FS Portraits: Aryamman's Journey as a Sneaker Collector.
Every sneaker collector has a fascinating story to share. The world of sneakers is so diverse and inclusive that it’s pretty easy to get addicted to the culture. In this week’s FS Portrait we talk about how Aryammaan’s passion for the culture transitioned from curating Pokemon cards to priceless sneakers.
How were you introduced to sneaker culture? How did your journey start?
Growing up I was heavily into collecting things. It started with pokemon cards, Tazos to football jerseys, and studs. However, As I became older, I was inclined towards sneakers and found my keen interest in the culture. It was back in 2013-14 when I kickstarted my journey with pairs such as Air force 1s, Cortez, and Vans. It was nothing hyped since jordans were really inaccessible in India at that time. Eventually, I started traveling and copped a few pairs of jordans from Dubai around 2016. Rest is history.
When did you buy your first Jordans and what was it?
Back in 2016, It was a pair of Jordan 8 ‘Aqua’. I find that silhouette really interesting and unique. I am a HUGE Michael Jordan fan. I remember watching him play in those shoes and that’s when I decided I need to have them.
What is streetwear according to you and How did you get into streetwear fashion?
To me, Streetwear is subjective. I wouldn’t particularly wear something hyped or from a streetwear brand. As long as it looks good and fits well, I’m good to go. I started to develop my own sense of style around my high school years and here I am now.
Do you think sneakers are the driving force to streetwear fashion?
Needless to say, both cultures go hand in hand. However, I believe there are a plethora of factors that come together and form the ‘Culture’. The streetwear culture in India took off because of sneakers but many are influenced by music, sports, and art as well. In conclusion, the roots of both cultures are spread out massively in different areas.
What are your thoughts on the present scenario of sneaker and streetwear culture in India?
In my opinion, It blew up as soon as the lockdown started. People were forced to stay indoors and surf on social media non-stop. Streetwear and sneakers became a new medium to put themselves out there (Whether it be end consumers or resellers). It’s growing tremendously and many desire to explore the culture with keen interest but, having said that, it still needs a few years to reach its peak. It is still based on hype, rather than knowledge.
If you had to raid one closet, whose would it be?
If we talk about apparel then I’m going with Harry Styles. On the other hand, BigBoyChengs for kicks as he got everything in this world. LITERALLY EVERYTHING!
What would you say your top 5 cops are?
I’ll go in descending order. Travis Fragment lows, Off-White MCA AF1, Nike SB Dunk low Chunky & Dunky, Air Jordan 1 Off-White Chicago, Union Air Jordan 1
Which is your go-to pair or daily beaters?
Those would be Off-White OG Prestos. I wear them everywhere!
What’s the craziest sneaker cop story you have?
The time I got my Air Jordan 1, Travis Scott. During its launch, my friends who are legit checkers suggested not buying the pair in India as there were lots of fakes in the market. I had to go through a lot of hassle but I was finally able to get the pair from a reseller in Dubai at a steal price. Now I have a grail pair and a great story to tell!
Are you into luxury street fashion?
Not particularly, I do like the Dior x Jordan collaboration though.
Do you have any pairs you regret buying?
Not really, I just get rid of the stuff that I don’t like.
Dior x Air Jordan 1 or Off-White x Air Jordan 1?
I’ll go with Off-white Chicago. I think it’s really iconic and holds lots of cultural value to it.
According to you, which pair deserves the title of ‘Sneaker of the year’?
That’ll be ‘Travis Scott x Fragments lows’. The collaboration between Travis and Hiroshi is pretty iconic. You don’t get to see two great artists collaborating often.
Do you have any favorite Indian streetwear brands?
I don’t buy a lot of clothes from streetwear brands but I love Jaywalking and almost god’s concept. I think they’re on a different level ( SPECIAL SHOUT-OUT TO SIX5SIX Street ).
Which AJ1 pair do you think is most overrated?
Many will disagree but Air Jordan 1 royal OG. I just don’t like the colorway.
Check out Aryamman's Instagram here.