The UK’s Coolest Female Sneakerheads Open Up About Their Collections

The UK’s Coolest Female Sneakerheads Open Up About Their Collections
Source: https://www.refinery29.uk/en-gb/female-sneakerheads-london?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss

When I think sneakerhead, I think of a 16-year-old reseller and Hypebeast fanatic adorned in the latest Supreme drop. But that’s just me.

Trainer hoarding, though not by any means newly discovered, is a thrill-inducing pastime (particularly if you were lucky enough to grab the latest Sacai Nikes or Cactus Plant Flea Market’s colourful ode to the vapormax…still reeling from that miss). But trainer collecting has always been seen as a man thing, with female sneaker devotees in the shadows. Good news: that’s changing fast and the women who take such great pleasure in collecting sneakers are getting theirs.

Sneakerness is a huge platform for collectors and re-sellers which pulled up to London’s Printworks in Rotherhithe last weekend, opening its doors with much drooling ensuing. It was kicks galore and within the first five minutes I found myself wide-eyed, almost hysterical and asking how much a pair of Swarovski crystal-woven vapormax’s cost (they were £550 so I very swiftly put them back down).

As well as the delight I got from poring over the shoes, I got a kick out of how many other overjoyed and downright cool women turned up. Mothers and daughters were uploading their latest purchases on social media, large groups of young women dripping in sports-luxe were enquiring about the latest drops with a subtle air of confidence Kanye could only wish for and then there were the veterans – the women that had been collecting for over 15 years.

Sneaker culture and reselling will and has continued to draw fans in its droves, but it’s so heartening to see women claiming their space. Whether it be an oversized boxy Supreme t-shirt or a notoriously exclusive pair of retro Travis Scott backward swoosh Jordans, we want them too and we’re in it for the long haul. The sense of community and passion was infectious and one thing was crystal clear – female sneakerheads have stepped out of the shadows.

Click through to meet some of them…

Harley

How did you first get into trainers?

I had an uncle who used to sell stuff out the back of a van, and he used to sell trainers to people in our area. He used to give me trainers and that progressed into me collecting shoes.

How many pairs do you own?

30-40 pairs.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

Safari 95s – not re-release, the originals.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

I think now not as much because more women have come into it but it always seemed like if girls came with guys, then it was seen the girl only had an interest because of the guy, when it’s not really like that. All the girls that I know that collect shoes have a general interest in trainers. Also, at things like this most of them don’t have women’s sizes or sections so it’s quite frustrating. It’s still not as good as it could be.

What are you most excited about today?

Hopefully I can find something in my size!

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Chariza

How did you first get into trainers?

I think just being a ’90s kid you’re exposed to sneaker culture and hip-hop. Also, back in secondary school in PE you always had to have nice trainers!

How many pairs do you own?

Around 30 pairs.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

Anything retro that’s been rereleased with cool materials.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

I think it can be. I think it’s got better as there’s been collaborations with women artists and influencers, but it definitely could be better because the shoes that we actually want don’t fit us because they’re massive! So I think they should think about us a little bit and introduce more sizes 4, 5, 6.

What are you most excited about today?

I like seeing people enjoying the community and seeing what I can learn from the talk.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Niquella

How did you first get into trainers?

I’ve always loved trainers, but I haven’t always been able to afford them. Most of my childhood I was a Shoezone girl and then when I started working I went a bit mad.

How many pairs do you own?

About 15.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

Fila Disruptors, but I also love the velour Nikes.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

Yes. I think sometimes, like game culture, there’s this snobbery and guys think that you’re a fake fan and you’re here just to look at the pretty stuff, but we love trainers just as much as they do.

What are you most excited about today?

I like being around trainers, and I’m hoping to see something new and cool.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Mbali

How did you first get into trainers?

I think trainers define a person. I will always look at someone’s feet before I look at anything else, so I judge a person by their feet, and I think that feet say a lot about a person.

How many pairs do you own?

I went through a phase where buying trainers was addictive, so I haven’t bought a pair this whole year because I just needed to stop, but I think I have about 10 pairs.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

Something classic. The high top white Converses are so simplistic, go with everything and will always be in fashion, so they’re a really key pair. If I had to be stuck with a pair for an outfit I’d go with them.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

I think so. For example, I’ve got my shoes here which I’m trying to sell, but I’m way too intimidated to go and ask so I’m using my guy friend because they respect him more. I think that people take you a lot more seriously if you’re a guy.

What are you most excited about today?

Hopefully selling my trainers for a profit!

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Scarlett

How did you first get into trainers?

They’re really popular within my friendship group.

How many pairs do you own?

Maybe 10.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

My black Balenciaga Speed Socks.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

No, I don’t think it’s sexist. I think there’s a wide variety of different trainers for different people.

What are you most excited about today?

Buying some nice trainers – hopefully some Yeezys.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Jaeden

How did you first get into trainers?

At school in PE everyone’s got their own trainers, and when you get older you start getting more interested in clothing and it’s nice to match your outfit with your shoes.

How many pairs do you own?

Maybe around 15-20.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

Probably the Off-White X Converse high tops.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

It is quite male-dominated but I think as time goes on it’s getting better. Everyone here is quite chill and here to enjoy fashion and the culture.

What are you most excited about today?

Spending time with my friend, looking at shoes.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Angel

How did you first get into trainers?

Probably through my boyfriend. I’ve always bought trainers but the bog standard Superstars and Vans Old Schools. My boyfriend gets Yeezy’s and stuff like that and it made me think about branching out and wearing different brands.

How many pairs do you own?

