There are those that know and those that know they don’t know, and then there are those that don’t know they don’t know. And then there is Mr. Levi Maestro, the Los Angeles based film-maker, skater and man of the moment. With his eponymous TV show Maestro Knows! blowing up everywhere, we asked him to skate a few of his favorite sneaks and see how they fared. And now you knows...
Hey Maestro. You seem to be racking up the frequent flyers all over the world. Where have you been lately and what did you see?
Yes! It’s been really fun, I’ve been to Berlin, Tokyo, Osaka this month and about to head to Johannesburg and Capetown in South Africa right now, so I’m real excited about that. I’ve been checking out a lot of great food spots and really innovative stores, architecture etc.
Your show Maestro Knows is totally on the up-and-up. What’s it been like to suddenly be everybody’s best friend?
It’s been cool, I embrace it really for the most part because I appreciate people’s support and interest.
You grew up in LV skating... any regrets from your time in the sport?
Not at all. I probably couldn’t have hoped to fall into anything better than skateboarding because it’s what got me out of there right away after high school.
Are you still finding the time to skate? Where’s your local hang?
Yes! Not as much as I’d like but I always take my board wherever I travel and when I’m home I usually go skate to eat or to my friend’s stores. My favorite spot is this schoolyard off of Melrose that has some little tables and alike.
I think everyone got a laugh out of seeing you playing ball in the Yeezys. What sort of reaction did you get? Any hate mail?
Yeah, they were really good for it! Most people were thinking it was pretty funny or that I was crazy for doing that, no hate mail that I remember but if there was I wouldn’t remember though, I just spam those haha.
What’s your take on the current footwear selection? Who are you feeling these days?
Gourmet is amazing. They are by far the most creative, innovative, original footwear brand out right now.
Did you ever get to push off in a pair of Terry Kennedy’s Supras from Season 1 Episode 9?
Yeah definitely, I’m wearing them at the end of that episode when I front-blunt the handrail. I really support Terry so I definitely had to try them out just to celebrate that he’s got his own shoe you know.
Is it all too serious these days? Everyone seems to be an expert with a loud opinion...
Possibly, depending on the person. Sneaker culture has grown into something that I’m sure a lot of people never imagined or hoped it would, but just like anything else that’s cool it continues to grow and expand. I only really wear my shoes for a few weeks and then give them away or sell them, I like rotation.
In fact, I really dig the idea of skating some non-skate kinda shoes! You wanna see how they hold up?
Yeah absolutely, I seem to have slowly transitioned my way out of wearing skate shoes and actually skating in some of my favorites instead.
Alright! Get to it Levi...
INTERVIEW RESUMES 5 DAYS LATER.
Yo Levi, how was it? Did you shred it up?
Man! Me and Ryan had a blast shooting these photos, I think I took more of a beating than the sneakers did though.
You didn’t hurt yourself did you?
Nothing that the chiropractor can’t fix.
Which shoes did you choose and why?
I picked a Jordan 1, Chuck Taylors, an Alife, and a Gourmet.
So how did you assess the overall performance? Better or worse than you initially thought?
No they performed how I expected, I’ve skated in so many different shoes over the years that I know how to judge what shapes and materials will function the best.
And what’s the conclusion? Where do we go from here? Should we all start jogging in Yeezys? Or playing ball in Air Max?
Hahah well you should do whatever you want, try what doesn’t make sense! Be creative!
“This shoe to me is one of the greatest shapes of all time, especially being that it’s a high top sneaker that lacks bulkiness and maintains an overall narrow shape. It’s super comfortable and light, has great traction which makes it perfect to skate and not to mention, contrasts Michael Jordan with skateboarding.”
“I love that this shoe is pretty much made up of nothing! It will always have a low price-point and forever remain one of the most classic shoes of all time. They aren’t very comfortable by any means but the right pair of these that are broken in actually skates really well because you can feel your board right through them.”
“This shoe has a great silhouette for the ‘typical’ skate shoe but is made from different materials.
I wouldn’t usually skate this one but something made me push around in them and I just liked how they looked too much, they sort of became my ‘chill’ skate shoes if that makes any sense.”
“These shoes really surprised. Without putting any thought into how these would perform I was forced to skate in them while I was recently on tour and had no other shoes with me. Straight out-of-the-box they became my favorites! They need no break-in time because the suede is so soft, but then there’s also another layer underneath so there’s no way of ripping through. The laces are covered up too, so those aren’t ripping either.”