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.