Interview: Sallys Sneakers on the Power of Focus
Sallys Sneakers has not only cultivated one of the fiercest sneakers collections buzzing around social media today, she’s developed a loyal community who come for the sneakers, but stay for the street style. If you’ve been following @sallyssneakers over the past fews years, or have managed to catch a glimpse of her content, you’d notice that the focus has always been on the kicks, collecting and streetwear, as she says, ‘it was never about my face to begin with.' As the creative behind it all, she remained anonymous, heroing her passions and being an advocate for women's representation in the sneakerspace.
With a background in the study of psychology (master’s level), Sally is looking to strengthen her brand and dive all in, so she decided that it was more than the perfect time to post up on International Women’s Day, with her face, for the first time ever! Sneaker Freaker spoke to Sally on what changes she's striving for in the footwear industry, the benefits of social media and more.
What was your journey into sneakers like? Was there a particular silhouette or moment that kicked things off?
I guess the Nike AF-1 kind of set it off. I got my first all white pair in high school and they were extra special 'cause I could pay for them myself.
What positive changes have you seen in sneaker culture when it comes to inclusivity, empowerment and women’s representation?
I mean I’m seeing more and more women being comfortable wearing what they want - and dressing how they want which is definitely a positive thing. Within the past years I’ve seen some powerful women’s collaborations which is also quite confirming that we’re making progress. I’ve also seen brands and businesses genuinely make an effort including more women at their table when discussing sneakers and streetwear.
When I first started my platform I wanted to be a woman representative in the space and I promised myself (as a woman with small feet) that I would make an effort in changing the norms when it comes to inclusive sizing. I do feel we have more extended sizing on some releases – especially when compared to sneaker releases in the past. However I think there’s still a long way to go in terms of sizing, especially when it comes to exclusive releases and collaborations that would obviously get sold out in every size, even smaller ones. I do want to see even more diversity, more women’s collabs and more women in the industry in general!,
In your opinion, how has social media allowed women to be at the forefront of conversations in sneakers?
There are ups and downs being on social media – but I definitely feel that an upside has been the freedom of expression and speech which has resulted in brands, businesses and communities opening up and making more space for women to be part of it. I’ve seen a lot of women, including myself, speak up on certain topics and make their way into this space.
You have cultivated such a strong sense of community online, what were the main reasons that you decided to remain visually anonymous?
I mean it was never about my face to begin with. I just wanted to build a space where I felt comfortable in sharing a genuine passion of mine. I didn’t want it to be about my looks and appearance - it was just sneakers. But in time it became inevitable to share more of myself and I’ve now reached a point where I’ve decided to stay fully focused on @sallyssneakers which includes building and strengthening my brand. My psychology degree has been a factor in keeping anonymous as well as I graduated with my masters being quite young (only just turned 24) and didn’t want to compromise my authority as a psychologist. Denmark isn’t the biggest country so I wanted to keep things separate.
What does the future hold for @sallysssneakers? And what developments are you hoping to see in the industry?
I’m currently developing my own brand that will be rooted in my culture and heritage. My parents fled to Denmark from Iran in the 80s – I was born in Denmark so I’m pretty multi-ethnic in that matter.
For a collection of in-depth interviews and features, head over to <Platform> – an inclusive space created by Sneaker Freaker, which aims to champion the women who are breaking barriers and are helping to shape the sneaker and streetwear industry.