The Solexchange National Sneaker Convention, a two-day extravaganza for sneaker-lovers and all things food-for-the-sole is set for Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey from 12 noon to 6:00 pm on both days.

LIVE Performances by Hip Hop super stars WakaFlocka (August 27/5-6 pm) and Lil' Uzi Vert (August 28/3-4 pm), a meet and greet with NBA legend and Slam Dunk champion Spud Webb (August 27/2-3 pm), and music by HOT 97's - DJ Bobby Trends (August 27/3-4 pm) will be among the many highlights.

As a special added attraction, a vendor mixer dubbed the "90's Hip Hop Night" will kick off the weekend festivities on Friday night, August 26 from 7-11 pm. It will include exclusive meet and greets and performances by Naughty By Nature, Brand Nubian,Onyx, and Duck Down Music and HOT 97's DJ Bobby Trends.

The two-day sole-ful experience will feature 25,000 pairs of rare sneakers for sale/trade, 300 vendors, FREE sneakers giveaways every hour, adidas Yeezy Boost 350's for retail, a 20,000 square foot trading floor, NBA-style free throw contests for FREE sneakers, and much, much more.

Guest speakers, all on August 27, will include Steiner Sports founder Brandon Steiner, Sneaker Collector "Mayor," and Sneaker Curator Suraj Kaufman, beginning at 2:00 pm.

Tickets are priced at $40, and can be purchased at www.thesolexchange.com.

The website is www.thesolexchange.com is "The Stock Market of Sneakers," one-half market place and one-half news-blog, where people can sell their sneakers 100% commission free and get all of their sneaker/culture news.

Appearance schedule:
August 27
2-3 pm – Spud Webb – meet and greet with NBA legend
3-4 pm – HOT 97's - DJ Bobby Trends
5-6 pm – Waka Flocka – (live music by hip hop artist)

August 28
3-4 pm – Lil' Uzi Vert (live music by hip hop artist)

About Founder Joe Diorio:
Joe Diorio, 37, is a sneaker junkie himself. He says: “I started collecting sneakers since I was a kid, Nike Flights, and the rest is history. Each pair represents a time or event in my life that is significant to that shoe. A documentary on Michael Jordan, and not his sneakers, first captivated Diorio. “It was the Air Jordan shoe at first,” he recollects. ”At first it was a documentary called ‘Michael Jordan Air Time.’ The introduction was crazy, the crowd, the music, Michael's voice and then the clips of him catching hang time, wow! Then I saw a clip of the Jordan 1's in the video and I was hooked. I went from pumps to Jordan's and then the Jordan craze started from there.” Diorio created a website where sneakerheads could buy, sell and trade their favorite pairs of sneakers freely, and build a community around that.

About 16-year-old sneaker entrepreneur Dominick Ruiz:
Dominick Ruiz, a student at Manalapan High School, has turned his love of sneakers into a growing business that would have a person twice his age envious. His business consists of buying and selling sneakers for a profit to those who do not have the availability for sneakers here in the United States, leading to a booming clientele in foreign countries, mainly China. Starting off small, Ruiz now says that his business can bring in about $8,000 a month from sales he makes.

About Kyrie Irving Collector Terrel Marcus:
The Bronx native Terrel Marcus is well-known in the sneaker world as one of the biggest Kyrie Irving and Nike sneaker collectors in the country. The Nike shoes of the world champion Cleveland Cavs point guard have hit the market by storm since his Rookie of the Year season in 2012, and Marcus became part of the “Kyrie Gang” with his ever-growing assemblage. So much so that he’s even been featured on Nike billboards in Times Square. Marcus has made a splash not only for collecting all of Irving's sneakers, but by customizing them as well, adding his own spin to the sneaker and using his own color schemes that have been very popular online.

