Our New Documentary Dives into Cape Town's Secret Sneaker Hype

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For some, South Africa’s Cape Flats is still known as “apartheid’s dumping ground.” One of the country’s poorest areas, this expanse to the southeast of the city is made up of towns and ghettos built to marginalize the country’s non-white citizens, the multiethnic victims of apartheid.

Yet within these ghettos, a collective identity arose — one that embraced Air-soled Nike sneakers, or “bubbles” as they’re known locally.

In our new documentary Meet the Bubble Heads of Cape Town, we take a deep dive into bubble culture and discover how a group of people hustling iconic Nike silhouettes across the Atlantic and into Cape Town slums spawned an overlooked but intensely passionate sneakerhead community.

Through interviews with groups and online communities such as Unwanted Kicks and Bubble Koppe, and featuring input from prolific local hip-hop star YoungstaCPT, we discover how some of South Africa’s poorest people put everything into dressing “like the fucking elite,” and why the mindset grows from generation to generation.

Meet the Bubble Heads of Cape Town premieres at Cape Town’s Sneaker Exchange expo this Saturday.

Coming soon to Highsnobiety.

Want more Highsnobiety video content? Watch ‘High End,’ our documentary about luxury weed.

News Editor