All of our journeys are different… For some, it’s seeing your older brothers ever-fresh sneaker rotation or getting into the ’90s and ’00s skate scene, for others it’s watching the man Michael Jordan or following interests in streetwear fashion.
There are so many different angles and outer influences that have brought each one of us into this world of sneakers. As the culture evolves and grows to reach an even wider audience, the female population is one that I can’t help but notice appear more and more, both online and at events/releases.
I want to explore how and why so many of my female peers got into sneakers and what the future of our demographic looks like. To do so, I headed to one of the UK’s largest sneaker events and spoke with ladies from different walks about their journey and what they want to see happen in the sneaker space.
How did you get into sneakers and what was your first memory of it all?
@crown_juelzz: I was about 5 years old and I had just moved to Clapham Junction. I was window shopping with my mum on the high street and I saw this dude walking out of Foot Locker with JD Sports and Foot Locker bags rocking some Air Max 95s. I wanted to go in but my mum gave me that ‘no’ look. From then on I knew I loved sneakers. From Js to Air Max, to Kobes, LeBrons, David Beckham’s Predators, Total 90s and more.
I knew my mum would never buy me sneakers that expensive, but my luck changed on my 11th birthday when I got to pick my present. I chose some blue and gold BWs. A week later my mum got the same pair in a different colour-way… I was not happy!
How have you seen the sneaker culture evolve?
@crown_juelzz: I love the sneaker culture because as someone who is quite shy and not the best at expressing myself, the sneakers people wear make a statement and I like that. I also like the performance aspect of sneakers, eg. playing football with blades or studs, playing basketball with high tops or low tops. What I really like is the merging of the two: great performance shoes that are stylish at the same time and allow you to do both. But recently due to the whole increase in reselling, raffles and social media flexing, the sneaker culture is no longer about making a statement with what’s on your feet. It’s about who someone one is, it feels like everyone wants to show how much money they have, the newer younger collectors/sellers are creating a different type of culture in the sneaker community. Let’s not forget the huge influence sneakers have had on high street and high-end fashion.
What’s your favourite silhouette?
@crown_juelzz: I can’t just pick one! Here’s five… The Kobe 8, the most comfortable kicks I have played in and the colour-ways are super dope. The Jordan 1, simple but they have a way of making outfits effortlessly cool. The Air More Uptempo, the air bubble unit is beautiful and I love the bulky design. The Air Max 95, I literally love everything about the shoe! The Jeremy Scott x adidas line, I would have loved to own any of the animal pairs. The design was so unique.
What do and don’t you like about female releases?
@crown_juelzz: The female sneaker scene felt really Air Max and running heavy, then there was a lot of pink and pastel coloured releases. And then the Jordan 1s of late have been fire and also the Vogue 3s. What I don’t like is the product alignment with public figures like Kylie Jenner and other online influencers. Females are exposed to social media more than ever and body image is becoming of increasing importance to women and it is having huge effects on the younger generation. I believe we should be using more positive role models from the female sneaker community over the rich and famous you’ll find on the Instagram ‘Most Popular’ page.
If you were in a room with brands, what would you tell them? What’s missing?
@crown_juelzz: I want to be excited again! Off-White and Yeezys? It’s getting a little boring. I also want good quality, too! In the UK especially, let’s see more of a creative link between female sportswomen and brands, working with people like Drew Spence (Chelsea pro footballer) who loves Nike and would be a great face for a Nike lifestyle/performance campaign. Let’s get more females into sport through these collaborations. Some have been well executed eg. Candice Parker and Adidas, Maya Moore and Jordan, Sky Diggs and Puma and Serena Williams and Off White.
Read the full article and interviews over on NiceKicks here.