RVA Fashion Week’s Jimmy Budd & The Spot’s James Crump-Wallace Talk RVA Sneaker Fest 2022


Fashion in Richmond is an ever evolving aspect of our city and one of the few groups in town that have created a platform for fashion is RVA Fashion Week. Over the last decade, it has grown into an annual tradition that is vital for young designers, models and photographers a place to develop their skills under the hot lights of the runway.

Since its inception last year, RVA Sneaker Fest has been a natural outgrowth of RVA Fashion Week as its own entity that represents what happens when our own street culture blends high fashion with the vibe, creativity and self expression found here in our community.

sneaker fest flyer

R. Anthony Harris: I am here with Jimmy Budd and James Crump-Wallace and we are talking RVA Sneaker Fest 2022 sponsored by RVA Fashion Week and RVA Magazine to benefit Girls for A Change.  Let’s start with introductions and I will start with Jimmy, who are you? And what do you do?

Jimmy Budd: My name is Jimmy and I am the executive producer of RVA Fashion Week and part owner of Vagabond special events venue and restaurant.

RAH: And did you create RVA Sneaker Fest with James or James, did you come on later?

James Crump-Wallace: I came on later.

RAH: And James, who are you and what do you do?

JCW: Local DJ, and serial entrepreneur. I am one of the owners of The Spot on Broad Street and I am the Diamond Flea Market.

RAH: What happens at The Spot?

JCW:  The Spot is a multipurpose creative space and a mix between retail event space and clothing production. So we make clothes for people. People can also rent out the space to have events and do different things. It is just an all around creative hub.

Photo by Michael Hostetler

RAH: And then how did you guys link up on Sneaker Fest?

JB: Probably around this time last year, a little after Fall Fashion Week 2021. I got introduced to Brian and James and right after I got to see some of the cool events they’ve done like the Rotate Sneaker Show, which was super awesome. And then, just getting to know these guys I was like, these are guys that I want to work with. And as we grew Sneaker Fest, I thought James could be a great partner. And so we’ve had countless meetings at this point to really grow Sneaker Fest.

Photo by Michael Hostetler

RAH: What would you say the goals of Sneaker Fest are?

JB: I would say to tie the whole Richmond sneaker culture together. I thought there was like a stigma that sneakers was just street wear and athletic wear. It’s way more than that, because sneakers has become such a more luxury accessory. I had a conversation with a couple of friends like you’ll spend $50 on a pair of jeans, but you’re willing to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a pair of shoes! Just seeing that mentality grow in the city and remembering places like West Coast Kicks and then the whole Round Two crew coming through. Just seeing the appreciation and love for sneakers, I thought that would be a great new concept to grow through RVA Fashion Week.

JCW:  I think it’s also necessary because sneakers are such an essential part of fashion at this point in time and moving forward it’ll continue to be a staple of any outfit or any piece of fashion honestly. And Richmond has developed the unique sneaker culture with the buy, sell, trade stores and kicks booming in all these other places. RVA Sneaker Fest is essential to keep moving the culture forward.

Photo by Michael Hostetler

RAH: James, where would you say Richmond sneaker culture is now? It seems like there’s a lot more shops than there’s ever been.

JCW: Yeah it is growing is continuing to grow. It kinda started with Round Two then you had a few other places like Cool Kicks and Monument come around. And then after that it seemed to boom where you know the stores started to develop. I definitely see it being able to continue and to grow — more sneaker stores, and some of those stores that opening up other locations and getting bigger and even branching out like a Round Two did to other cities.

RAH: It makes sense for RVA Fashion Week because you see people putting sneakers together with suits like high end fashion and even corporate guys are incorporating streetwear into an everyday look. Jimmy what are you most excited about, and what should people be excited about on this event?

JB: I’m really excited for the kickoff this Friday — which is the Art Gala at Black Iris. We are doing free admission from 5 – 9pm with First Fridays. There are a lot of sneaker events in other cities that really focus more on the vendors, but there’s a huge art component to it. Recognizing that there is a lot of artists out there that are illustrating really cool forms of sneakers and sneaker culture as part of their art.

And so for the kick off, we thought we go elegant and then the next day we go with the massive 12 hour event where you have installations, all sorts of vendors selling sneakers, accessories and jewelry! Women can shop as well, it’s not just men looking for sneakers. Along the live music component. That was a big hit for us last year is having the performers on stage and to integrate with the runway shows like we’ve always done but streetwear fashion shows.

RAH: It’s like a more more fun, spin off of RVA Fashion Week. Fashion is what it is. It kind of feels more serious most of the time and sneakers are like the more fun cousin of that. You know what I am saying? More accessible might the right word.

JB: You just nailed it. RVA Fashion Week strives to be as inclusive as possible. We want to really connect the community and the whole art world. And so, with the Sneaker Fest, it is the same way, inclusive. I mean, do you know anyone that doesn’t wear sneakers?

RAH: James, do you have anything to add to that? Because you are on the music side and the streetwear side.

Photo by Michael Hostetler

JCW:  I mean for me, I’m looking forward to is seeing the DJs live and then, you seeing what people have to bring as far as sneakers, seeing what heat is there. And then The Spot and Rotate will have some pieces in the runway show. So that’ll be exciting to see us. Drop some new stuff, our new collection out at Sneaker Fest. And the music is always a big part. The music ties into fashion and sneakers as well. You know? Yeah, people talk about sneakers in their music and then even when you DJ, you like to put some heat on to while you are up there performing. It will definitely be a good time in general. And then we have the whole after party with The Original Players and Andrew Hypes along Dany B hosting — so it’ll definitely be a good time. A long day but but a fun day at Tang & Biscuit for sure.

RAH: And with that — is there anything that I missed?

JB: We are very excited to be supporting Girls For A Change, which is our official nonprofit. What Angela Patton is doing over there for these young black women that might not have the opportunities that others get at their age is — it’s amazing. We’re so excited to really support her and her initiative. She has a group of 11th graders that have already built out this amazing prototype shoe that’s going to be showcased at Black Iris as well as at Tang & Biscuit.

RAH: All right. That’s it. Don’t step on anybody’s sneakers! And yes, RVAMAG is a proud sponsor and will be there. So let’s get it. See you on Friday.

More information can be found HERE
Photos by Michael Hostetler

R. Anthony Harris

R. Anthony Harris

I created Richmond, Virginia’s culture publication RVA Magazine and brought the first Richmond Mural Project to town. Designed the first brand for the Richmond’s First Fridays Artwalk and promoted the citywide “RVA” brand before the city adopted it as the official moniker. I threw a bunch of parties. Printed a lot of magazines. Met so many fantastic people in the process. Professional work: www.majormajor.me

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