Thursday, August 23, 2007

WSJ: Wearing Those Vintage Sneakers With Style

Cute little ditty from The Wall Street Journal on vintage sneakers....

Style -- Tricks of the Trade: Wearing Those Vintage Sneakers With Style
By Amy Chozick
23 August 2007
The Wall Street Journal

Christopher Vidal has more than 400 pairs of sneakers crowding his New York City apartment. He makes sure to wear each pair -- if only once.
But Mr. Vidal, who serves as an in-house expert for Flight Club, a sneaker-consignment shop with locations in New York and Los Angeles and a store opening soon in Tokyo, says there's more to wearing a great pair of sneakers than just slipping them on. He believes in creating a whole outfit from the feet up. "The whole key to an outfit depends on your kicks," Mr. Vidal says, using the common slang word for limited-edition and vintage sneakers.
The 34-year-old Mr. Vidal grew up in Brooklyn in the 1980s and became obsessed with skateboarding and street fashion. When he's picking out a pair of sneakers to wear today, he likes to hark back to that period. He says you can't go wrong with a pair of Nike Air Force One basketball shoes that first came out in 1982 and are now hot items among sneaker aficionados. "This is not a comfortable shoe, but it's become a keepsake," Mr. Vidal says.
The secret to picking out the right pair of shoes is to "rock a pair that no one else will be wearing," Mr. Vidal says. To differentiate the rare from the run-of-the-mill, he does research on the Internet, reads collector magazines and corresponds with fellow sneaker fans in Japan, where hip kicks are coveted.
After he's selected a unique pair, Mr. Vidal intentionally tones down his outfit in order to draw attention to his feet. Recently, Mr. Vidal wore a pair of gray-speckled (aka "elephant-print") Nike Black Cement Three sneakers last produced in 2001 -- which can now fetch more than $600 -- with a white V-neck T-shirt and Swagger X Levi's 503 jeans. "That's a hard shoe to get, so I knew it would get me attention," says Mr. Vidal, who paid $110 for the shoes six years ago and has kept them "on ice" in the box ever since.
He also tries not to match his shoes and his clothes. This makes the sneakers "pop," he says. For instance, he may pair bright yellow or fire-engine red sneakers with a single-breasted black suit. Canvas high-tops by Converse or red and black checkered Vans are also a good choice for a suit.
When it comes to everyday wear, straight-legged and relaxed-fit jeans go well with any sneakers, Mr. Vidal says. Tapered jeans should be worn with sleek running shoes like vintage Pumas or New Balance.
The cuff of the jeans should not be too long. "You don't want jeans to get caught under the shoe," Mr. Vidal says, or you'll ruin your jeans.

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