Catherine Li - Sneaker Freakette
It's been a while since we've spread love to our Freakette fam, so when our good mate, UK photographer Errol hit us with Catherine Li and her collection, we knew we had to jump on the triple double to get an interview with her. The most refreshing part of this little lady's crate is the eclectic variation of styles and brands she has amassed over the years - everything from Nike ACG, adidas Superstars, Puma Discs has graced her pint-sized feet. We hit up Catherine to find out where the passion for her fashion derives from!
Hey Catherine, what's crackin' in ye old London town? Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a dollar, what you wish you were doin' for more dollars!
Well, well, well what I do for a dollar? I do nothing really. I'm an interior architecture design student in my final year at uni. So I'm on a break from making big dollars (or GBP) at the moment. But I'll be a zillionaire very soon - not quite sure how yet but it's all very top secret.
How is the scene in UK at the moment? Have you seen a shift in the marketplace?
To be honest I have probably seen less than five pairs of sneakers I liked this year and of course all in men's sizes! Actually it's been like this since 2006 - my collection hasn't really grown with sneakers. But I'm really happy with what I do have.
Tell us how you got into collecting sneakers?
The real collecting started when I was about 17. I've always been into sneakers from around eight years old but having a collection at the age of eight to 16 years old was impossible. So from then on the first pair I started with was the Nike ACG Wildwood, which now the collection has stretched from one pair to 50-60 (including my favourite Nike Blazers that take up most of the collection.)
What is it about the Nike Blazer that floats your boat?
I'm quite a little person so the style of sneakers is perfect for me because of how narrow they are. When I have them on it doesn't look like I'm wearing bricks on my feet compared with other styles of sneakers out there. Also because they seem to go really well with all styles of clothing I put on - or maybe I'm just really cool! Hahaha!
Ha, yes that must be it! Were there many obstacles you faced back in the day when starting your crate?
I don't quite remember because I was still a kid at the time. I assume the obstacles were to sweeten up my mum and dad to get the shoes I wanted. So it must have been doing the house chores to avoid needing to cry, stomp, scream and the leg-hang on my dad to get the shoes I wanted. But to sum it all up being the youngest and the only girl - getting the shoes I wanted wasn't that hard.
Were there many other ladies in your area into sneakers?
There were a few ladies around but there are way more female collectors out there now. But when I was growing up, it was mostly boys.
So what was the attraction to sneakers then?
Definitely the colour variations and comfort. I do have a collection of heels but it just isn't the same as sneakers. You can have various colour combinations on a pair of sneakers.
Your collection is hella eclectic - obviously you've never stuck to one style or brand....was this a conscious decision for you, or do you just buy what you like?'
Nope usually I just buy what I like, it's always nice to have a selection of styles, colours and brands.
Speaking of which, what are some of the pre-requisites for you when hunting down new trainers?
I usually try to find the cheapest options like searching on auction sites and contacting my cousins out in Hong Kong to keep a look out for what I want.
Top five favourites in your collection and why?
This is going to be a tough decision.
- Nike Blazer Mid Denim Edition - Blue/Red/White for the denim patching
- Converse All Stars fragment Product (RED) - Red/White for the Vibrant red toecap
- Nike Blazer Pony Hair - Black/Black-Net for the pattern and material
- Nike Blazer Pony Hair - White/Black for the pattern and material
- Adidas Forum Lo Perforated - White/Gold for the simple white on gold with perforated leather
One shoe you wish you could have right now?
Black Converse All Stars fragment because I have the red and I'd like to have the set.
Photos by ERROL PHOTOGRAPHY