Akoyi: Tell me a little bit about yourself; name, age – anything you would want anyone to know.
Christian: I’m Christian, I am a student at the U of A; studying polisci. My major is polisci and my minor is unemployment.
Christian: No it’s sociology, it’s a pretty basic arts degree.
Akoyi: Yeah me too, yeah.
Christian: I enjoy being a student, I’m not really… I’m in it to just learn more and pretend to sound smart whenever I make conversation. I like to go to the gym a lot, it separates my entire life. School and then work and all that. When I’m at the gym it’s just me and only me-
A: And your workout, yeah I get it. Did you ever play sports competitively?
C: Yeah my whole life – I’m a very competitive person, even though I don’t show it at time –
A: On the inside you’re like…
C: I’m always comparing like to the next person or whatever. My mom always says, it doesn’t matter how fast you run as long as you’re running faster than the person beside you. I’m like that’s very true, you just have to be just a little bit better -
A: Just a little bit faster, it’s the small and minute – five seconds makes a big difference.
C: I think that growing up with sports really did do that.
A: Made you like boom.
A: I would have never guessed, you’re so chill but it’s the inside.
C: Yeah I took one of those...
A: Personality tests?
C: Yeah, it was for orientation, we always do it every year –
A: Oh really?
C: Yeah we always do it every year; I was a competitor and then I was an activator – I always have to do something or act on something – and the other ones were like deliberative, and then intellect – so it’s when you like to think about ideas and things like that. And it kind of tied into deliberation, you think about things before you do it –
A: The best path...
A: This is fascinating wow How did you start being interested in shoes? Was it always a natural thing where you were like…?
C: Umm it’s always been kind of a thing. I wouldn’t wear a lot of sneakers just growing up because it’s just not smart financially because my feet were growing. But I got new shoes every year because I played soccer…
A: Yeah yeah new cleats.
C: I got my new shoes every season that was just something and then I didn’t really start buying until I kind of started working more. I put that extra income, I just use it to buy shoes. It’s not really…I wouldn’t say that it’s like a huge obsession.
A: Yeah you wouldn’t say it’s like you’re one of those hype beasts and have to buy.
C: Yeah I don’t have to buy limited releases every month or whatever. It’s just cool to be a part of the culture and seeing what everyone else takes away from it. Because yeah you get those resellers, and the hype beasts...
A: That are so devoted it’s like a religion.
C: Exactly, right now it’s weird because Jordan brand is releasing so many shoes and they’re not limited, some people don’t like them. I’m like buy shoes if you like them –
A: It’s still a good shoe, you don’t have to be out here like stunting on everybody.
A: Totally understand. So do you follow any sites? As far as like influences in the world of sneakers or news about new releases?
C: Yeah I think blogs are kind of going to the side. I think Instagram and stuff like that, the faster social media, is picking up – It’s bigger. So I do a lot of Instagram following, see what people wear.
A: See what’s good. Yeah. Have you followed my Team Cozy by Ta-Ku?
A: Oh my god you need to, it’s really like – it’s pretty dope.
C: Yeah I follow a lot of that and I follow a couple of websites just to keep up on the news and see when the next Yeezy’s are releasing so I can take them out.
A: They’re so ugly though, ever since he left Nike I’m just like (laughs)
C: Okay the Air Yeezy’s are probably the best, the black ones. It’s getting more abstract. You’re right though, they’re not the best looking shoe.
A: Yeah I’m kind of like guys save that money. Are you interested in more high fashion shoes – I know that a lot of designers like Givenchy are getting into the sneaker game – Would you be like ‘Yo, I’m going to cop a pair…
C: Insomuch they are a good pair, that’s what it comes down to. I really am not like oh I could never wear those shoes. It really depends on how you feel about them and how you feel wearing them. So if you think these are too fashionable for me – Then you’re not going to look good in them. But if you’re confident in what you wear then you’re good. I think people look at shoes and think that doesn’t fit my style, you hear that all the time. And that’s like…
A: Like that old store, I forget what it was called – it was run by those two brothers – they had pretty decent sneakers.
A: It was like behind MacEwan..
C: Was it Haven?
A: Yes that’s the place!
C: I think that they closed down though.
A: They did and I was kind of shocked because I was like –
C: It’s only Vancouver and Toronto.
A: And I was like that’s interesting because this was their original location, but if it’s bad business it’s bad business. Do you ever think about the ethics of sneakers?
C: All the time, obviously PoliSci.
A: So you’re like capitalism, Karl Marx.
C: Yeah, it’s like sneakers are the epitome of consumerist culture really.
A: Open your mind.
A: Do you… Is there a legitimate community of sneaker heads in the city?
C: I would say it’s like...
A: Would you say that people are just hopping on the hype, or is it like genuine passion?
C: There are some that have genuine passion, a lot of them are just on the hype though
A: You’re just like I see you.
C: There are a couple of groups for Edmonton where people buy and sell on them all the time. But it’s not great, the selection is pretty limited. Edmonton is not a huge scene for it.
