Donnerstag, 26. März 2015

Ein Sneakerhead und ein Profifussballer - David Luiz und Kevin Duong im Interview (Englisch)

Fotocredit: Nike
Der pariser Sneakerhead Kevin Duong bevorzugt es, seine Heimatstadt zu Fuß zu erkunden - idealer Weise in seinen Nike Air Max. Dabei entdeckt er den ein oder anderen versteckten Juwel. Paris neuester Juwel ist David Luiz. Der brasilianische Fußballstar hat letztes Jahr seinen Vertrag bei Paris Saint-Germain unterschrieben. Fernab des Fußballplatzes interessiert er sich in seiner neuen Heimatstadt vor allem für Eines: Sehenswürdigkeiten, Sounds und Sneaker. 

Interview Kevin Duong:

When did you first become aware of how much you loved sneakers? 
I realized it at a very young age. I loved playing football in the yard and I thought, ‘That wouldn't be possible if I were wearing my proper shoes.’ I had to put my sneakers on. So I've always loved wearing sneakers. 

Did this passion start with a particular pair of shoes? 
Yes, it started with a pair of the Air Max 95, which I had when I was young, around 11 or 12 years old. In fact, I loved them so much that I wanted to look after them really well and didn’t want to play football in them. So I nagged my parents until they got me a second pair to play football in, because I really wanted to keep the first ones as clean as possible. 

Do you remember when you got your first pair of Nike sneakers? 
My first pair of Nike sneakers was a pair of the Air Max 95. My parents bought them for me while we were at the Factory Store in Troyes. 

What did you think when you saw the Air Max 95 for the first time? 
The first time I saw the Air Max 95, I said to myself, ‘What is this black and fluorescent yellow UFO, with a huge air bubble?’ At the time, having the largest possible air bubble was the coolest thing you could possibly have on the playground, so I was very proud and very happy to have them. 

How many pairs of sneakers do you have in your collection? 
I have about 200 pairs of sneakers in my collection. Do you have criteria for selecting the sneakers that make it into your collection? I select the pairs that make it into my collection in a subjective way. Either I like them or I don't. After that, my selection might have to do with special collaborations with artists that I like, a special story behind them, or colors that I like. I also pay attention to the quality of materials used. 

How many years did it take to build your current collection of sneakers? 
It took me more than 10 years to build up my current collection of sneakers. It was in 2002 or 2003 that I really got into the collection side of sneakers. Before that I just bought them like everyone does, hoping to keep them for as long as possible. But I got into the "collectible" side of it in about 2003 with styles like the Air Max and Presto. 

Why 2003? What was the trigger? 
Fotocredit: Nike
Well, luckily for me, I had a friend who went to the United States and brought me back a color that was exclusive to the USA. I immediately said, ‘That's what I want to have, pairs that nobody else has.’ So I went into the "collectible" side of shoes. 

How many pairs of Air Max do you have in your collection? 
In my collection, I have about fifty pairs of Air Max if you count all the different models.

Do you have a favorite model? 
Yes, the ones I like the most and that I wear the most are the Air Max 1, which are also called the “87’s.” After that I like all my Air Max for different reasons. I think they all have something special, something that I feel a particular attachment to. I love them all, but the Air Max 1 is still my favorite. 

Where do you go when you're wearing your Air Max? What occasions is it best suited for? 
I wear my Air Max in all situations. I'll admit that I'm lucky enough to do a job where a pair of sneakers is not considered to be a pair of sports shoes. They are an integral part of fashion today, and of course in my professional environment, there's nothing wrong with wearing a pair of Air Max in the workplace. 

How do Air Max fit in with your style in general? 
I think style is about feeling good, feeling confident, in your shoes. So these days I wear my Air Max sneakers with all styles of pants and clothes. There are no limits. 

What is the pair of Air Max that you don't own but would like to add to your collection? 
It's hard, but if I had to pick one, it would perhaps be the Air Max x Kid Robot collaboration, which is a 2005 model made in incredible leather and is very limited edition. It's a really rare pair and today it's very expensive, making me regret not having bought them at the time. 

How would you describe sneaker culture in Paris? 
In Paris, historically, at least while I’ve been living here, I think it’s really about a love affair with running shoes in general. In Paris, we are more influenced by this kind of model. I think if you had to choose one model, it would be the Air Max BW, which, I think, for a long time used to be the highest-selling pair in France. It’s the one you could see the most on people's feet. Later came the Air Max Plus, nicknamed "sharks," which, in my opinion, epitomizes sneaker culture in Paris. But right now you can see all types of Air Max on Parisian feet.