Hip Hop Star Waka Flocka and Sneaker Curator Suraj Kaufman Highlight National Sneaker Convention

Bronx Product Terrel Marcus Will Display Kyrie Irving, Nike Sneaker Collection at National Sneaker Convention August 27-28 at the Meadowlands

NBA Legend Spud Webb to Appear at The Solexchange National Sneaker Convention on Saturday, August 27 at Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ

Sneakers and NBA players have been synonymous for eons – from Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Stars to Nike’s Air Jordans. And so Spud Webb (he wore size 8 Pony City Wings), one of the smallest players in history but an historic performer nonetheless, will be front and center atThe Solexchange National Sneaker Convention on Saturday, August 27 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The two-day extravaganza for sneaker-lovers and all things food-for-the-sole will continue on Sunday, August 28. Both sessions begin at 12 noon and continue through 6:00 pm. The sole-ful experience will feature 25,000 pairs of rare sneakers for sale/trade, 300 vendors, FREE sneakers giveaways every hour, adidas Yeezy Boost 350's for retail, a 20,000 square foot trading floor, and NBA-style free throw contests.

Webb, the 1986 “Slam Dunk” champion who wowed the crowd and judges with an epic performance despite his 5-6 stature, will meet and greet fans for an hour at the sneaker soiree.

Defying the odds as an undrafted player during an 11-year NBA career primarily with the Atlanta Hawks, Webb scored over 8,000 points on 45 percent shooting, mesmerizing opposing players with his deft ball handling.

Webb is also well-remembered for vaulting Jim Valvano’s North Carolina State squad to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Tickets are priced at $40, and can be purchased at www.thesolexchange.com.

LIVE Performances by Hip Hop super stars WakaFlocka (August 27/5-6 pm) and Lil' Uzi Vert (August 28/3-4 pm) will also among the highlights.

The Solexchange, dubbed “The Stock Market of Sneakers," was officially launched in April of this year by Joe Diorio. The Brooklyn-born entrepreneur calls it “one-half marketplace and one-half news-blog, where people can sell their sneakers 100% commission free and get all of their sneaker/culture news.”

This stock market is on the rise, buoyed by its biggest event to date, the National Sneaker Convention, a two-day extravaganza for sneaker-lovers and all things food-for-the-sole, is set for Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey from 12 noon to 6:00 pm on both days.

“We came up with the idea because our customers were asking for ways to sell with Solexchange after a trade show was over,” says Diorio. “We sat down and created a digital version of our trade show so customers can now buy, sell, and trade with Solexchange all year round.”

Diorio, 37, is a sneaker junkie himself. He says: “I started collecting sneakers since I was a kid, Nike Flights, and the rest is history. Each pair represents a time or event in my life that is significant to that shoe.

“I keep a collection of 200 rare pieces that I don't ever wear, sell, or trade,” adds Diorio.”

A documentary on Michael Jordan, and not his sneakers, first captivated Diorio. “It was the Air Jordan shoe at first,” he recollects. ”At first it was a documentary called ‘Michael Jordan Air Time.’ The introduction was crazy, the crowd, the music, Michael's voice and then the clips of him catching hang time, wow! Then I saw a clip of the Jordan 1's in the video and I was hooked. I went from pumps to Jordan's and then the Jordan craze started from there.”

There are over 300 pairs of shoes available for customers on the site, some selling under retail. “The site caters to more than sneaker collectors, it caters to the every-day customer who's just looking for a good pair of sneakers for a great price,” reports Diorio.

While The Solexchange website is only three months old, Diorio has been managing sneaker-related events for four years, growing from just 300 to 3,000 spectators. Even more are expected during the two-day National Sneaker Convention. Thanks to his passion for the sole-ful experience, Diorio has carved his niche. “I worked a lot of retail jobs before starting my own business,” says Diorio. “I actually did pretty well, making my way up to senior manager positions, but corporate life wasn't for me. I always found it hard to work in a structured environment, I love the creative and marketing of an event and the excitement of staying close to the consumer.”

