When I can’t buy the next pair of shoes, Instagram comes to my rescue. People with awesome sneaker collections are my muse. I like to trend-watch what they’re wearing, and why they’re wearing that. The sneaker culture in India is vast evolving with not just men but also women going for off-the-rack limited edition sneakers and exclusive brand collaborations. Here are all the envy-inducing shoes you need to keep on your radar.
During my Instagram rampage, I found a sneaker store called Veg Non-Veg. Based in Delhi, Veg Non-Veg is India's first multi-brand sneaker boutique owned by Anand Ahuja. We spoke to the Culture Manager there, Henry Vinoth, and here’s what he thinks about sneakers, “I’m a storyteller with the various things I'm involved in. For me, sneakers are a blank canvas and a medium to tell stories.”
When asked where do sneakers stand in today’s date in India, he said, “As sneakers and streetwear are globally saturated, it’s a fresh yet golden era in India. Sneakers are a staple for those who want to drop a statement on the streets with pop colours and high fashion kicks.” Henry is also the founder of Sneaker News India - a place where the first news about sneakers drops.
Sahil Marwaha is one of India’s coolest sneaker collectors with over 30 pairs of shoes. He’s the co-founder of Beam and Words, a PR and communication agency based in Delhi. “Sneakers are a form of expression. They’re about the mood I’m currently in. It’s about expressing individuality for me!” Nike is his go-to brand.
“When it came to customising my Nikes, the whole process was 'creatively fun'. Using Nike ID online, I made a pair of KD 9 basketball shoes. I spent a lot of time making different kinds, playing around with colourways.”
When we asked Sahil how he decides which pair to buy next, here’s what he had to say, “Whatever I'm digging online at the moment I tend to get those. But they're not always the ones people are going crazy over on social media and more likely to be whatever I can imagine myself in. These days I'm only copping all white kicks!”
His favourite pair? “Not just a sneaker, but my Nike Flyknit Racer collection. Always suited me, completely functional and as light as socks.”
A fashion consultant and blogger at Bowties and Bones, Allen Claudius is big on Instagram for his beard and shoes. “Sneakers have always been an inherent part of my life. They represent my style, the kind of music I listen to, the people I spend time with and the places I hang out at.” For him, sneakers are a lifestyle, not a trend.
“I would not call sneakers a trend, they are a lifestyle. That a lot of people are taking up as an active lifestyle these days is evident and, therefore, athleisure is making inroads into people's wardrobes. I have always loved and worn sneakers. The exposure to how influential sneakers and streetwear are to the fashion scene is what is making a lot of people take up to this "trend" gradually. But sadly, if you treat it as a trend you don't get to enjoy it for what it's worth,” he says.
When asked about his favourite pair of sneakers, Al was quick to respond with, “It’s like asking a parent to choose their favourite child. Haha.”
Karan Arora, with maybe 50-60 pairs of sneakers in his collections, is a sneakerhead at Adidas, Delhi and here’s why his story is interesting,“So I first fell in love with kicks in school when I saw Tracy McGrady play in the 2004 All Star game wearing the TMac 3's with one shoe in red and the other in blue. This just grew over college when I bought my first pair of superstars and then I was lucky enough to start working with Adidas, and the love for kicks just cemented.” Relatable, am I right?
Talking about India responding to Adidas, “In India, the sneaker culture has grown tremendously over the past few years, with people lining up for hours for a limited edition drop. People want to cop the latest heat and talk about it on social media. The latest drops from adidas are really resonating with the next-gen,” said Karan.
Which brings us to our next question about Adidas’ awesome collaborations and what’s next in store for us. “Adidas Originals has been making waves with some brilliant collaborations. I love the Yeezy’s with Kanye West. Another great collab to look forward to is the Adidas Originals x Dragon Ball Z which lands in Fall/Winter 2018. It's a really hyped collaboration with sneakers inspired by the cult classic show.”
Here’s what we can expect from the collab! Share it with a true Dragon Ball Z lover and make their day.
I’m already on my ‘check-out’ screen. Are you?