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Jess Wharehinga - Australian Creative Director Interview


Camille Lumogdang
November 5, 2022

Jess @jesswharehinga, always remembers the moment when she saw the Adidas Superstars replica that her mom refused to buy her; yet it sparked her sneaker obsession ever since. You will see Syracuse Dunks and white AF1s in her current sneaker rotation because she loves to match them with her red-orange hair!

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

When I was a kid growing up in New Zealand, my mom and I used to shop at this place called 'The Warehouse.' It's like the even crappier version of Kmart. We were so broke as a family. I found this cheap replica pair of iridescent Adidas Superstars in the bargain bin for like $30, but she refused to buy them for me. I think she may have eventually caved, but those sneakers are burnt into my memory. Now, I refuse to wear anything but dope, comfy and different.

All images via @jesswharehinga

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

I can't really say because I try not to get sucked into the 'culture' of it, especially that reseller crap. I just like what I like and couldn't care about feeding into it. I'm happy if it goes with my outfit and I like it.

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

I feel like it elevates my whole being - not going to lie. Then, I spend the rest of the night making sure no one steps on my feet. Within a week, they're usually totaled, though.

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

I admire Vestments and Balenciaga. The punk revival really hits home with me as my emo phase went hard between ages 10 to18.

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

I would love to see a collaboration between Marine Serre x Adidas or Vêtements x Balenciaga x DHL.

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

My hair is currently red-orange, so my Syracuse Dunks are about to get thrown back in. But no one can't go wrong with all-white AF1s.

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

Honestly, the Stussy Fossil Spiridon slaps, and I've wanted it for years, but that resell price kinda says no.

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

Le Cagole Bag is nice. And I got these Y/Project Jeans in Paris, and I've never seen anyone else rock them. My Prada boots have got me through some shit.

Where can people find you on social media?  

Instagram: @jesswharehinga

TikTok: @jesswharehinga

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An engineer who loves writing in her spare time.