A: It’s getting better? A little bit?
C: Well West Ed just opened the house of hoops so yeah hopefully we will be getting some better sneaker releases and stuff.
A: In what way?
C: The economics of it is kind of crazy. I mean you think about Nike. They can release a sneaker every single weekend and people are buying them. You don’t see anything else releasing every weekend and people are still buying them. Phones? No. Cars? No. Nothing else. No other commodity really flies off the shelves like shoes do. Then the reseller market is also huge. So Jordan’s whatever other pairs, I guess the Yeezy’s now too. People buy them for double or triple the price of retail
The whole supply and demand cycle is cool to look at. But I mean I don’t really think too hard about sweatshops and stuff like that. It’s pretty depressing to think about and it’s just the reality. We have made this reality, it’s pretty hard to break out of now. I’m pretty cynical about ever emerging out of the system that we have created. I think we are so deeply entrenched that it’s tough.
A: Really? We could pay people more? Give them some healthcare benefits, not chain them to their sewing machines?
C: I think it’s weak. Capitalism is – the more that I study it the more I am convinced that it’s pretty hard to
A: Get out of – yeah it’s true
C: Especially this generation because we grew up in total capitalism
A: No other options
C: It’s always there, kind of the underlying argument for everybody. Have you had Kellogg?
C: She explains the polisci student
A: She breaks us down
C: She says that the heart of a polisci student is 90% cynicism – all the world is awful as we know it nothing will ever change. The way of life isn’t going to be ideal. What we read about Marx
A: All these dead white guys
C: Exactly. She says a little 10% though, a little beating heart, it’s like maybe the world can change and maybe I can be a part of that change. That’s how she breaks us down. That little bit of hope holding on, holding on.
A: When you’re shoe shopping is there a quality that you look for the most? Forget about limited releases anything like that. As far as the aesthetic of the shoe, colour schemes the cut of the shoe – things like that.
C: I try to keep it simple a lot of the time. If I break out a louder shoe then I will keep my outfit of the day simple so that it’s the shoes that stand out. In terms of when I’m shopping I just browse around, there are some certain silhouettes where you’re really –
A: You’re drawn to.
C: Yeah, So a lot of like the Stans and like the Air maxes –
A: Those are beautiful, I love them so much.
C: And then you kind of –
C: You know you can kind of look at a shoe but then it’s like okay when you try it on it could look totally different
A: On you, yeah
C: So yeah I just pick of a couple, try them on and then –
A: Go from there
C: Yeah, it’s all about comfort really.
A: You’re chill, this is good. Do you have a personal style hero? Or someone that you’re inspired by? Like I’m really, personally really inspired by men’s fashion right now. I love Adonis Bosso, Kim Sang Woo, and Paulo Roaldan. Their style is amazing.
C: Not really. I don’t try and emulate anyone else’s. I like to wear what is comfortable, a lot of the time I don’t really… I put some thought into colour coordination because that’s just the little bit of OCD in me, but other than that –
A: Life’s good.
C: Yeah, It’s just weird now, fashion is really weird now –
A: In what way?
C: It’s always been weird just because it’s like everyone tries to be unique or styled out and they all kind of end up looking the same. But it’s cool to see funky patters or shirts with birds and flowers on them. Like seeing Russell Westbrook; how they dress and how they rock it and –
A: Put their own spin. But you’re not like I want to cop that-
C: Yeah I don’t try and emulate anyone else really.
C: Mhhhmm. It’s either you’ll see me – some days I’ll wear a button up and nice sneakers or dress shoes and some good pants. Then other days it’s just like a baggy t-shirt with a sweater and like jeans or sweats. You’ll catch me…it’s either like that or that.
C: Except for Exam day; because if you look good, you feel good –
A: You do good. I feel the same. Do you have any personal heroes then? People you just look up to generally in life.
C: My mom definitely.
A: That’s cute, are you a momma’s boy?
C: Yeah huge, big time. She is great, one of the strongest women I know. I speak about her in a very high regard because I know that growing up and raising a kid – it was a teenage pregnancy. So raising a kid while going to school; I can’t even imagine. If I had a kid right now, like Oh my god that child would probably die.
C: But yeah, I really admire how she can put so much energy into us, the family but also do her own thing. She pursues her practice and then she does it because she loves it, but she does her own thing. She has always stayed really independent. She does cross fit –
A: I feel like I want to be her friend.
C: Yeah she is stronger than a lot of people
A: Big ups to her, this is inspiring.
A: Do you think this will be a constant in your life? As far as shoes and style? When you get older, relationships things like that?
C: I don’t know, that’s a problem for future me. Present me has enough problems already. But if I had to guess –
A: Like if bae was like it’s me or your sneakers?
C : I don’t love my sneakers that much. I’d just pick the sneakers out of spite, who does that. If anyone ever gives you an ultimatum you don’t take what they’re offering. You stay true to yourself, be true to your gut.