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Nate J Rawlings - Australian Sneaker Photographer Interview


Hapsari Listya
January 30, 2023

Nate @natejrawlings started collecting sneakers in school because he wanted to become fantastic as his older friends. This hobby has opened many doors to work with famous brands, including Nike, Puma, and Adidas!

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

My name is Nate, I live in sunny Brisbane (Australia), and I buy too many shoes! I think my love for sneakers began way back when I was in school. Seeing the older cool kids rocking Jordans, Air Max’s, or Fila (Grant Hills, etc.) at the time was huge. So I thought if I could get myself a pair of those, I’d be cool too. I can’t confirm if my theory was true, but I can confirm the absolute joy I felt getting my first pair of Air Max’s.

From there on, sneakers would play a significant role in my identity and shape my style growing up. Fast forward many years, and I have amassed a collection of pairs I missed out on back in the day and new stuff. I probably started taking the collecting side of it seriously around 2015, just as Adidas Boost was taking off. Before that, it was all about having just a few pairs but rocking them to death!

Outside of sneakers, I am an enormous car enthusiast, music lover, and coffee addict.

All images via @natejrawlings

I heard you're a photographer. Could you tell us more about it? Feel free to share photos of your work!

Photography is another passion that’s paired well with my sneaker obsession. Combining the two through my Instagram has opened doors to work with brands and retailers I love. I’ve been fortunate to create content for Nike, Puma, Adidas, etc.

What's your current favorite pair of sneakers?

That would have to be the New Balance Aime Leon Dore 550’s, specifically the grey colorway.

What drew you to this particular pair of sneakers?

The 550 is a great silhouette that nails the retro 80’s athleisure look. The Aime Leon Dore version takes it up another level with an aged midsole, cracked leather NB logo, and clean colorways.

What’s your sneaker-collecting philosophy?

I tend to get what I like, sometimes, that’s hype, and sometimes it’s pairs that sit on shelves. The final decision is based on whether I would wear them or not. I have very few deadstock sneakers in the collection, as I don’t buy them just for display.

With so many releases happening every week, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting it all. I try to be as selective as possible, only buying what I will wear. But always remember there are more releases if I miss something.

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

My dream sneaker would have to be the friends and family Jordan 1 Colette “Au Revoir.” A scarce pair covered in details telling the story of Colette. Each pair made was exclusively for the staff of the Parisian concept store when it closed in 2017.

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

The weather is starting to heat up in Brisbane, so my go-to fit has been a vintage tee, shorts, a trucker cap, and some low-cut sneakers. That mainly consisted of NB 550s or 2002rs.  

Where can people find you on social media?

@natejrawlings on Instagram is where I’m most active. But you can also find me under the same handle on TikTok and Twitter. Youtube is coming soon…..

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