behind the sneakers: @sophnsneakers
we sat down with sophie from @sophnsneakers to discuss all things sneakers, inclusivity and working in the industry.
hey sophie, so can you start at the beginning. when did you get into sneakers?
So I first got into sneakers during school so around 16/17. I remember being fascinated with pairs I didn’t see everyone else wearing, I searched Depop and brought a pair of black reflective Nike Free Run 2 and used them as my conversation starter at parties because no one else in school had them! After that I saw a guy in school walking round wearing the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97s and had no idea what they were but became obsessed with finding out. After that I found out about raffles, the resale market and the sneaker community in general.
so what is your favourite silhouette?
This is a tough one, I started off like most with Jordan 1s being centre focus but overtime I’ve felt myself reach for Jordan 4s more. I just love a chunky shoe and folding the tongues gives the pair such a clean look.
and your holy grail?
Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97s. The first pair I saw and thought, what are those I must have them.. The pair in my experience that made me curious enough about sneakers to research and find out what they were, then finding out about raffles, the resale market and the sneaker community in general.
day to day, what is your go to style?
Baggy, sporty and usually monochrome. In summer it’s always graphic tees but with the change in season I’m opting for oversized sweatshirts with utility skirts, baggy cargos or suit trousers.
when did you begin to work in the sneaker industry? What’s your experience been like?
I’ve been working as a freelance social media assistant at The Sole Womens for a month now. So I’m very new to the work scene within the sneaker industry but my experience so far has been amazing. The team are incredible and surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are also interested in sneakers makes dream work. I’ve felt very welcomed as a female coming into the industry and have received tremendous support from all, especially the girls at The Sole Supplier and The Sole Womens.
what does your day-to-day work involve in the sneaker industry?
So I help out with the The Sole Womens Instagram. I’m responsible for the stories that go live in the morning, consisting of restocks, releases, news and anything sneaker related. Engage with posts, respond to DMs and help find any new and exciting streetwear pieces, sneakers or trending products to upload. It’s so rewarding to be able to help people not only cop sneakers but learn about sneakers and find pairs they love.
what do you think the sneaker industry is like regarding inclusivity? What do you think needs to change?
Back in 2020 when I first started my IG and it was growing, I did receive a fair few comments from trolls and male accounts saying ‘why are you dressed like a boy’ or ’why aren’t you wearing a skirt’.. I dress how I feel comfortable and wear what I like and that will always be the case, I just wanted to show girls that it is okay to dress how you want, buy your hoodies from the ‘mens section’ and wear baggy clothes.. More recently though I haven’t received any comments or DM’s so negative, I feel like the sneaker community is now a bit more inclusive with girls coming into the scene, on IG you have @sistersneakerhood, @womeninsneakers, @sneakersbywomen etc doing their bit to showcase females in the scene and I think that’s really helped boost confidence and awareness for the community. The Sole Womens has the TSW talks podcast where females in the industry are interviewed and speak about their experience with the sneaker or streetwear industry, I think it’s so important to get these voices heard and shine a light on females who have pushed these boundaries and show us it can be done.
On another note I think inclusive sizing is still a massive issue, being a UK7 myself I have been lucky enough to not experience the pain of finding a pair I want and not being able to cop. However, this does not mean I’m not aware of the issues and often see other girls on IG struggle to get pairs, especially hyped pairs because they aren’t releasing in a FSR and I can back @sallysneakers and @ttfinlay for standing up for this and making the issues about sizes being more inclusive heard. I’ve also noticed these issues from my short time working in the industry, a lot of restocks and releases for Dunks and Jordans are usually sizes 6+. Despite there being more Womens releases and don’t get me wrong, the Starfish J1s are banging and so are the Denim J1s but more often than not the Womens exclusive pairs are just not to the standard of Mens. We’re not asking for pairs to be made tailored to girls with trends involving pink or platform, it’s about having pairs made in all sizes in the first place.
how do you cop most of your sneakers?
Usually raffles but I did travel to London and queue up for the Air Max 1 Patta White. It was a pair I really wanted and thought not only will it be a good chance to cop but to meet like-minded people.
what do you think pam pam means to the sneaker industry?
Being a sneaker/streetwear store designed specifically for women is so important for the sneaker scene and industry in general right now. Not only does it create a safe place for girls to shop in comfort but it opens the community up to the realisation that there are so many more females interested in sneakers than they probably were aware of.
have you met many people through sneakers? what’s the community been like?
Yes of course, I met my boyfriend through sneakers over 2 years ago now, IG is a powerful platform that helps connects people in the industry and community. I recently attended the terrarium workshop hosted by Footpatrol, London Terrariums and Snkrs ’n’ houseplants where I also met some very lovely people. Joey and Tasha from @snkrsnhouseplants were so friendly and welcoming, it was a pleasure meeting them both. Also attending events, drops and pick ups allows the community to come together and seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones is always nice.
what are your goals going forward? do you want to continue working in the sneaker industry?
100% this has been my goal since starting my IG back in 2020. I love working freelance with The Sole Womens and hope to continue working with the team and progress my skills and abilities within the world of sneakers and social media. Alongside that I’ll be continuing to post on @sophnsneakers, creating sneaker/streetwear content and see where everything takes me.