Greetings, folks We’re filming another
episode of Soops and Hoops and today we’re going to talk to a really
interesting dude Mikey Nguyen of Index PDX which is a
sneaker consignment store here at Old Town Chinatown that sells some of the
most rare, hard-to-find sneakers Nike sample shoes, things that you just cannot
find elsewhere around the world so we’re gonna talk to him about sneaker culture
in Portland, about the footwear industry and how Portland has become a booming
part of that and we’ll talk about some of the crazy celebrities, NBA stars and
more that frequent his shop My man! What’s up man, how you doing bro? How you doin’? yeah good man ready to talk some kicks, get some soup? yeah man, I’m down with that yeah I’m ready to go (music) Thank you, sir, alright So we are at Utopia Restaurant & Lounge and what I want to know is Why do you love this place? Why do you love the food here? Just give me an idea of why this is your spot? So I’ve been coming to Utopia for probably about
like 12 or 13 years and this is probably the most authentic Vietnamese food
that you can get in Portland especially something from your own heritage in Vietnam, that’s my background so – So the bun bo hue is obviously the centerpiece – the bun bo hue is
definitely the centerpiece yeah it’s a spicy beef broth that has like beef
shank in it, has congealed pork blood it’s just a really good heavy soup it’s a spicy beef noodle soup, in fact Bun means noodles, bo is beef and then hue is where it’s originally from central Vietnam in the city of hue everywhere you go in town you can get bun bo hue, there’s
tons of Vietnamese restaurants but what specifically is cool about this? so definitely the broth that they do here is by far I think the best in my opinion the bun bo lao style how you have it like this the fire underneath it always stay
warm and it’s always fresh let’s dig in, man, let’s go (music) so tell me more about your shop what it
is, what it’s all about so a little backstory, me me and T, we’ve
been best friends since second grade been around shoes all our lives, our
passion was shoes and sneakers, you know and our parents didn’t have the money for
it, so we’d have to find our own means to to get our shoes so we started for a
while we had a whole bunch of shoes we started to sell them at the same time to buy new shoes and that’s kind of how it started to click when we started like
our own eBay account, we sold through there, we did it for a few years
and it fell through, we tried it again we took it a little bit more serious right approach to it so we did the eBay like hardcore back in like ’07 ’08 we did eBay for like four or five years before we opened Index in 2013 – well before that, you
guys kind of became known yeah we kind of became known in the sneaker community
for having like rare sneakers like sample Nikes and Jordans and whatnot and selling ’em on eBay so we kind of created a name for ourselves on eBay it was like a year before we actually opened up spot we were like, you know,
sitting around I was like man I’m tired of like lining up for shoes and going
all these different stores to buy shoes or hitting up Craigslist every 5-10
minutes meet up with somebody to buy a pair of shoes and I was like, man what if
we opened up the shop? Like a consignment shop we don’t have it here and Portland, it’s the mecca, it’s like the Silicon Valley of sneakers so it’s like we’re both from
here, let’s do it picked a spot specifically in Chinatown because
we wanted to be near Compound because Compound was the only kind of store
around to have that street culture vibe and it was kind of central
between east and west of you know the city so we found a space and we opened
up in 2013 and it kind of just kind of took off and, you know, we’ve been
there for seven years now and it’s been it’s been great tell me a little bit
more about the shop, how it operates and basically how you guys how your business
works yeah so pretty much people bring us sneakers we either buy from them or
consign it for them, however they choose and usually they’re like the more
rare or hard to find kind of sneakers limited releases, limited release shoes,
sneakers that you can no longer find at Nike or Foot Locker or whatnot it’s off the shelf, so we’re essentially in the second-hand market especially in the
last four or five years it’s boomed a lot because we started off as like a
subculture and now it’s like super mainstream now why do you think that has
been? I think the transition into sneakers has shifted from athletes to
celebrities, entertainers, rappers If you look back in the 90s and stuff like that,
you you pay attention to Jordan, what he’s wearing nowadays, it’s like what’s
Travis Scott wearing? What’s Virigl making? What’s Kanye wearing? and it’s having a little bit different influence on kids now than it has ever been it’s just crazy how it works so you guys have people coming in now from all over the
world, not only to visit the store for the shoes, but also because it’s kind of
a place in the culture that is right it’s what Portland’s about yes, exactly
as far as the street culture like we get people in every day that travel here and
they tell us you know we traveled here because, one, the food in your city is
good and, two, we wanted to come by Index we want to check out the street culture,
check out Deadstock coffee, you know, because it’s the only sneaker-themed coffee shop in
the world we get people from Australia Europe and then you get people from like
the bigger cities New York, Miami we get people from Singapore that come
come by our shop actually every year around Thanksgiving time because his
family’s from there but they make sure that the whole family they come by the
shop it’s been cool it’s not only for regular Joe’s either it seems like every
time an NBA team is in town to face the Portland Trail Blazers you guys have NBA
players from out of town coming and shopping with you, so like who were some of
the recents that have been in there who are some of your guys’s best customers? PJ Tucker is like obviously sneaker king he’s he every time he’s in town, he comes
by, really chill dude, the Rockets guard, right? yeah yeah we get some of the
Trail Blazers in like Anfernee Simons Gary trent would come in, yeah Dames been in there obviously uh last person that came in was Wayne Ellington when he played for Miami okay yeah yeah Do you guys ever have some celebrities roll through the shop? yeah, so our biggest biggest one recently was Offset from the Migos oh wow yeah, he heard about us actually – a homey of ours
down in LA, he was like, yo check out Index you gotta come up there so he took up one of his private jets flew up here shopped with us for a few hours, flew back down oh my god what kind of stuff was he copping? man, he was copping like
older like Jordan stuff like you wouldn’t – not like the hype stuff, but
like older Jordan like he was looking for like, Lightning 17s and, like,
Jordan 9s and stuff like that you guys also had Trinidad James in a while
ago because I know he does his own sneaker show yes and he came and hung out with you guys he came and he stayed in town for about a week and hung out with
us we kind of still keep in contact with him yeah he’s a really cool dude so out of the Blazers, would you say Anfernee Simons is like your guys’ best
customer right now? he’s been coming in a lot before especially before they seen
started but the guy the most would probably be Evan Turner, which he plays
for the Hawks now yeah yeah yeah, so he’s bought a lot of
shoes from us after he got traded he stopped by the shop the day he was like
moving, picked up a pair of shoes and then he took off but – it was a good pair
of shoes it’s a blessing to have a space to where you created that draws these
people in so now, you guys, business is booming things have been going well, you
guys are hosting tons of events, and being a part of the community tell me
a little bit about where we go from here in a general sense, I think, you know, the
sneaker culture in Portland the street culture in Portland is is strong and I
think it’s just gonna continue to grow from here on out all right man, let’s
wrap it up there and get back to focusing on some of this food yeah it’s good stuff (music) We are live from downtown Portland
shooting another episode of Soops & Hoops hold on, we’re not live ok (laughter)