The Stash: @uglymely

  • @uglymely

    Can you remember the first sneaker you got that changed your approach to shoes? Where you went from wearing shoes casually to being a person who actually loves and collects them?

    I remember the first pair of sneakers that pleased me. It was the FILA Grant Hill, very fat for the feet of the little girl I was. But I remember that very well from the time I was just watching people’s feet on the street.

    In college, I was wearing the Nike Cortez, adidas Superstar or Puma Sprint.

    (Sneaker pictured: Patta x Nike Air Max 1)

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  • @uglymely

    How many pairs do you have and where do you store everything? Do you have a favorite right now? If someone asked you to showcase one shoe from your collection, what would it be? 

    I’m not very far from 300 pairs of sneakers. That’s a lot for just two feet, but how to stop? I moved to get a piece of “shoesing” in order to store. I have a lot of fav shoes: This week is the adidas Superstar 80s x Sneakersnstuff shades of white. If I had to show one shoe from my collection, it would be the adidas Yeezy Boost because many people are curious to see if the quality is there.

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  • You are from Paris, correct? What’s the sneaker culture like there?

    The sneaker game in Paris is complex but strong. The market has evolved in recent years — there are many more shops than before and with good selections. The market for women’s sneakers also changed a lot, now we even have a Courir store dedicated only for women. But all this is complex, desires and expectations of consumers change very often, as the choice of sneakers can sometimes be surprising from one month to another. We still buy influence and with no risk-taking.

    (Sneaker pictured: Asics Gel Lyte V x Ronnie Fieg “Mint”) 

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  • Nike Air Max 1

    What are the most popular shoes among the community in Paris/France right now?

    If you’re walking in Paris these days you will see only the adidas Stan Smith and Superstar on people’s feet. And there’s still the omnipresence of the Nike Air Max but nothing original has evolved.

    (Sneaker pictured: Nike Air Max 1 x atmos “Animal Camo” pack)

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  • @uglymely

    What’s a sneaker and/or line in your collection that you feel gets overlooked/underappreciated by the masses?

    I immediately think of the Air Trainer I love so much! It is rare to find my 6 size. But I found 15 pairs of the Nike Air Trainer 1 in my size and 10 pairs of the Air Trainer SC. In March of 2014, I did an exhibition with friends at MW Shift: AirTrainerPedia! More than 200 pairs!

    (Sneaker pictured: Nike Air Trainer 2 “Tropical Island” pack)

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  • Have you had any crazy release day stories? 

    I made a campout for the release of the Nike Air Flow Teal at Nike Stadium Paris. Five minutes before the opening I learned that they did not have my size! Totally annoyed but I was able to find a pair in another shop quietly after 30 minutes.

    (Sneaker pictured: Size? x Nike Air Max 93 “Teal”)

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  • @uglymely

    How have things like Instagram changed the sneaker industry over the past few years?

    So much! Instagram has taken a very important place for brands and especially for “cool” products like sneakers. Today designers, AD, and brand managers are present on Instagram and make sure to care themselves to the teasing of expected pairs. Blogs are full of photos from Instagram, and it is an important flow of information.

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  • What cool things has your love of sneakers enabled you to do?

    I could get my own pair of sneakers and it is a dream for anyone who is a fan for so many years. This project was born in 2012 with Reebok. Then I met a lot of people, famous designers like Tinker Hatfield, enthusiasts like Gary Aspden, Kish Kash, Vashtie Kola, and Ronnie Fieg, representatives who are interested by my passion and my point of view.

    (Sneaker pictured: Nike Free Superfly Mercurial HTM)

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  • What’s the hardest part of this hobby/maintaining your collection?

    The difficulty is to follow the releases! There are sooooo many pairs and what is hard is to choose those that you can buy each month. When I was young I was working for that, now I have responsibilities and lifetime maintenance.

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  • What were the highlights of 2014 for you in terms of the sneaker industry and in your own collection? And if you could map out the perfect sneaker year in 2015, what would that include for you? 

    There were lots of nice sneakers releases in 2014 as the return of the Air Python or the new Air Jordan, the Future, a great pair in GS, and then adidas also marked the sneaker game in 2014 with its versions of the Stan Smith, the return of the Superstar, and this new product, the Tubular. In 2015, one can not miss the Yeezy Boost, because the marketing plan is very interesting to read! And then the return of the classics: Air Max and the Huarache.

    (Sneaker pictured: Adi Dassler x adidas Consortium Superstar 80 “10th Anniversary”)

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  • @uglymely
  • @uglymely
  • Nike Air Max 1
  • @uglymely
  • @uglymely

There are sneakerheads everywhere in the world these days and many of them are women. The ladies know how to stunt more than ever before and one of the very best is France’s own Amel Mainich, better known as @uglymely. Sporting over 36,000 Instagram followers, Amel is constantly strutting around Paris in some of the illest Nike Air Max, adidas Originals, and ASICS shoes you’ll ever see.

“I remember the first pair of sneakers that pleased me. It was the FILA Grant Hill, very fat for the feet of the little girl I was,” she wrote to me via email. “But I remember that very well from the time I was just watching people’s feet on the street.”

After spending her college years wearing a wide mix of varying lifestyle shoes, she now has close to 300 pairs. Her Instagram feed — which has close to 4,000 posts — is an ode to her eclectic taste, as well as a tutorial for any newbie sneakerhead looking to make a splash. Wearing everything from special edition collaborations to her two favorite sneakers of all time (the Air Jordan II and Air Trainer 1) in her US men’s size 6 feet, Amel is constantly evolving with her city’s growing sneaker culture.

We’ve seen women from the West Coast who are killing it. We’ve seen women in Hawaii holding it down. We’ve also seen guys from England who are all over the most popular Nike trainers and Air Max sneakers. Well, @uglymely is a combination of all of that and then some.

As the world’s sneaker community becomes more diverse, thanks to things like the Internet and phone apps, everyone has an opinion. Take a look at what @uglymely has to say about her collection, as well as the current state of the game.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney

all images via @uglymely