The vibe at Packer Shoes in Teaneck New Jersey is just what you would think it would be if you are familiar with the family-run business who’s celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, as there was an unmistakable feeling of excitement and community among the crowd who crammed to meet Larry Johnson. Freshness recently did a full-blown feature article on the history of the famous sneaker boutique, and their commitment to heritage and sport culture was again cemented last night as their collaboration with Fila (also celebrating a century very soon) for a Larry Johnson-themed model in a limited edition of–you guessed it–100, was released. To commemorate the sneaker’s drop, Larry Johnson himself was on hand to sign photos of him in the Fila FX-100, which was a ubiquitous shoe in the streets for quite some time, and posters of his own brand of sweet tea that he was cross-promoting.
The night may have been dreary with wind and rain from a Nor’easter whipping outside, but that didn’t stop throngs of sneaker and NY Knicks fans from crowding the shop to clamor for pictures and limited edition shoes. Along with the individually-numbered sneakers with Fila-styled “Packer” letters on the back of the tongue and on the footbed, customers also received a care package with a t-shirt, a copy of the latest Sneaker Freaker, and a bunch of Packer stickers. Not a bad haul for $100. LJ himself was characteristically schmoozing with the crowd of fans both young and old. Check the pictures below to get a sense of the family atmosphere at a shop with a rich history. Also, stay tuned for a Freshness Interview with LJ where he expressed his candid feelings about the game and reflections on a storied career.