Every city has its quirks, especially when it comes to sneakers. New York can be particular, sometimes over-saturated and highly influenced by our always-challenging weather conditions. Atlanta and Chicago go with the trends, but never pick the hottest “it” item over the classics, and Miami is all about the colorways (or so we’re told). Which brings us to the City of Angels, the sunniest place to cop the newest releases, thanks to a wide variety of sneaker specialties and streetwear tastes.
That’s why we tapped one of our favorite lady sneakerheads, @jcheyenne_, for her tips on surviving the sneaker scene in L.A. and what it’s like to be a female in the male-dominated industry. Read along to see what it takes to stick out in her hometown, along with what trends and shoes she’s looking forward to this spring.
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On sneaker culture in Los Angeles:
It is very male-dominated, like it is everywhere. But in L.A. it’s hard for women to come out with a guy thinking we’re just out there to get on Instagram. When I first started, I wasn’t taking it that seriously, but once I did get more into it, it started to show. I am a little known out here but not as much as the big guys out here like Kicksology and Ventilation and stuff like that, but it is a pretty big culture out here. It’s pretty fast-paced too, so there’s a lot of Racers and comfort shoes doing well in L.A. Some guys are super into Dunks, but it’s mostly Jordans.
Campouts here are pretty hardcore, people take it pretty seriously. I think we’re really different. I know SBs were huge when they came out, but I think that’s now changed more towards trainer styles. I’d say to anyone who wants to be apart of the L.A. sneaker scene that you have to be different. You can’t wear just the normal jeans or the basic things that everyone else has. I think you have to set yourself apart, whether it’s through customs or throwbacks. It’s good to be different.
[RELATED: The Stash with @jcheyenne_]
On local sport’s influence on sneakers:
Yeah, Kobe is huge out here right now, especially since he’s retiring. So I see a lot of Kobes now too. Basketball is definitely the biggest influence here than anything else, aside from skateboarding.
On how she first got into sneakers:
One of my ex-boyfriends actually, he was more into shoes at the time than I was. He introduced me to Jordans and I kinda fell in love with it from there. I started researching on my own when I was a sophomore in high school. The first pair I actually put some money down on were the Wolf Grey Vs, then the Cardinal VIIs. So after I bought those, that was kinda it for me. I kept trying to find out what next great sneaker I could get.
On her favorite kicks right now:
I am looking forward to the [Jordan] University 12s that are coming out in May because that’s a women’s only release. I was excited about the Nike Women’s City Pack that was released last week. I didn’t cop any but I think I still might find a few of those.
On her favorite brands:
Jordan and Nike for sure, but I also love adidas and Reebok Questions. I kinda like them, it depends on the shoe really.
On who inspires her:
Teyana Taylor because she’s also a tomboy but she has a girly side too. She rocks sneakers all the time, and usually wears them one way or the other. I dress similarly, like sometimes I’ll rock jeans and a T-shirt like a tomboy but I can still make it look more girly with a dress or a skirt with sneakers. She really inspires me in that way.
On her personal style:
I always pick out what shoe I’m going to wear first, based on what I haven’t worn recently. My shoes are usually the highlight of my wardrobe. I try to keep my look kind of basic with T-shirt and pants but then I’ll have shoes that pop. I definitely dress from the shoes up.
On her favorite sneaker trends:
Running-inspired silhouettes like racers are trending right now and that’s one of my favorite trends right now. I love the Nike Flyknit Racers, those are definitely in my weekly rotation. They go with everything, I can dress them up and down. Since I live in SoCal, I can get away with wearing them all year round with leggings or shorts.
On sneakers that surprise her:
When I first started getting into sneakers, I’ll admit to being a little hypebeast, like I wanted every shoe that came out around that time. But then I kinda learned my way. My boyfriend is helping me get into more brands and expand away from just Nike and Jordan to see what other shoes I might like. Before it was all about style but now it’s about style and comfort for me.
On her favorite pair of sneakers right now:
Nike Flyknit Racers, for sure.