beloved TCSAX series of events that are held at the Cabooze. You’ve got to admit, there are a lot of similarities. Not only are they touting the exact same thing that goes on at TCSAX, they also have the exact same DJ’s spinning that hosted TCSAX. You might think it’s a little early to hand out the “Swaggerjack Of The Year” award as it’s not even October yet, but I don’t think anything is going to top this.

I understand that when a company breaks into a new market, they need to establish themselves, and having an event is a pretty good way to do it. However, what I don’t like or respect one bit about this decision is that they’re just copying something that already has been going on here and trying to pass it off as an original idea.

It seems to be a classic case of the big business stomping into town and trying to put their stamp on things while pushing the little guys out. We already have a sneaker event here that has dope local musicians and DJ’s. We don’t need a big company trying their best to put together a shitty carbon copy of that. What they don’t seem to understand is that it’s the people in our scene that make events like this special. The Twin Cities has a very close-knit sneaker community, and they’re the ones that make an event like this worthwhile.

I don’t have anything against Villa or any of the people that work there. I think it’s great that there’s another store opening in Minnesota that we can get our kicks at. I just wish they’d find a better way to introduce themselves to the market than trying to make a cheap knockoff of something that we already have. I won’t be attending the event, and I’d bet that others in the community won’t either.


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