From sneakerheads, athletes to fashionista’s, it’s true that the sneaker culture has long been dominated by male…or call it a boys club, but however there are a few women who have been paving the way for female sneaker community.
Stereotypically, women are associated with only being interested in ultra-feminine hobbies(…like stacking up stilettoes), which leaves them overlooked in the sneaker community. Yet there is a large number and passionate base of females who are into sneakers and collecting.
In an interesting post which tackles ‘Women into sneaker industry, Matt Powell explains how sneaker brands have systematically ignored the female consumer and how they can improve that.
The athletic and outdoor industries are “guy” industries. For years, they have systematically ignored the female consumer. A quick glance at the boards and management teams of the major companies reveals the absence of gender diversity. This lack of women at the top of management is reflected in the lack of products that the industry offers to women.
Brands need to develop women-specific products in order to grow this important segment of the sneaker market. Across the sport equipment landscape, there are few women’s specific products, brands or retailers. Consequently, the female athletic consumer has been underserved. She has been forced to buy products made for a man or a boy.
But is it just the brands that are out of touch? or is it the sneaker culture as a whole?
Well, Sneakerheads often tell it like it is – we caught up with B.C.-based beauty vlogger , fashionista and make-up guru Sayeh Sharelo, to talk more about her love for sneakers, brands, females who are into sneakers and more.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
My name is Sayeh and I’m 21 years old. I knew I wanted to be in this industry since I was 5. I have 3 main platforms. Youtube, and my 2 Instagram accounts. I create Youtube videos, short Instagram makeup tutorials, and outfit pictures.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE A FEMALE SNEAKERHEAD?
A person who collects exclusive, limited edition and original sneakers. Not only collects them, but also wears them. Someone that has addiction sneakers, like a drug. You just need to have them.
YOUR LOVE FOR SNEAKERS….HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED & COLLECTING SNEAKERS?
Honestly, it just kind of happened. I remember I got my first pair of Jordans and it just grew from there. Shoe collecting comes with the fashion industry. I’ve always had that street style look, so sneakers really got to me.
WHAT ARE YOUR 3 FAVORITE SNEAKERS BRANDS AND WHY?
These brands have always caught my eye. These brands always put out the dopest sneakers that are really hard to pass up.
WHAT ARE THE TWO SNEAKERS OF YOUR DREAMS?
Any type of YEEZY’s and Balenciaga Panelled Runners.
EVER ENCOUNTERED HATE FOR WHATEVER REASON BEING A FEMALE THAT IS INTO SNEAKERS?
Not at all, most people are really impressed with my collection.
WHAT’S YOUR COMPLETE OUTFIT WITH YOUR SNEAKERS?
Ripped jeans, any type of hoodie/cropped t-shirt.
IF YOU HAD TO WEAR ONE SHOE EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE WHAT WOULD THAT SHOE BE AND WHY?
If I had a pair of YEEZY’s, It would be Turtle Dove v2’s. Definitely something that’s neutral, and I feel like that shoe is perfect.
WHO ARE YOUR TOP 3 MUST FOLLOW INSTAGRAM SNEAKER PERSONALITIES AND WHY?
All of these ladies have the best style. A lot of it reminds me of my style. They are always color coordinated, and never really rock the same thing. I 100% look up to these ladies and hope to be where they are at one day.
HOW MANY PAIRS OF SNEAKERS DO YOU OWN, AND WHAT’S THE RAREST PAIR YOU HAVE?
I own 51 pairs of sneakers. The rarest pair I have are the Jordan 11’s Heiress. I have a lot of the same sneakers, but all in different colours. Got to have one for each occasion!
YOUR TAKE ON RIHANNA AS THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR FOR PUMA? SO FAR ARE YOU IMPRESSED WITH THE FENTY X PUMA RELEASES?
Rihanna has always been my fashion icon. I remember first getting into fashion and wanting to dress, look, and be exactly like her. She is versatile. She wears anything with confidence and she still looks amazing. Fenty X Puma is amazing. I’m beyond impressed. She is a trendsetter. She puts out merchandise that you never really would think of and has the confidence to know its dope. That’s my inspiration.
IF YOU WERE TO BE A CEO AT ONE OF THE SNEAKER BRANDS (EITHER NIKE, ADIDAS, PUMA) WHICH FEMALE GLOBAL INFLUENCER WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO REPRESENT THE YOUR BRAND, WHETHER AS THE (AMBASSADOR / CREATIVE COLLABORATOR)
That’s a tough one, since Rihanna is my fashion icon. My first pick would be Rihanna, but my second pick would be Karrueche.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF GUY’S SNEAKER HABIT?
I think it makes sense. A lot of people are sneakerheads, but aren’t that extreme about it. What I mean about that is, some sneakerheads walk a certain way to not crease their sneakers, or try not to bend a lot to prevent creasing. And to be honest I understand that. My sneakers are my babies. I treat them so well, wash them, clean them and make sure they look 100% always. That just comes with the love of sneakers.
WHEN DO SNEAKERS BECOME A RELATIONSHIP DEAL BREAKER?
It’s not a relationship deal breaker to me anymore. I used to care about it a lot, but it is what it is. Some people just aren’t into sneakers as much as you are. My boyfriend wears AF1’s all the time. Some days I wish we had matching sneakers so we could shine together, but it is what it is. He style is more simple and casual. If his personally makes up for his lack of sneakers, then I’m good with that. I can always change his mind later! 😉
DO A GUY’S SHOES INFLUENCE HOW YOU LOOK AT HIM?
If I’m really interested in the guy, no, not really. It used to a lot. But if it’s just someone passing by, then yeah 100%. If a man can dress well, its attractive, sneakers are very attractive to me.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NATURE OF MALE-DOMINATED SNEAKER CULTURE? & HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO PURCHASE A SNEAKER/S SO BAD AND ONLY TO FIND OUT IT WAS ONLY MEN SIZED?
Haha!!! Always!!!!!!! I’m a size 6 women, but I usually get my sneakers in youth sizes. Many sneakers that have dropped haven’t released in youth sizes. Sometimes its not fair, because A LOT of the sneakers that I want, I can’t get because it doesn’t run in my size.
HOW DO YOU THINK BRANDS CAN IMPROVE ON FEMALE CONSUMERS BASED ON THE SNEAKER CULTURE?
Absolutely. They need to make men’s sneakers available for women as well because most women don’t have huge feet and can’t buy them!
WHAT DOES A GUY’S SHOES SAY ABOUT HIM?
It could mean that he’s a sneakerhead, lazy, or doesn’t care for sneakers.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE SNEAKER STORES?
House Of Hoops, Champs, Nike, Adidas
WHERE CAN EVERYONE FIND AND FOLLOW YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
ANY LAST WORDS OF WISDOM OR ADVICE TO THE PEOPLE OUT THERE?
If you’re trying to become an influencer, a fashion idol or anything, never give up. Trust me, I’ve been there 100 times. Its tough but you have to find ways to get to where you want to go. It won’t happen overnight, but you can work toward it every day to get there.
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