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Chester Chai - Malaysian Sneakerhead Interview


Hapsari Listya
May 28, 2023

Chester @thechester.c remembers the Yeezy 350 'Turtle Dove' hype and was fascinated by the aesthetic, and he loves sneakers since then. One of his favorite brands is Aimé Leon Dore, which he believes reflects present menswear and streetwear.

What was the moment you first got drawn to sneakers, and which pair of sneakers triggered your passion?

When adidas released its ground-breaking Yeezy 350 'Turtle Dove,' I fell in love with sneakers for the first time. The excitement and the hype surrounding the release were overwhelming, and as I looked at this innovative design, I felt an instant connection.

This remarkable pair of sneakers sparked a newfound love in me, taking me on an exciting journey of discovery and admiration for the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating such well-known sneakers.

My passion for sneakers has grown stronger since then, thanks to my never-ending search for the perfect pair to add to my ever-expanding collection.

All images via @thechester.c

What’s one moment or trend in the history of sneaker culture that resonates with you?

The golden era of campouts is one period in sneaker culture history that has a special place in my heart. Before raffles and online releases, my friends and I would gladly join the masses of sneakerheads camped out in front of our favorite shops, all in the hopes of securing a coveted pair.

We would create friendships, share stories, and bond over our shared love of sneakers under the blanket of stars. We waited for each roll call vigilantly, ready to establish our presence and keep our well-earned positions in line. Those restless evenings spent leaning on the sidewalk not only showed our passion for sneakers, but also resulted in some of my most cherished memories.

The camp-out days reflect the heart of sneaker culture, where passion, perseverance, and friendship come together to create a genuinely amazing experience. Though circumstances and technology have changed, the memories of camp-outs will always be written in my heart as a reminder of the unbreakable spirit that defines sneaker culture.

What are some of the current pairs of sneakers in your rotation?

My current daily rotation pairs are the New Balance Made in USA 990v5, New Balance 992 'Grey,' New Balance 990AL3 SeaSalt by Teddy Santis, ASICS GEL-LYTE III 'Teh Tarik,' Nike Dunk Low Panda, Yeezy 700v1 Wave Runner, and many more.

Please describe how it feels when you get and wear a new pair of kicks?

The moment I unbox and slip into a new pair of kicks, I feel enveloped in a wave of euphoria. There's an indescribable pleasure that comes over me knowing that I now have a new, flawless pair of sneakers that have the potential to boost my style game.  

With each step, I'm filled with newfound confidence, as if the sneakers themselves gave in me an extra dose of swagger. My mind starts racing with ideas, picturing countless outfits I can put together, matching my new shoes with various clothes, and eventually displaying my unique fashion sense.

Every time I put on my new sneakers, it's a celebration of self-expression, a homage to my originality, and a nod to the ever-changing world of sneaker culture.

What is one sneaker collaboration that doesn’t exist, but you wish/think should exist?

I would like to see Teddy Santis collaborate with either Nike/Jordan or adidas.

What are some of your favorite creators/designers or brands and why?

The first brand that comes to my mind is Aimé Leon Dore - it reflects a mood of contemporary menswear and streetwear with minimalism sophistication, and just as their meaning centered around "loved," it fills me with joy and enjoyable emotions.

Aside from this brand, I'm drawn to Taiwanese and Japanese brands since they, too, inspire contemporary minimalism with a touch of refinement, embracing unique trends, and adding differences to my fashion.

What is your ultimate holy grail sneaker that you have not to acquired so far?

I'd like to get my hands on a pair of adidas Yeezy Boost 750 OG 'Light Brown.'

Other than kicks, what are some of your daily essentials or treasured items?

Aside from my beloved sneakers, there are a few daily necessities and treasured goods that I cherish. One of them is my wardrobe, which is filled with carefully picked pieces from a wide range of labels such as Carhartt, Uniqlo, and many more.

Every day is a new chance to express myself through the art of mix-and-match fashion, creating one-of-a-kind outfits that combine comfort, functionality, and a representation of my personal personality.

These valued wardrobe items not only complete my look, but also give an extra layer of confidence and self-expression as I step out into the world.

Where can people find you on social media?

Instagram: @thechester.c

An ailurophile who loves bake cookies and listen to indie music!