Here are the full details on the convention:
The Solexchange National Sneaker Convention, a two-day extravaganza for sneaker-lovers and all things food-for-the-sole is set for Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey from 12 noon to 6:00 pm on both days.

LIVE Performances by Hip Hop super stars Waka Flocka (August 27/5-6 pm) and Lil' Uzi Vert (August 28/3-4 pm), a meet and greet with NBA legend and Slam Dunk champion Spud Webb (August 27/2-3 pm), and music by HOT 97's - DJ Bobby Trends (August 27/3-4 pm) will be among the many highlights.

As a special added attraction, a vendor mixer dubbed the "90's Hip Hop Night" will kick off the weekend festivities on Friday night, August 26 from 7-11 pm. It will include exclusive meet and greets and performances by Naughty By Nature, Brand Nubian,Onyx, and Duck Down Music and HOT 97's DJ Bobby Trends.

The two-day sole-ful experience will feature 25,000 pairs of rare sneakers for sale/trade, 300 vendors, FREE sneakers giveaways every hour, adidas Yeezy Boost 350's for retail, a 20,000 square foot trading floor, NBA-style free throw contests for FREE sneakers, and much, much more.

Guest speakers, all on August 27, will include Steiner Sports founder Brandon Steiner, Sneaker Collector "Mayor," and Sneaker Curator Suraj Kaufman, beginning at 2:00 pm.

Tickets are priced at $40, and can be purchased at www.thesolexchange.com.

The Solexchange National Sneaker Convention Set for August 27-28 at Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ; NBA Legend Spud Webb to Appear; Hip Hop Stars Waka Flocka and Lil’ Uzi Vert Will Perform

The Hip Hop and sneaker worlds collide when superstars Waka Flocka (August 27/5-6 pm) and Lil' Uzi Vert (August 28/3-4 pm) perform live at the National Sneaker Convention Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey.

As a special added attraction, a vendor mixer dubbed the "90's Hip Hop Night" will kick off the weekend festivities on Friday night, August 26 from 7-11 pm. It will include exclusive meet and greets and performances by Naughty By Nature, Brand Nubian,Onyx, and Duck Down Music and HOT 97's DJ Bobby Trends.

Music by HOT 97's DJ Bobby Trends (August 27/3-4 pm) and an appearance by NBA Legend Spud Webb will also be among the many highlights.

The National Sneaker Convention is a two-day extravaganza for sneaker-lovers and all things food-for-the-sole which will be open from from 12 noon to 6:00 pm on both days.

WakaFlocka is an Atlanta, Georgia rapper whose influences include Eazy-E and Lil Jon in addition to Gucci Mane. His debut solo LP, Flockaveli, arrived in 2010 and debuted at number six on the U.S. Billboard 200. After working with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Lex Luger, and Tyler, the Creator on his 2012 sophomore effort, Triple F Life: Friends, Fans and Family, the MC dropped the single “Beast” along with his third LP,Flockaveli 2 in 2015.

Eclectic rapper Lil Uzi Vert came out of North Philadelphia with a style that connected the dots between Young Thug, Chief Keef, and the A$AP Mob. Uzi secured a deal with Atlantic Records in 2015, releasing his Luv Is Rage mixtape. He then teamed up with longtime collaborator Don Cannon for the early 2016 mixtape Lil Uzi vs. the World, which also featured beats from Metro Boomin and Maaly Raw.

The two-day sole-ful experience will feature 25,000 pairs of rare sneakers for sale/trade, 300 vendors, FREE sneakers giveaways every hour, Adidas Yeezy Boost 350's for retail, a 20,000 square foot trading floor, NBA-style free throw contests for FREE sneakers, and much, much more.

Guest speakers, all on August 27, will include Steiner Sports founder Brandon Steiner, Sneaker Collector "Mayor," and Sneaker Curator Suraj Kaufman,beginning at 2:00 pm.

Tickets are priced at $40, and can be purchased at www.thesolexchange.com.

