Thousands descend on Perth’s Sneakerland event including Perth Wildcats star Bryce Cotton

Thousands of sneaker enthusiasts from all over Perth descended on RAC Arena on Saturday to buy, sell and trade their kicks at Australia’s biggest sneaker convention.

The event’s founder Jamal Diallo says he started Sneakerland as a place for people to “share the passion” of sneakers.

“It’s a place to trade the items and at the same time throw in elements of the culture, basketball, dance, and music,” he said.

There are over 100 pairs of sneakers in Mr Diallo’s personal collection today, but when he started out at the age of nine it was much smaller.

“Growing up in Italy, I was the only black person in my school. I didn’t really get noticed like everybody else.”

Camera IconCredit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian, Jamal Diallo at Sneakerland at RAC Arena in Perth.

Mr Diallo’s uncle worked for Puma at the time and gave him a limited edition pair of Puma boots.

“So when I had those shoes people started kind of like relating to me and connecting with me.”

“That helped a lot to start a conversation. I don’t like the superficial part of it. I love that it connects people.”

“That’s where it all started.”

Passionate sneakerhead Jacob D’Costa was among the enthusiasts at the event.

The 24-year-old from Brabham said his collection of about 60 kicks is worth a “pretty penny,” of up to $40,000.

Beyond sneaker trading, Sneakerland had a fiercely competitive breakdancing competition with local dancers going head to head with $1000 on the line.

There were also giveaways, an auction and a live podcast event for the FatChat podcast hosted by online fitness coach and ex-Love Island contestant Gerard Majda.

The podcast guests included Perth Wildcats basketball star Bryce Cotton who said he was there to show support for his friend Jamal Diallo.

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