Sneaker Influentials – BKRW

BKRW is a digital magazine, a blog, a website, a store and a creative label. Jay Smith, creator of BKRW talk to OZON about the future of sneakers culture.

How did your passion for sneakers begin? How many pairs do you currently have on rotation?

My passion started with sport. Sneakers are mostly and firstly vintage performance shoes. I have been playing basket-ball since a while now, so I think I started with an AIRMAX BARKL EY and a NIKE BURST RED.

Do you think digital magazines like BKRW and blogs have changed or influenced the sneaker industry/products? In what way?

Of course it changes it a lot. For the good and for the bad. We could even say that it kills it. Sneaker culture is dead. Sneaker culture was a quest, a hard trip or a hard journey to find the shoes you really love. So far now everything is
next to you in one click. Internet helps sneaker culture to spread and help to build a community and then destruct it. It was a niche culture, an underground thing. Now every single brand got its limited edition shoes, premium-hard-toget-
exclusive-wow-sneakers. My main problem with that is the fact that people forget that behind every pair of sneakers it has some history The culture is dead because the business part just killed it.

What is special about the Parisian sneaker scene, why is it different or unique when compared to other cities around the world?

Tricky question. Because some way every community looks kind of the same. People do love the same kind of things, share the same kind of conversations. Parisian sneaker scene was really big and full of energetic people. This parisian community is now fading away. What is really interesting in Parisian scene is the importance of hip-hop culture into the sneaker community. There is a strong hip-hop influence deep linked to it.

New brands in the market we should keep an eye on? Any Particular models?

SUPRA is one of the most interesting one. They brought back HIGHTOP silhouettes in sneaker market. It is a true transversal brand, able to touch every kind of street / sport culture markets. SKY TOP, SKY TOP2 models are cool.
I really like VISVIM also. Less and less fresh and new but come on it is amazing how many brands have been inspired by the FBT and all the other NAKAMU RA designs.

Any upcoming sneaker related collaborations BKRW is working on and would like to share?

I wish! I wish to do more. You know it is kind of frustrating to be European and specially French. (I know it is harder in Greece right now…). But come on look how many French sneaker collaborations with big names did pop up… So few.
It seems easier to be Japanese, Chinese or American. European sneaker brands don’t really believe on their own trend-setters and influencers… Politics should not be part of the process of collaborations anymore! And I think we do
suck in politic!

Link: bkrw

Interview: Aris Karatarakis/ Photography: Hugues Anhes