The Solexchange is "The Stock Market of Sneakers," one-half market place and one-half news-blog, where people can sell their sneakers 100% commission free and get all of their sneaker/culture news.

Appearance schedule:
August 27
2-3 pm – Spud Webb – meet and greet with NBA legend
3-4 pm – HOT 97's - DJ Bobby Trends
5-6 pm – Waka Flocka – (live music by hip hop artist)

August 28
5-6 pm PM – Lil' Uzi Vert (live music by hip hop artist)

Stock Market of Sneakers on the Rise: Joe Diorio’s The Solexchange to Host National Sneaker Convention

Teenage Entrepreneur from New Jersey Has a Business with “Sole”; Dominick Ruiz at National Sneaker Convention August 27-28

New Jersey-born Naughty by Nature band member Vin Rock first followed in the hip hop footsteps of Run DMC, Salt'n Pepa, Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane. Now, East Orange’s favorite son is hopping to his own beat. That includes a “Sole-ful” experience when the band helps to kick off the Solexchange National Sneaker Convention from August 26-28 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center.

“I am an ‘80s baby,’ and grew up in era of Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five,” he says. “We assembled in high school in the mid-late 80s, and as we performed locally, we invited Queen Latifah and the Flavor Unit to one of our shows and gave them our demo. They were starting up and we were the first artist to be signed to Flavor Unit Records.”

Vin and Naughty By Nature will send off the convention that’s a stone’s throw from his hometown with a vendor mixer dubbed the "90's Hip Hop Night" on Friday night, August 26 from 7-11 pm with exclusive meet and greets and performances. The Grammy Award-winning band will be joined by Brand Nubian, Onyx, Duck Down Music and HOT 97's DJ Bobby Trends. Tickets are available at www.solexchangeny.eventbrite.com!

Naughty By Nature, and fellow hip hop bands Genius GZA, Duck Down Music, Onyx, Public Enemy and Brand Nubian are launching the TRPL Threat sneaker line called “Hip Hop Vol. I, a unique brand  expected to take the lifestyle sneaker market by storm, as the groups follow the lead of Hip Hop legend Kanye West who initiated his wildly-popular Yeezy Boost adidas sneaker line in 2015. The TRPL Threats will be available at the Sneaker Convention.

“It is a great feeling to partner with Solexchange,” he says. “This lets us get right to the heart of the sneaker lovers. We will be able to capture a lot of attention and school the young kids on who we are.”

Then on Saturday and Sunday, the Hip Hop superstars Waka Flocka (August 27/5-6 pm) and Lil' Uzi Vert (August 28/3-4pm) perform live at the National Sneaker Convention Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Vin Rock Quotables:
On the new sneaker line:
“Danny Shaw is the owner of the company. He approached me with the concept of taking popular sneaker silhouettes and branding them. “I thought it was a great idea.

“I am the one that goes out and get the licensing for the sneakers. We have 3,600 pairs for sale now and are currently working off our website. This started with people that I have personal relationships with. I reached out and they were the first ones to sign on.”

Concepts, expectations, launch:
“The concept is for hip hop, by hip hop.

“It is pretty hard to get a Converse, Nike, adidas to buy in and work with you. We are independent and out of pocket. Start with the online sales through the website as well as at sneaker conventions. Later down the road, it is about finding the right boutique or major shoe seller, and then the sky's the limit.

“We’re looking to get the younger guys to brand themselves, and put their names out there. We started working on the Hip Hop Series and we were getting a lot of positive feedback.”

On the possibility of partnering with a big sneaker company:
“We wouldn’t be ignorant to say no to a partnership with a staple in the shoe industry.”

“If we are able to do a great job, I anticipate one company can come, and be good for us.”

On the Kanye West ‘Yeezy’ Sneakers:
“Kanye is serious of what he is doing and has studied with all the greats. He definitely has the resources to maximize his ambition.”

Favorite artists growing up/influences in music:
“Some artists that I grew up listening are Run DMC, Salt'n Pepa, Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane.”

