Dress - Aritzia
Jacket and Clutch - American Apparel
Sneakers - Nike (men's)
First and foremost I must apologize for the dress. I was in love with in - my brain clouded with seratonin? So much so that even though I knew it was a little big in the tummy area and small where it shouldn't have been - I wore it out. I thought to myself that if I saw how it really looked in pictures I could once and for all end the debate called 'To return or not to return', that had been playing in my mind on loop. I've been a little obsessed with Christina Paik and how she shoots her models. Sexy from a female perspective, but street in a subtle manner.
The birth and death of sneaker culture happen all at once in my mind. While sites such as Hypebeast are floating on a high, unique sneaker movements such as Ta-ku's have also sprung up and seem to be full fledged forces in the world of social media. Check his #teamcozy on Instagram, it's almost 117,000 hashtags strong. Even relative Brian Griffin's (the archetype my brother feels I would relate to the most, even though I had to ask whether he was the dad, son or dog...) such as myself know of new sneaker releases; albeit a day or two later. You won't catch me lining up for any pair of shoes, I am not into that level of commitment. The pair I wear today had a limited release black and grey colorway that I didn't even feel bad for missing. I love the comfort and the aesthetic of each brands sneakers. Nike is the perennial cool kid, while the Reebok Pump Up Fury's are the real trendsetter in my mind.
The mark that all sneakers bear in terms of similarity are the uses of sweatshops. That little made in Vietnam label in my own pair, makes me think of the never ending news stories, documentaries and disasters linked to news stories. I cannot, with my Political Science indoctrineated mind, say no to sweatshops. That's because while we are quick to say no to child labour, no one wants to examine the deeper root causes as to why these children have to work. With the historical legacy of the West in breaking down many of these countries governments, we are like bad luck twice over. Once for those who lived through horrors like the Vietnam war*, Twice for those whose children may now be hunched over machines, losing their youth in more ways than one.
Excuse me for the bad humor but sneakers are the one shoe to rule them all. Having everything and nothing to do with Mordor and the Lord of the Rings. We are trapped beneath the hype, I cannot say that any sneaker head needs more than 3 pairs of sneakers. Let's be real, unless you have feet that require special mechanics in the shoe department, assuming relatively normal feet with an arch - you can't really tell the difference between all your kicks can you? I am extremely flat footed and even I only feel the difference between bad, okay and la petit mort for my feet.
If you've made it this far you may be wondering why don't you just buy more ethical shoes? Barring the large price tags that I cannot afford; I have to cop out. Capitalism is a beast in a way no author could ever have imagined. I reason my way into buying these shoes by reasoning that I need new shoes. Add to the equation the fact that . I end my mental debate by promising myself to really treasure this pair, every pair I buy because these shoes are a representation of youth lost. I don't know any better way to make it up to these kids.
*I'm just using Vietnam as an example here.