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Eugene Cheng - Sneaker Laundry Founder Interview


Hapsari Listya
December 25, 2022

Eugene @mona_gene has loved sneakers since he was only 16 years old and used them to express himself. Four years ago, he started his own business; The Sneaker Laundry and has collaborated with popular brands like Nike, Puma, and many more!

Could you share a bit about your secret origin story? (Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you start loving sneakers, what you do/hobbies etc.)

I graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor in law and another in commerce. Fun fact is that I'm a qualified solicitor, but never worked as one. Since then, I have been self-employed and now have a portfolio of businesses including a content agency, a nightclub, an events company, a wedding venue, and The Sneaker Laundry - Australia's sneaker care shop. My hobbies are fishing, jet-skiing, snowboarding, golfing, and if I can travel while doing any of my hobbies, even better!

I started loving sneakers when I was 16. I used to get my mum to take me to Nike outlets weekly and the trick back then was always getting sneakers that stood out in high school without breaking the bank. I used to love Nike SB's back in the day and over time, I progressed into Jordan 1's and have not stopped loving them since.  

I truly fell in love with sneakers when I realised how a unique pair of sneakers alone could differentiate you by allowing you to express yourself.

All images via mona_gene

I heard you're the founder of The Sneaker Laundry. Could you tell us more about it? Feel free to share some photos of your work!

4 years ago, we started The Sneaker Laundry in Melbourne's CBD and to date, we have sold over 60,000 sneaker cleaning products to over 26,000 satisfied customers worldwide. Our CBD store has cleaned over 25,000 pairs of sneakers and also received over 1,500 sneakers to be restored and redistributed to the less fortunate people of Melbourne.

To date, we have been featured in most Australian notable newspapers and collaborated with organisations such as Nike, Puma, Dolce & Gabbana, and the City of Melbourne.

What's your current favorite pair of sneakers?

It is a pair of customised Jordan 1's that are completely white indoors and when out in the sun, and will turn into a mismatched pastel yellow and blue. I've attached a video and a photo for you to have an idea! It is a personal custom I did in my spare time.

I have another pair of mismatched customs which are a close second. And this is a pair of blue/pink Jordan 1 customs I did as it reminds me of my very first pair of sneakers I fell in love which was a pair of DC x Groove Armadas.

What drew you to this particular pair of sneakers?

As I mentioned before, I think sneakers are a unique form of expressing yourself. To me, this pair was about highlighting that nothing is ever as it seems and you'll never know what you don't know. What may seem like a white pair of Jordan's might not be just that.

What’s your personal sneaker collecting philosophy?

Collect what you truly love. Don't love it because someone else does. And if you love it, wear it and express yourself!

Your dream hype sneaker you wish to acquire but don't have so far.

I don't dream of any hype sneakers weirdly enough.

What's your day-to-day style like?

I live and breathe my brands. I mostly live in a variety of Sneaker Laundry merch such as hoodies and long sleeve tees because we make them with quality blanks and a great comfortable fit. It saves me time worrying about what I have to wear when I wake up and people now expect me to only ever show up in a Sneaker Laundry hoodie haha!

My variable is mostly what sneakers I choose to wear for the day. Which nowadays revolves around how easy it is to maintain. I own no suede shoes for this reason.

Where can people find you on social media?

@mona_gene on Instagram!

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