Meet Shivani, a software engineer from Bangalore (India) who is a total babe and proud author of www.the velvetradio.com where she talks about her passions: Sneakers, streetstyle, travel, music and more.

 

 

1. How is the sneaker game in India?

 

What could you tell us about it that you think is different from Europe or United States? Hmmm, well I mean even Europe and the United States are quite different from each other.

For example, a large portion of the US market is still strictly into basketball shoes (Nike, Air Jordan etc) whereas in Europe you will see most people wearing runners (New Balance, Asics etc).

I remember a year or so ago even India was really only concerned about Jordans. But the gears are turning slowly and this year at a couple of events, I have noticed a lot of Asics and New Balance popping up.

So it’s good to see that the taste level of Indian sneakerheads is getting more diverse.

 

 

2. Do you get most of the releases?

 

Not at all, far from it. I’m more concerned about getting shoes that I think I can wear with lots of different outfits, I’m not buying shoes just to own them and tell people I own them.

Shoes are made to be worn, so having an excessive amount doesn’t really make that much sense to me, I’m happy with my 30 or so pairs. Something for every occasion/outfit/mood that’s all I really need.

 

 

3. There are many sneakerhead girls there? And girls into streetwear?

 

Well! This is a tough question ‘cause I don’t usually come across a lot of girls rocking sneakers.

But India is getting well aware of streetstyle and yes I do see girls playing a good streetstyle game.

 

 

 

 

 

4. When did you start loving sneakers and why?

 

Well I think I have my dad to thank for that HAHA! As a kid he would always try dress me like a boy.

I guess I never grew out of it? So to answer your question of “when” I can’t re call, its been like this forever.

 

 

5. What is your nicest memory of sneakers?

 

Back in the day, we didn’t have Adidas Originals in our city.

There used to be an Adidas Neo Store in the nearby city and I would save up as much as I could so that I could buy a pair of Shoes from the store whenever we travel to that city.

 

 

6. What is your favorite sneaker model? 

 

Balenciaga Triple S Blue Red

 

 

 

 

7. Do you own any Balenciaga, Prada, Gucci or any of these high fashion sneakers? What is your opinion about them?

 

I personally don’t own anything from any of the High fashion brands.. and I have mixed opinions on them.

A lot of times the High End brands are just putting their own spin on a shoe that exists… eg., the Gucci Ace Sneakers that are super popular is just a Gucci rendition of a Adidas Stan Smith really… Same with for example the Saint Laurent Paris High Tops, its essentially just an Air Jordan 1 with a YSL spin.

But on occasion High end brands do produce some truly unique stuff, that’s the kind of thing I’m more intrigued by, eg Balenciaga had the Triple S trainers… I mean… you’ve never seen anything like that before com’on.

Even Y3 (Yohji Yamamoto + Adidas) has some really unique models like the Qasa and the Noci. So yeah, I guess it just depends on the shoe. If its something really unique I go nuts, if it’s just a makeover of a model I can get from another company at a cheaper price then that’s a hard no from me.

 

 

8. Do you think you’ll wear sneakers all your life?

 

Well! I haven’t changed enough in my life till now. I have been wearing sneakers since I was a child.

I love being comfortable and a good pair of shoes are BAE! But I don’t really know if I would be the same in the days to come. Probably yes, I would still be wearing sneakers in the days to come.

Probably you could also see me in a pair of stilettoes.

 

 

9. What do you think of the growing popularity of sneakers and they becoming so “mainstream”?

 

There’s two sides to this: - It becoming more mainstream makes it harder to get shoes you really want, because the competition is growing and the availability isn’t necessary. - But its growth in India is a good thing because it makes companies realize “wow there’s actually a market in India” which means that we will continue to get new/nicer things which is good for everyone.

 

 

 

10. How long do you think the sneakers fashion is going to last and what’s next?

 

Well I mean sneakers have always been a thing, it was always this little sub culture that existed… now its just blowing up. And part of that is social media, but also part of that is the amount of options now are just crazy!

Companies are executing such cool new things like the Nike HyperAdapt, while at the same time continuing to bring back classics.

Even for a “non-sneakerhead” buying shoes is an exciting thing right? And the amount of options available can be overwhelming. I don’t see the “sneaker fashion” ending any time soon.

Perhaps some brands will lose popularity by releasing too many things and over saturate… but the sneaker thing as a whole? Nah its not ending any time soon.

I’m not a designer I couldn’t tell you what’s next, personally I’m looking forward to seeing what Nike does with HyperAdapt technology and seeing if it can be made more affordable because I think its super cool.

 

 

11. What role do you think social media plays in this currently?

 

Yeah Social Media is a huge impact on sneakers… maybe not the popularity of the concept of a sneaker, I mean, I was wearing sneakers before I knew what Instagram was?

But I definitely think seeing xyz celeb wearing xyz shoe has an impact on the desirability of that said shoe.

 

 

 

 

12. What is the latest acquisition that you are really loving?

 

NIKE Airmax 270 13.

 

 

13. Could you have a boyfriend/ husband that doesn’t give a shit about sneakers?

 

Well! If I fall for somebody it would definitely be a common interest between us, such as Music or Fashion.

He doesn’t necessarily have to give a damn about sneakers but yeah he should definitely give a damn about me. Haha! But my boyfriend loves sneakers, I am sorted!

 

 

14. One song you love at the moment.

 

Yellow Days: Your hand holding mine.

 

 

 

 

Thanks Shivani for the insights on the Indian sneaker culture, very interesting, we’d love to experience it firsthand!