CREWS MAKE LEGENDS
In the grand scheme of things, 2006 wasn’t that long ago. In terms of sneakers and streetwear, 2006 might as well be the Middle Ages. Traditional, athletic chain stores were still where a vast majority of people bought their shoes, and the concept of special and limited-edition product was a niche concern. If you didn’t live in one of the handful of cities in the world home to a boutique retailer dedicated to this audience, your interaction with this subculture took place entirely on the pre-social media internet.
Then, in a comparatively quiet corner of Boston’s Back Bay, the future of direction of this rapidly emerging culture was totally redefined when Bodega opened its doors.
The clandestine, esoteric vibe of Bodega eschewed self-promotion, relying on under the radar and word of mouth sources to build mystique. Few things foster a sense of community like sharing a secret, and in those early days, just knowing that Bodega existed made you part of a kind of enlightened secret society.
This paradox of exclusivity and inclusivity was a key factor, as the initial thread of ‘the hidden sneaker store’ was followed back to its source by a wide ranging cast of characters, from Boston and beyond. United in the sense that there is something more to fashion than the simple, buy/sell business transaction, this growing community would come to define Bodega as a cultural hub, where talents that elsewhere may have been dismissed as unlikely, or entirely overlooked, could flourish.
With goodwill and leadership as core values, Bodega has always demonstrated a commitment to existing as something more than a place to shop. A teacher and student style relationship between store, staff, and customer, has created a cycle of reciprocal influence, which has allowed Bodega to continually grow and evolve.
Today, Bodega’s mixture of commerce and community continues to defy all odds, and provide an unprecedented model for what is possible: A place of inspiration and aspiration, where growing up does not mean having to sacrifice your ideals. A haven for the different, defiant, outspoken, and offbeat of all kinds, which enables the unique vision that every member of the crew to be realized to its fullest extent.
As we enter our 15th year, the Bodega family has become multigenerational. Amateurs have turned pro. Rookies have become veterans. And it doesn’t stop there. With physical locations on both coasts, Bodega continues to grow, but the ideals it was founded upon remain unchanged. We are doers. We have done and will continue to do. We are artists and craftspeople of all kinds: designers, photographers, writers, organizers, activists, musicians and deejays. We are models and role models. United in our diversity, we come together for the greater good.
We are a crew, each with a unique background and skill sets, and crews make legends.