Sneakers & Music and Sneakers & Music

Sneakerheads can be so different, without loving kicks less or more. Obviously people who will camp out without being a reseller and making it their job, can be considered to be someone who loves way more, but I don’t agree. Love is love and you shouldn’t measure it. 

Anyway I think I believe – I think because it’s a very immature idea that I’m developing- that one’s sneaker preferences can be connected preferences in all kinds of sectors, or maybe made life experiences.

Let me break it down for you.

I’ve played basketball throughout my teens and used to play it outdoor way before stepping into a gym. The same period I was very deeply into hip hop. I used to write rhymes, know lyrics and check out MTV every day to watch music videos and learn about new songs. Around that time basketball shoes used to be the shit. Whether it was an older retro release or contemporary models. Whether it was a fresh pair of AND1s worn by Vince Carter, Reebok Iversons or Nikes. Everyone was walking around in the dopest basketball kicks…or better…in the dopest pair one could afford. 

My sneaker style hasn’t changed a lot from there. I still rock Basketball shoes that are way too bulky simply because that’s how I grew up. I’ve started wearing runners just a few years ago. I’ve even started wearing adidas just briefly. Before that all I was fucking with, were Nikes and Reebok aka the shoes my heroes would wear. I was definitely blinded and biased I guess. 

I have a friend who listens to Bass music. Like, electronic-ish techno-ish music and guess what she wears a lot? Exactly – Air Max by Nike. Or have you ever noticed how people from Amsterdam wear Air Maxes a lot while Jordan’s are big in Paris? The more I think about it the more I believe that the culture you grew up in determine your taste concerning sneakers just how it determines everything – food, style, music. It’s so much about what the elders around you, the ones you considered to be cool and you looked up to used to wear. So people who are into soccer will be more into adidas while ballers will forever appreciate Nike more just how hip hop heads have an odd thing for Timbs. Yeah yeah cliches, whatever some cliches might apply. Look at me, I’m as cliche as it gets.

Dare to Stand Out!

Voici le nouvel épisode de la chronique de Piera dans laquelle elle partage avec nous sa vie de femme dans le milieu des sneakerheads .

After talking about relationships, I feel like it’s time to address another type of interaction. It’s time to talk about ourselves. Are we happy with ourselves, or are we self-conscious and insecure? How comfortable are we in our own skin and how far are things as clothes, styles and activities a masquerade?

Let’s take style. Going with trends is not only a sign of someone’s interest for pop culture, but could also be a way to blend in. A way to avoid standing out when walking through the streets or going into a club or a bar. This obviously doesn’t mean that everyone who wants to be viewed as an individual has to decline every trend straight away. It also doesn’t mean that dressing en vogue means that you are the most insecure and self-conscious human being, but that it can sometimes be easier to blend in rather than stand out. I have quite a distinct style, especially for the place I live in and I don’t think too much about it. I often wear what’s comfortable to me without forgetting to try out new things. But I do feel like I can tell what suits me and what not, which hasn’t been like this all of my life. We all went through experiments and so did I. Have I always felt comfortable in my own skin? Definitely not. Have I worn things just to impress or blend into a group? Yes, I have.

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In my teens i’ve always had boys as friends. I had “homies” that would all have some type of connection to hip hop music, and so did I. Obviously the way they used to dress was pretty stereotypical – saggy pants, big shirts and hoodies, and fitted caps. Don’t forget that we are speaking of 2005 or 2006 right now and that’s what rappers or simply hip hop heads looked like back in the days. Obviously I used to wear the exact same things. Saggy pants, wife beaters and hoodies used to be my go to. It was the first time in my life that I had something close to a clique after I’ve been an outcast that was not only bullied, but also way too introverted to bond with people. So suddenly there was something I could be part of, and so did I. Although I would probably still wear saggy jeans with a tight top, or a crop and an open jacket up to this day, I wouldn’t hide my femininity as I used to. I’ve learned to love my curves and feel comfortable in my own skin. With the moment I’ve started to love myself for what I am, I’ve started wearing what I liked and stopped trying to blend in. I don’t care how much people will stare at me for my tomboyish outfit or for wearing something super feminine. I will forever wear what I like regardless of how popular the brands or silhouettes the clothes are that I have on.

Dare to stand out and most of all, dare to be yourself.

Jealousy in the Air

While my previous piece was mainly about the perception some men could have of some women (let’s not ever generalize, party people), this one will be about women. How women see other women and maybe even treat them.