Over 15 I reckon.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

I’ve got a pair of white platform Converse that I love.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

I think guys are more likely to rave about sneakers, whereas not all of my friends are into trainers so I probably won’t speak about it that much. I haven’t noticed the culture to be sexist.

What are you most excited about today?

There are some Yeezys that I’m eyeing up. I’ve never been able to get them in my size so hopefully I’ll be able to get a pair today.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Coco

How did you first get into trainers?

I got into trainers through retail, and from there I became a freelance stylist and got into the streetwear industry and it came as a no brainer that footwear followed suit.

How many pairs do you own?

I own around 150, and then I resell as well so maybe nearer 200. I have a lockup because I can’t fit them all in my house.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

Nike Air Plus 3s in any and all colourways.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

Yes it is sexist. I’ve experienced it in some form because people are shocked that I’ve got heat on my feet. I might have a rack but I also have sense.

What are you most excited about today?

Hanging with friends, meeting new people and having a laugh.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Laura

How did you first get into trainers?

I started working at Grenson Shoes, I had to wear dress shoes all day every day. The second I left I got the opportunity to wear sneakers and then it went downhill from there.

How many pairs do you own?

I have between 70-80 pairs.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

Jordan 1, I’m not sure which one, the Off-White’s are pretty good, or the Reds, if I could ever find them in a UK 4 that would be a dream.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

Yes, purely just because it’s male dominated. It’s hard for a woman to crack into it and to be taken seriously. I think there was a long time where every single girl who had a pair of sneakers on their feet had to dress sexily to get away with it somehow, but now there’s new little collectives popping up so I think it’s changing slowly but steadily.

What are you most excited about today?

Hanging out, I’ve met a few people who I’ve spoken to for years but never actually met so that’s always fun.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Charnice

How did you first get into trainers?

Through grime music. I love grime and I think a lot of [the MCs] were into trainers at the time, so in my depths of following their journey I lurked into the sneaker life as well and that’s how I developed my love.

How many pairs do you own?

Not that many, I’d say about 50, which I think is reasonable.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

Air Force 1 all white, you can wear them on any occasion. I could wear them to my wedding. I could, it’s possible. They’re everything for me.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

I think anything can be sexist. I don’t think the sneaker culture is necessarily sexist, which might be quite shocking as I think a lot of people would say it is. I think that women may just not be as vocal at the moment in the sneaker industry, and I think that if women who are interested weren’t scared to say they were then I think they [the guys] would be pretty accepting. When I talk to guys and tell them I’m into sneakers they think it’s cool.

What are you most excited about today?

This is my first ever sneaker convention, so I’m excited for everything!

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Natalie

How did you first get into trainers?

When I was little I used to love Skechers, and then when I was a teenager I started loving Nikes and then it just grew from there really.

How many pairs do you own?

I know this because I actually got asked the other day, I’ve got 58 at the moment.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

I love my red Air Max 98s.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

I guess it is in a way because there’s loads of trainers we can’t get in our size and certain colours we can’t get, and they’ve only just started introducing some female designers.

What are you most excited about today?

I’m just excited to look around and see what it’s like.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Jess

How did you first get into trainers?

I worked at a trainer store when I was 17, I’ve always had a tomboy style which I think helped me get the job, and that’s how my interest grew.

How many pairs do you own?

I’ve passed some down to my little sisters, so I think about 20 now.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

It might be the ones I’m wearing right now, the Off-White x Converse collaboration.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

I think it’s changed a lot now compared to a few years ago, everyone has their own style now. I’ve always been a tomboy so I don’t care what anyone says. Clothes are becoming more unisex now, and the same with trainers. I do think they need to make sizes more available for women, I came today and I’m not sure if there’s going to be a lot for me here.

What are you most excited about today?

The vibe! It’s such a cool thing to get people together that love fashion, music and the culture.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Camille

How did you first get into trainers?

I met my boyfriend two years ago, he’s into fashion and really loves sneakers. Before we met I wasn’t into trainers as much, but I find them comfortable and cool.

How many pairs do you own?

I own about 30 pairs.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

Cortez Nike in green velvet.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

I think maybe before but it’s getting better over time.

What are you most excited about today?

There are some very beautiful shoes here and I met some nice people who share the same passion as me.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Ree

How did you first get into trainers?

When I was a teenager it meant you were cool if you wore trainers. I didn’t have uniform so that meant I could wear trainers to school.

How many pairs do you own?

Not that many, maybe 6.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

A pair I don’t yet own but I’ve imagined. They’d be leopard print Nikes.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

I think all cultures are sexist so how could it not be?

What are you most excited about today?

I was hoping I’d find some leopard print Nikes but I haven’t yet.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Cindy

How did you first get into trainers?

My big brother is a big sneakerhead so he sparked my interest, and now I have a shop called Daömey.

How many pairs do you own?

A lot, I started collecting when I was 15 and I’m 27 now. I must have over 100 pairs.

What’s your favourite pair of all time?

White Air Force 1s.

Do you think sneaker culture can be sexist?

It’s definitely sexist. It’s based on sport, and most sports are led by men so obviously when brands release a shoe they think of men first and that’s why people like me with small feet usually can’t find our size. They used to do what they call “pink it and shrink it” so the same version but pink and smaller, but it’s changing as more women have input in the design.

What are you most excited about today?

Buying new stuff, I’m hunting right now.

Photographed by Ellie Ramsden.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Hailey Bieber’s Pink Gown Had A Campy Surprise In The Back

Cardi B Basically Wore The Met Gala Red Carpet

The Best-Dressed Stars At The 2019 Billboard Music Awards

<

p align=”left”>Source: https://www.refinery29.uk/en-gb/female-sneakerheads-london?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss

Have your say...