It's no secret that the sneaker game has changed. But the more it changes, says Mike Packer, owner of Packer Shoes in Teaneck, New Jersey, the more it stays the same. The Packer family has been in the shoe business since 1907, and Mike is part of a storied lineage in the world of shoes. He remembers the days of writing down one-off orders for customers, calling beeper numbers, and putting a shoe in the storefront so they could see it for the first time before there were "release dates." Packer has an encyclopedic knowledge of the products he sells, and he is still as passionate as he's ever been about the possibilities that lie ahead.
A few months back, Packer Shoes collaborated with Reebok for a special version of the Pump20 that honored Dominique Wilkins. There were only 29 pairs of the sneakers produced, so the release was highly-anticipated, but when Packer announced that Dominique Wilkins was going to be on hand to sign autographs and shoe boxes, it made the release quite special. Many in the industry felt that Packer Shoes finally got the recognition it deserved, and the future of the shop, as Mike told Freshness, is exciting as well.
Freshness got a chance to sit down for a very in-depth interview with a man who knows the sneaker game as well as anyone else. Packer discusses being in the difficult requirements of running a niche-market shop with great candor, and gave Freshness a look at the business side of sneakers. In an extensive question and answer session, our readers will get a chance to learn a great deal about a product that seems hot now, but has really never fluctuated--sneakers.