“Hip Hop gave us an exit strategy. It is an art form. I have always been excited and ambitious to participate in Hip Hop.”

New Jersey’s Naughty By Nature Band Member Vin Rock to Appear at National Sneaker Convention; East Orange Product Will Perform Friday Night, August 26, Has New TRPL Threat Sneaker Line

Hip Hop Superstars Waka Flocka and Lil' Uzi Vert in LIVE Performances at The Solexchange National Sneaker Convention Set for Sat.-Sun. August 27-28 at Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ
***90’s Hip Hop Night Adds to Festivities on Friday, Aug. 26 with Performances by Naughty By Nature, Brand Nubian, Onyx, and Duck Down***

Thousands of sneaker-lovers, hip hop enthusiasts and curiosity seekers turned out for the two-day Solexchange (www.thesolexchange.com) National Sneaker Convention, a “food for the sole” extravaganza on  Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The sole-ful experience featured 25,000 pairs of rare sneakers for sale/trade, 300 vendors, FREE sneakers giveaways every hour, adidas Yeezy Boost 350's for retail, a 20,000 square foot trading floor, NBA-style free throw contests for FREE sneakers, and much, much more. A LIVE Performance by Hip Hop super stars Waka Flocka and guest guest speaker Sneaker Curator Suraj Kaufman, both pictured, were among the many highlights.

Photos by John Bacchia

The Bronx native Terrel Marcus is well-known in the sneaker world as one of the biggest Kyrie Irving and Nike sneaker collectors in the country, and his collection will be on display next weekend at the Solexchange National Sneaker Convention on Saturday and Sunday, August 27th and 28th, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey.

A total of 25,000 pairs of rare sneakers will be showcased at the convention on display or for sale and trade, and NBA Slam Dunk legend Spud Webb will appear on August 27th from 2-3:00 pm. Tickets are priced at $40, and can be purchased at www.thesolexchange.com.

The Nike shoes of the world champion Cleveland Cavs point guard have hit the market by storm since his Rookie of the Year season in 2012, and Marcus became part of the “Kyrie Gang” with his ever-growing assemblage. So much so that he’s even been featured on Nike billboards in Times Square.

With a collection of over 300 pairs – “I never took the time out to count, but it is more about quality over quantity for me,” he says – Marcus’s compendium is comprised of a bevy of Nike shoes including, of course, a variety of Air Jordans and Air Max.

“Basically, my older brothers got me into sneakers,” he says. “My mother used to always buy my older brothers sneakers, tuff so it was easier for me to transition into sneakers. She used to buy us sneakers every week.

“My oldest brother was always into Jordans, so that's how I got into Jordans,” added the product of the Soundview Houses. “The 2000 Infrared Jordan 6 is definitely one of my favorite Jordans, and so is the Black Cement Jordan 3. The Retro Jordan 6, they recently dropped again, I have that pair as well.”

Back to Kyrie Irving, who actually began to follow Marcus on Instagram (tmarkgotkickss). “He started commenting on my pictures, and (we had) a couple of conversations here and there,” says the expert in the intricacies of the Kyrie Irving shoe designs. “He knows that I have a creative mind, and hopefully one day I can help with the Kyrie 2 or Kyrie 3 or whatever comes out in the future.”

Here is a video interview with Terrel Marcus which appeared on SneakerWatch: https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLadX4-fliLhv0pHz_6MYG2XW9a9QOX0uV

The details of the National Sneaker Convention are as follows:
The Solexchange National Sneaker Convention, a two-day extravaganza for sneaker-lovers and all things food-for-the-sole is set for Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey from 12 noon to 6:00 pm on both days.

LIVE Performances by Hip Hop super stars Waka Flocka (August 27/5-6 pm) and Lil' Uzi Vert (August 28/3-4 pm), a meet and greet with NBA legend and Slam Dunk champion Spud Webb (August 27/2-3 pm), and music by HOT 97's - DJ Bobby Trends (August 27/3-4 pm) will be among the many highlights.