Jay-Z once said „Jealousy is a female treat“, which I totally agree on. Although the ladies often seem to be super nice and kind, they can tend to put themselves in competition with other females. Especially when they happen to be in an environment where the female gender is in minority.

There aren’t too many of us who are involved in sneakers and I have to admit, that unfortunately I don’t take all of us seriously either. I can be biased to, but at least I try not to be and give respect when respect is due.

I think that the best way not to be jealous nor competitive is to be aware of the own qualities and skills. My sweetheart Sanne aka Girl on Kicks is a great example. I respect her work a lot and I’m happy to call her a friend, although we both blog and she’s way more successful with her blog than I’m with mine. But instead of hating on one another we share our steps and talk about our work and are happy for one another. There’s no jealousy, no competition nor hate. That’s the type of environment I’d recommend everyone to surround herself with.

No one of us has time nor energy to waste on the wrong people or on being a jealous person, when we have goals. Why do we always have to fight, talk behind each others backs and be in competition for some male attention? If you actually think about it, it’s one of the stupidest things ever. These women aren’t fighting for their men/boyfriends or relationships – they are bothered by another female getting more attention by a random guy they eventually have a friendship with. It’s so weird and unreasonable that it seems funny when thinking about it. We don’t need that stuff, we need us and real friends. Isn’t it more important to do things in order to feel more comfortable in our own skin instead of getting someone’s acceptance? Especially when it’s somebody we don’t even care about? I applaud to every girl who owns it. You want to show skin and doll up because you feel hot today? Yas, do it and own it. You feel like going out without make up and baggy clothes because you have a comfortable day? Yes please! Do it without feeling insecure. You will get attention regardless of how much make up you are wearing, how tight your jeans and how dope your sneakers are, as long as people notice that you feel comfortable in your own skin. Jealousy and hate will make the most beautiful person look ugly.

The road to the top is hard enough, no need for hateration on the way.

I’m Piera – A Woman in the Industry

First of all, let me introduce myself to you. I’m Piera Montenero, 25 years old and I live in Cologne, Germany. I’m what people would call a « woman in the industry ». I’m an editor for a magazine and an independent blogger for a few sites.

I’m one of three daughters and my parents are an Italian couple who lives in Germany. I grew up between those two cultures, while also always nodding towards the USA. You could almost say that I was raised by basketball and Hip Hop. Yes, I used to be an MC. Starting to perform at the age of 15, I would get a little bit of money for live shows. As high school was over and I started studying business law, Hip Hop kept being one of my main influences. Although I wouldn’t rap anymore, that’s all I was and still am listening to. By the time I’ve graduated and finished my studies at the age of 22 I quit playing basketball in an association. Regardless of that, my two big passions and my adolescence massively influenced my sense of fashion as it is today.

« I’m just a woman who looks better in guys’ clothes than most of the guys »

I’m probably what most people would call a „tomboy“. My style is quite simple – I wear some jeans or sweats, a black hoody, a varsity jacket and at times a snap back or a beanie. There is probably an oversized shirt or a wife beater beneath the hoodie, and I always wear sneakers. I not only wear sneakers because I consider myself such a die-hard sneakerhead, but also because of my injuries – jumping and landing on hardwood floors for ten years has messed up my joints. My knees and ankles will start hurting when I wear heels for too long and my feet aren’t used to shoes with very thin soles. I mainly wear manly shoes, with thick soles and eventually cushioning. I like Dunk Hi’s, Air Forces, Jordan 5s and Kamikazes. I wear Shaqnosis’ or high adidas Forums. Does this compromise my femininity? I don’t think so. I’m just a woman who looks better in guys’ clothes than most of the guys. Why is the idea of women having to look a certain way so popular? And why are women in the sneaker industry often sexualized?

« I’m what people would call a « woman in the industry »

If you check out the hashtag #chicksinkicks or anything similar on Instagram, you will probably find a lot of pictures of half naked beautiful women wearing a pair of Jordans. Often you can even tell, that it’s not their size. I’m not trying to hate, but I doubt that a woman who is 5’5“ will be a men’s 10. These girls don’t realistically represent the female sneakerhead, they are models that are just doing their job and I don’t think that they would even consider themselves a sneakerhead either. I do not judge them, but I do not agree with the potential influence they could have on younger women, that are probably self-conscious about their own bodies in a world that dictates unrealistic beauty standards. And besides, it is so hard to be taken serious as a woman in the « sneaker world » already, which isn’t made any easier when it seems to be common to wear kicks as a bra or premium cleaner as a thong…Anyways, I’m Piera Montenero, and I’m what people would call a « woman in the industry ». It’s a pleasure to meet you.