Welcome to #MFTW Sneaker Feature segment, where we introduce you to women who collect sneakers, work in the footwear industry, and/or impact the sneaker culture. This week, we introduce you to a woman who is dominating the scene, by blogging about the challenges women face in the footwear industry.
DeeDee: What’s your name, where you from, and what made you start collecting sneakers?
I’m Steph, I’m from London and I started collecting sneakers as there was a store where I grew up, (Oxford) called Ryouki. Ryouki was essentially a boutique sneaker store and had so many pairs you couldn’t get anywhere else or hadn’t seen before. There was also a women’s section and I loved going in there whenever I could, just to look, as nothing was in my size as I was super young.
DeeDee: What was the first sneaker you purchased?
The first sneaker I purchased with my own money was an Adidas sleek Missy Elliott collaboration, which I still have to this day!
DeeDee: What was the earliest you remember about collecting sneakers?
I guess I didn’t realize I was collecting at the time. I just liked shoes/ kicks so over time, my collection just grew.
DeeDee: What’s your favorite sneaker in your collection?
I don’t have a favourite but I can tell you my top 5 that I’m happy I have (haha).
– Reebok DMX Run 10: Underrated shoe and brand, in my opinion.
– Yoon Ambush Dunk: A really nice take on the silhouette, adding premium touches.
– New Balance 991: Everyday staple!
– Reebok Insta Pump: I love the split soles and cut outs its something different
– AM1 Patta: Just love the detail, colorway and quality is great!
DeeDee: What sneaker is missing from your collection?
SOOOO MANY! But a pair I think about way too much are the Atmos Air Max 95’s Animal Pack from 2018.
DeeDee: Any sneaker stories you wanna share?
I once threw my phone at Pharrell. I was at an Adidas POD event for work and he wanted to speak to the retailers there. I was one of the only retailers (ASOS REP) and he left by the time I got there. I was talking away and had my phone in my hand, as I talk with my hands, I kind of just flung the phone across the room!
DeeDee: Which sneaker in the future are you looking forward to cop?
As it’s Air Max month, seeing the releases come out across markets, I am wishing we had the ‘Wabisabi’ in the UK. The detail and quality looks incredible!
DeeDee: Which brand in your opinion is killing it?
NEW BALANCE! They have really gone hard with their lifestyle offering, making it more democratic and accessible. I am a HUGE fan of their Aime Leon Dore collaborations and they’re made in England/US product, which is always great quality.
DeeDee: Which women exclusive released was your favorite?
My favorite in recent years has to be the Yoon Ambush Dunk, Aime Leon Dore New Balance collections, and Grace Wales Bonner for Adidas. All 3 of these women have really added to the brands they have worked with and made them their own.
DeeDee: If you had the chance to address these footwear brand what would you want them to know?
One thing I want footwear brands to know is: champion the little guy. What I mean by this is, I get that the sneaker industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Business is business after all. However, there are some consumers that want access, interactions, and more with these brands. It shouldn’t just be about influencers when it comes to their marketing strategy. Yes, the purpose of the content is to be aspirational, but I would love to see more brands facilitating and supporting the everyday person to become their aspiration.