What are the differences between this sneaker culture in relation to other places or other cities where you have traveled? 
You can see real differences in the sneaker culture within the countries I've visited. For example, in the Netherlands, they are very fond of the Air Max 1. If you go to Italy, it's the Air Max 97. Each country has had its own unique sneaker culture. But it has to be said that in recent years, with the Internet and the globalization of information that exists today in all countries of the world, we end up seeing young people buying the same kinds of products. 

Which pair of Air Max best represents Paris, and why? 
I think there are two Air Max that best represent Paris. First the BW because it’s the model that best represents Paris and also has the color code of Paris Saint-Germain. But the other pair that I think represents Paris the most is the Air Max 180 x Opium, which came out a few years ago now. It came out of a collaboration with a Parisian store, and if you look closely at the sole, the word "Paris" is written everywhere, which is why I feel it's the pair that best represents Paris. 

What new sneaker trend are you seeing in Paris? 
In Paris, at the moment, we are observing several sneaker trends. Looking more closely at the love affair with running, you can see lots of people wearing technical running shoes, basically made for running, like the Flyknit models. And above all, I think we are seeing an explosion of sneaker buying by women. I think this is really something that has changed everything. The trigger for this today has been the fact that a pair of sneakers has become a fashion item and is no longer just a sports product. I think this major change was facilitated by the fact that women now embrace and celebrate them. 
You can also notice a massive “color block” trend, where white-on-white’s and black-on-black’s are very popular, especially on models such as the Air Force 1, Huarache and Air Max. 

What role do sneakers play in the fashion and style of Paris? 
Today, sneakers have a leading role in fashion. If you look carefully at look books and even haute couture fashion shows, sneakers appear on all the catwalks now. Today, they are an integral part of every guy's outfit. And what's more, it's far from insignificant when brands like Nike team up with designers like Riccardo Tisci to create collaborations. And, furthermore, conversely, these luxury brands are also creating their own lines of sneakers, so today the links are really strong. 

Why do you love living in Paris? 
I love living in Paris because it’s the city where I was born, the city where I feel good. Also, every time I travel, I have a great time. But when I come back I love walking around the streets and breathing the air of Paris. 

David Luiz is new to Paris. As you've lived in Paris for a while now, what advice would you give him? 
I would advise David Luiz to walk around Paris on foot and visit every neighborhood because all the districts have their own draw. He will discover completely different things, but things that complement each other perfectly at the same time. I would encourage him to go to good restaurants, and stroll alongside the Canal Saint-Martin. After that, unfortunately, because of his haircut and how famous he is, it might be more difficult for him to walk around Paris. But I really would advise him to do everything on foot because that's how you find the very best of Paris.

Which places should he make sure he visits or sees? 
All the usual tourist sites, such as Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadero, etc. But the best way to do it is on foot alongside the river, crisscrossing over the bridges, losing himself in the small streets and having the best view of the whole of Paris. 

When he visits these sites, which pair of Air Max will he wear? 
I would advise David Luiz to create his own pair of Nike Air Max on NIKEiD, complete with the PSG logo, because this is possible now. He will be able to have the colors that most closely resemble him and that suit what he's wearing that day the most. 

Is PSG your favorite football club? If so, why? 
PSG has been dear to me and has been my favorite club forever because I am Parisian. Today, I couldn't imagine supporting another club. 

What do you like about David Luiz as a footballer? 
What I love about David Luiz is his enthusiasm, his energy, his impact on the pitch and ability to excel during the game. He sets the pace for his team, and above all, for a central defender, I think he's very technical. 

If you could play a sport at professional level, what would you choose and why? 
If I had had to play a sport professionally, it would have been football. I tried hard to achieve that, but it was just way too hard to be selected. I realized that there were much better players than me, so I focused on my studies. 

What would your life be like without sneakers? 
My life without sneakers would probably be so monotonous and boring. 

Are sneakers more than just shoes for you, and if so, why? 
Yes, sneakers, are a bit more than just shoes. We know that people often say that sneakers are a reflection of a certain part of a person's personality and I think that's true. I think we choose our sneakers in completely different ways depending on who we are. 

Can you describe how you feel when you put on your favorite pair of sneakers? 
When I put my favorite Air Max on, I definitely have a sense of well-being and self-confidence, because it's the pair I love and I feel like, because I love them, that I wear them well.

