In the beginning, there were no sneaker shops in New York City. There were no sneaker shops anywhere. Why would have there been? Sneakers were a utilitarian good, no different than a pair of jeans or a tennis racket. They were found at sporting goods stores, at surplus stores, at clothing stores. Then, sometime in the late ’70s, that changed.

That first wave of sneaker shops, covered so well in Bobbito García’s 2003 book Where’d You Get Those?, made New York City the hub of what would come to be known as sneaker culture. Gerry Cosby’s spot sold impossible-to-find team-issue Nikes; “Jew Man” in the Bronx had all the Air Force 1s; Carlsen Imports and Peck and Chase downtown had everything. Some shops chose their stock carefully, others just put stuff out and let the customers choose. Sneaker culture wasn’t born, it was made.