The two-day sole-ful experience will feature 25,000 pairs of rare sneakers for sale/trade, 300 vendors, FREE sneakers giveaways every hour, adidas Yeezy Boost 350's for retail, a 20,000 square foot trading floor, NBA-style free throw contests for FREE sneakers, and much, much more.

Guest speakers, all on August 27, will include Steiner Sports founder Brandon Steiner, Sneaker Collector "Mayor," and Sneaker Curator Suraj Kaufman, beginning at 2:00 pm.

Tickets are priced at $40, and can be purchased at www.thesolexchange.com.

A 16-year-old entrepreneur from Freehold, NJ, has plenty of "sole."

Dominick Ruiz, a student at Manalapan High School, has turned his love of sneakers into a growing business that would have a person twice his age envious. The lad will be front and center at the Solexchange National Sneaker Convention on August 27-28 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey.

“I got into sneakers about four years ago,”‎ explains the high school junior. "A bunch of my friends used to buy and sell them, but I wasn't really into it.

“Then I bought a pair, and I realized that I could ‘flip’ them for $1,000," added the teenager. "And it all started from there.”‎ It began as an $800 a month part time job that has burgeoned into an $8,000 a month growing business.

Ruiz worked at a sneaker store, East Coast Boutique, which is where he learned more about the sneaker industry.

Most sneaker zealots get into collecting and selling from an interest in following NBA players and their footwear, but that was not the case with Ruiz.

“I am actually not a big basketball guy, but I did like the Celtics because of my brother David. He was a Celtics fan.”

Still, Ruiz has a does have a personal favorite, in this case proving that size matters. “My favorite player, aside from (Michael) Jordan, would have to be Allen Iverson because he is small, and I am a small kid,” says the 5-foot-2-inch Ruiz

His favorite sneaker? The King is king: “Jordans are great, but I really like the Lebron sneakers.”

Ruiz has 10 pairs of sneakers that he wears “in a daily rotation,” and adds that he owns 25 additional pairs that he buys to sell.

“I actually receive a lot of business from China,” he reports. “They don’t have as big of a selection of sneakers there, so I have built relationships there with the purpose of selling. I also have been able to sell sneakers through a photo on Instagram.”

The Solexchange founder Joe Diorio has taken the youngster under his wing, impressed by his business acumen, and encouraged Ruiz: “Joe thinks that I deserve to be more recognized, he’s trying to help me out in the business.”

Ruiz is a young man with a plan, not resting on his success but instead looking toward the future.  “I plan on going to school and get a business degree to further my business,” he says. ““I’m thinking of possibly going to school in the West Coast since I’ve spent a lot of time here on the East and would like to go west to possibly make more connections”

He continues to take steps toward building his business on the last weekend in August. Here are more details on the National Sneaker Convention:
Sneakers and NBA players have been synonymous for eons – from Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Stars to Nike’s Air Jordans. And so Spud Webb (he wore size 8 Pony City Wings), one of the smallest players in history but an historic performer nonetheless, will be front and center at The Solexchange National Sneaker Convention on Saturday, August 27 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (355 Plaza Drive) in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The two-day extravaganza for sneaker-lovers and all things food-for-the-sole will continue on Sunday, August 28. Both sessions begin at 12 noon and continue through 6:00 pm. The sole-ful experience will feature 25,000 pairs of rare sneakers for sale/trade, 300 vendors, FREE sneakers giveaways every hour, adidas Yeezy Boost 350's for retail, a 20,000 square foot trading floor, and NBA-style free throw contests.

Webb, the 1986 “Slam Dunk” champion who wowed the crowd and judges with an epic performance despite his 5-6 stature, will meet and greet fans for an hour at the sneaker soiree.

Tickets are priced at $40, and can be purchased at www.thesolexchange.com.

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