I may be a sneakerhead, but many years ago my dream Job was being a journo for a fashion magazine. Life in my eyes was about living in NYC, working for Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. I wanted to be in the front row at Paris Fashion Week. I wanted access to an unlimited archive of fashion knowledge. What can I say, I was about that life. Toronto wasn’t cutting it. And when I found out I was British (and I had to find that out – I wasn’t raised by my mother), I saw it as a pathway to NYC. Why not, London was the next big thing to me.
It took a couple of attempts, but I did live that fashion life. I was a fashion copywriter for high-end luxury stores. I had written some great fashion articles in amazing magazines. It was a frustrating, underpaid, underappreciated experience, but I did it. It still wasn’t NYC though. So I tried Dubai. And then I tried Berlin. And the list goes on.
I’ve done all. Then I shifted gears. I found a bit more happiness in music and culture because that’s what I know. It’s also very interesting when people start stalking your Facebook profiles to get a write-up. It was cool. But it wasn’t until I moved into social media that I learned about drudging.
Social media is cumbersome. Most of my jobs have entailed me being really hands-on, but if I had the choice, I’d much rather tell other people what to do. I don’t appreciate being messaged at 12 am about posting on my weekends (that I’m not getting paid for). I don’t appreciate being seen as the bad guy because I’m trying to help that TV personality get more interactions through Facebook live. But I do love sneakers. I am hip-hop. I am cultured. And I certainly appreciate VR.
VR X Sneakers x Hip Hop = Wins
So, in my ideal world, I’d combine the two with a simple concept: A VR sneaker store. I’m sure they exist. A lot of brands are delving into experiential pop-ups and all of that. But I just want a sneaker store with a sneaker arcade. And I want it to be in Texas.
image: Sneaker News
My sneaker store would be heavily cultural influenced. It would be a place for kids to come in, get lost in a PlayStation VR console, or HTC VIVE, or Oculus Rift And while they’re at it, they would of course, by the latest kicks.
Not anyone can do something like this. It’s not about being the first to do it, it’s about understanding a culture, in order for this to be executed in the way. And I would choose Texas because it’s a simple place. A matter of fact, I may even choose New Mexico, because I’ve been to Albuquerque, I’ve been to Dallas and Fort Worth. To me, the most impact is not the big shiny glossy brands in the big, shiny, glossy neighbourhoods. The people who really participate in VR are not in the glossy cities. They’re out in the boondocks.
So do I really need to be in London? From my perspective, I’d rather build with the consumers directly. I think that in order to offer a truly cool VR experience you need to think about who’s really important.
I think being a true hip hop head and sneaker lover who is tech-inclined is at an advantage. And I think being in the VR space is actually a lesson in going back to basics.