It's hard to pinpoint exactly when I got into sneakers, but I can quite clearly remember the first time they fully entranced me.
I was probably around 11 at the time and caught up in a particularly severe typhoon in Hong Kong. Rather than do the usual thing and get home as soon as possible, I decided to explore some of the buildings around the Mongkok district and see what treasures I could find. I recall heading inside a particularly derelict high-rise expecting not to find anything. As I slowly made my way through the claustrophobic corridors, I heard heavy bass notes coming from around the corner. Following my ears, I suddenly came face to face with a store that sold some of the most exclusive sneakers in history.
Every surface within the boutique was made from glossy marble, and the space was filled with countless glass display cases showcasing hundreds of rare pairs. With all that said, the one that stopped me in my tracks was the Air Jordan 4 "Military Blue." While I didn't know much about the industry then, I knew immediately that this pair was special. And the rest is history.
Controversially, I really loved the chunky sneaker trend when it first began around the end of 2016 and the start of 2017.
Around this time, sneaker design was getting a little too basic for my tastes. Most new releases were made with all-knit uppers, and they didn't really have any cool features. However, brands introduced overly-complicated aesthetics with the dad shoe fad into their collections. While most pay homage to the past, like the Air Monarch and Ozweego, a few chunky trainers look to the future for inspiration, such as Chitose Abe's Sacai VaporWaffle and Matthew M Williams' Zoom 004.
Even after over a decade in the industry, getting and wearing a new pair of sneakers is one of the most exciting feelings. After spending weeks researching a specific pair and parting with your hard-earned cash, there's nothing else quite like it when they finally arrive in hand.
Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto will always hold special places in my heart. All truly creative and innovative designers, they put Asia on the fashion map back in the '70s and '80s at a time when Milan and Paris dominated the industry. While Miyake sadly passed earlier this year, his legacy will continue for decades.
One year ago, I would probably have said Balenciaga x Adidas, but that has miraculously happened now. Right now, I would love it if New Balance collaborated with a luxury fashion house. They have collections with COMME des GARÇONS, but something like a Prada x New Balance 992 would totally break the internet.
I usually try and include a sneaker from each brand in my rotation. For Fall, I'm wearing the Balenciaga Defender "Black," JJJJound x New Balance 990v3 "Olive," Nike SB Dunk High "Dog Walker," Saleh Bembury x Crocs Pollex Clog "Crocodile," Salomon ACS Pro Advanced "Triple Black," and the Yeezy Boost 350 "Turtle Dove." I'm also rocking the Rick Owens Tecuatl Tractor from his FW20 line.
I would love to get my hands on the Nike SB Dunk Low "Staple NYC Pigeon." When these were released in 2005, the line outside Reed Space, Jeff Staple's s Lower East Side storefront, grew so large that the NYPD was called to keep things in order and make sure those who were lucky enough to cop got home safe. This event made the front cover of the New York Post, and to this day, it remains one of the most iconic moments in sneaker history.
I love taking street photography, so I'm always attached to my trusty camera wherever I go.
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