Fotocredit: Nike
Interview: David Luiz

When did you realize you love sneakers? I fell in love with sneakers when I first had the chance to buy them. I´ve always liked them. I actually think the thing that I have most of today is sneakers. I´m not very extravagant in terms of clothes, but I like to differentiate looks with my sneakers. Nowadays, since Nike gives me a lot of different sneaker options, I make sure to wear different ones that I like. In addition, if I see a shoe that I like, I make sure to buy it.

Do you remember when you bought your first pair of sneakers? Was there a story behind it? 
My mom gave me my first pair of Nike sneakers and there is a sad, but funny story about it. Unfortunately this sneaker was stolen. I didn’t want to give away my sneaker in any way, since my mom had bought it over the course of 30 installments. So I said to the thief, ‘I won´t give it away, I won´t give it away. My mom hasn’t even finished paying for the shoe. I can´t give it to you.’ So it was a sneaker that didn’t last long. But it was a bit funny because my mom kept paying for the sneaker while I didn’t have it anymore.

Fotocredit: Nike
Do you have any idea of how many sneakers you have today in your collection? I don´t know. As I go buying and getting new sneakers, I like to give the others to my friends and cousins since most of them wear the same size. My father, for example, loves Air Max and Air Jordans, so those ended up being the ones that I like most. I always like to renovate and add to the collection.

How do you choose a sneaker? What does it have to have in order for you to wear it? I just have to like it. There isn’t a specific rule. First, it has to be my size. Then, when there´s a sneaker with a predominantly neutral color, the color of the shoe details have to be vivid. For example, with the one I’m wearing, the black color is the predominant one, but the green stands out, which makes sure that everyone notices me when I arrive somewhere. This is one of the shoes that I like most, the Air Max 90. Another thing I care about is comfort. I like to feel comfortable wearing sneakers, so that is always a crucial factor.

How long have you been collecting sneakers? I have been collecting sneakers ever since I was given the opportunity to work with this huge brand and also since my job allowed me to go to a mall and have the chance to buy the things that I want. I´ve always liked shoes a lot, so since my life got better, I made sure to start this collection.

What was your first Air Max? I think it was the Air Max 90. I don´t remember which was the very first one, but this is the sneaker that I love the most.

And why the Air Max? I like the style of the Air Max. It offers a street style. Now that I´m living in Paris, I see that people tend to wear those classy clothes, and the Air Max fits in well with that type of look. It has always been a sneaker that I could do whatever I wanted with. You can always wear the Air Max with a more relaxed outfit, and also with a more serious look. It is comfortable and I´ve always thought it was beautiful.

How many Air Max do you have? I might have around 20 pairs of Air Max.

How do you take care of your shoes? I always take good care of them, making sure I clean them up the right way, with the right temperature of water. Some of the Air Max get dirtier than others, but it depends on the Air Max. I like to put them in a place where I can actually see them all because I think it creates a beautiful effect by seeing those different shoes and different colors together. I think it’s cool.

While combining the sneaker with the rest of the outfit, what do you take into consideration?Sometimes I don’t match my sneakers with my outfit. Sometimes it is better to go against it because it seems like it is more impactful. Most of the time, the sneaker draws more attention than it would by actually matching the outfit. So I love a sneaker that grabs attention more so than one that matches a particular outfit.

What style of sneaker do you use in these occasions: in a party, a dinner, a barbecue, or weekend?Air Max is a sneaker for everything. You can wear them day or night, or for a more quiet party. In some places they won’t let you in with sneakers. So then I enter with them on my hands, not on my feet (laughing).

What style tip would you give someone who wants to use sneakers on a daily basis? For people who have a more shy style, you can wear Air Max with more neutral colors: white, gray and black. But Air Max is also a sneaker that gives you the chance of putting many colors in one single sneaker. For those who fear that, I think it is cool to start with neutral colors. Once people get used to the idea of more bold colors, they can start matching other colors they like.

What word would you pick to describe Air Max? This is a good one. Life. Air Max are life. In all of your travels, how have you witnessed sneaker culture? I have always admired people who can always show their personality with the sneakers they are wearing. I myself am like that, too, a kind of ‘nutty’ way of being. And I have always liked it.
Fotocredit: Nike
In your opinion, what is the difference between a Brazilian man wearing sneakers and a French man wearing sneakers? The big difference is the socks they wear. In Brazil, you always use white socks. Here the socks are darker, which suits the climate. The clothes are related to the climate, so the French man wears clothes appropriate to cold weather. Brazilian men love sneakers, mainly the Air Max, with shorts, no socks and no shirt. He goes to the beach, he goes cycling, he is quite happy. I think the climate influences these differences.

What has most surprised you most in regards to sneaker culture in France? We from Brazil are not used to seeing people, mainly when they go to the office, to work, all of them very serious, wearing sneakers, especially an Air Max.

Do you have such a culture in Brazil? In Brazil I go to work with sneakers, maybe due to the hot weather, because our culture is like that. But sneakers are paired with a much more casual look. But here in France, I see people wearing sneakers with more formal clothes. I don’t know whether these people put shoes on when they get to the workplace or not, because many of them go by bike, scooters, and small motorcycles. But I see enough of that style.

What would your life be like without sneakers? Shoeless (laughing). I don’t know, because they are one of the things that I like. So I would find a way to have at least one pair.

Can you describe the feeling you get when you wear a very cool sneaker? The sneaker is a symbol for all that life has given me. Today it is possible to have several sneakers. But I never forget what I can do to help, to give people sneakers, mainly those near me, all my friends. We pass it on and it is cool to look into their eyes after this joy. It is a feeling of gratefulness; really to thank God for everything he has done for me. A feeling of joy, because I know how much my parents have struggled to give us, my sister and me, at least the basic things. And today I see that life has given me even more, much more than I’ve ever asked for. Happy to be able to choose: well, I’ll wear this one, no, it doesn’t look cool, I’ll change, and all that stuff. But I never forget the essence that is to be a human being thankful for all that God has done in our lives.

You are famous for having a playful personality. Which Air Max model best defines you? They haven’t done one yet with curly hair, which would define me best. But I’m kidding. Anyway, those with lively colors I think will define better who David Luiz is. Or if they make them with a smile, or with a tongue sticking out, as I like, that could be it.

Now you are living in Paris. How do you like it? I like it very much. It is a smaller city as compared to London, where I previously lived. It is quieter, more classic. I’m happy, very happy. It is one of the best cities in the world. I have no complaints. I now have my own little house. I’m near downtown, near the training center. It’s a little bit cold, but I was familiar with this cold in London. It’s very cool, a city where French people are crazy about football, mainly in Paris. I’m happy to have this support too, to have this love involving the city. It’s not just the romantic couple in love, but the love for the sport. So I’m very happy to have made this choice.

When you’re not training or when there is no match, what do you do? I recently went for a walk with my mother. It was the first time I went to the Eiffel Tower as a tourist, after having signed with Paris. I think I was waiting for someone special to take there, so I took my mother. It was very cool. I had to go somehow in disguise, because this wig here is difficult to hide. So I put on a bonnet, a neckpiece, in order to walk more easily. But it was very nice. I took some cool photos, because I love taking pictures, mainly of landscape. With the tower involved, it’s always easier to take beautiful photos. So that was a cool day. I also enjoy restaurants. There are plenty of very cool restaurants in Paris. During the night you go out, go to dinner, people like it here very much. Mainly people who go out after work, they always get together to have dinner. Then I see all the scooters parked outside and people gathering, this is always very cool.

What is the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make when you moved from London to Paris? 
Fotocredit: Nike
I’m a guy who adapts easily, so I don’t see too much difficulty in such things. I lived in a flat in London. Today I live in a house. I think this is the first time I’ve lived in a house. I have always lived in flats. That is the biggest difference. The climate is the same. I think I’m a very lucky guy in my professional career, for having changed a great team for another great team, a big city for another big city.

Is there anything in Paris that reminds you of Brazil? The love for football. The love for football reminds me of Brazil.

You travel a lot. What stuff do you carry in your bag and what Air Max always goes with you? The Air Max 90. Those go on my feet at least. In the bag I always carry my Bible, my clothes, typically team clothes. I like to carry books. And I carry a lot of joy, because life is beautiful. On March 26, France will play against Brazil, and it will be here in Paris.

How is it for you to defend your country in the country that is now your home? 
Representing my country is always a reason for pride, maybe too much pride. Those who know me know how happy it makes me to play for my country. It’s going to be a very cool match, but it’s never easy to play against France, particularly here in Paris. The last match we played here, we lost 1-0. It’s going to be good to play against a great country, knowing that French people who support me in the country will not be on my side. But it will be a cool experience and a high level match, which everybody likes to watch.

What do you think of Kevin’s collection? Kevin’s collection is wonderful. I think he has very good taste. He likes to find limited edition Air Max. He’s a very cool guy who explained to me the reason for each one. He also supports Paris. Two sneakers in his collection are dedicated to Paris Saint-Germain. Sneakers seem to help define his way of being, the way he dresses. I hope he’ll give me some tips as well. Some of his collection he cannot give me because his foot is smaller than mine. I have looked at it, otherwise I would ask him. But it was cool to see the taste of a different person.

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen

Sidebar Ads