MEET ROMY SAMUEL. FLY FASHIONISTA. SNEAKER JUNKIE. LOVER OF LIFE. THE COOL MOM.
We are always preaching #Chickspiration within the sneaker community, because honestly we need more of it. Empowering the next female and having fun in our sneakers is what it's all about. We had the opportunity to connect with a woman who embodies the principles of Chickspiration and living your life like it's golden.
I first saw Romy Samuel on the Kids Footlocker Series "Generations", and instantly had to get to know her. Have you ever met someone who's aura is so authentic and their creative passion exudes from their personality and style? That describes Romy in a nutshell. It didn't hurt that she shared a love for sneaker culture and was also a parent passing down a bond connected by kicks. (Sidenote: She's a Pisces, too.) During her interview with Kids Footlocker, she traveled deep into her Melbourne roots to describe the connection between family and her love for sneakers at an early age.
In our latest Chick Chat, Romy schools us about sneaker politics, her ultimate guide for styling streetwear, family ties, and cool closet confessionals. Vibe with us as we get to know more about this fashionista in her own words.
THE MAKINGS OF A STYLISH SNEAKERHOLIC... IN CLIFF NOTES.
My [sneaker] journey started many years ago – when I was a little girl having a father that worked in fashion and sportswear. That kind of triggered things without me knowing. I always loved my clothes and my mother always bought me pink and I was like I DON’T WANT TO WEAR PINK! In the early 80s, street culture started to take place. My dad tapped into a little bit of that, and I took notice through his personal style. He used to go on business trips overseas, and he would always bring me back cool pieces of clothing and buy me sneakers. I was always decked out in PUMA or adidas. I think I developed my own style, and I was kind of the tomboy wearing leg warmers and sneakers.
Punky Brewster was my favorite show and she influenced me as a little icon when I was 11 years old. I was obsessed with Reebok, it was very big in Australia. All those eras from the 80s and 90s grunge are back with a vengeance and its so fun.
THE JOY OF DRESSING IS AN ART.
The biggest love when it comes to style is trying to mix it up. My personal style would be described as a little feminine with a lot street. The feeling has been that with whatever im wearing, you can always put some sneakers on. You could wear flowy pants with a KITH tshirt and a pair of [Air Max] 95s. I'll throw in some Zara with some adidas. It works. People ask me how I do it, and it just works for me!
I prefer prints like animal or stars and stripes over florals. If I’m going somewhere tropical, I can definitely throw on some boho/lacey vibes. You can rock it all with sneakers and there’s always a bit of street shining through with anything im wearing. Oh, and hats. Lots of hats.
THE LAND DOWN UNDER.
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia. It is kind of a capitol of streetwear culture. Melbourne has a large presence of street art and skateboarders. Huge skate culture and its like the New York of Australia. The sneaker culture in Melbourne stems from that whole vibe. There's some basketball, but the Vans, Converse and Air Max really drove the culture. Plus, cold weather breeds better fashion in my opinion.
Sneaker Freaker Magazine is an iconic staple in the industry and I love it that it came out of Melbourne.
SNEAKER CLOSET CONFESSIONALS...
My heavy sneaker rotation would include my silver or gold Air Max 97s, Air Max Plus TNs, and my Air Max 1 Jewels that are white with the red Swoosh. I have been wearing my grey TNs and my gold TNs because they are just beautiful. I have two rooms of sneakers (don’t laugh).
Honorary mention: adidas Iniki Runner Boosts
SHOP ROMY'S FAVE SNEAKER STYLES BELOW
THE HOLY GRAIL.
There are so many and every year it changes I think. I am not going to say Yeezys because that’s too contrived. Last year during Air Max Day, Nike dropped the Air Max "Masters" and I wasn’t able to grab and I was so devastated. There’s always the ones you have to let go. Later, I went to Sneakercon in LA and no one was selling anything in my size that I liked of course. There was one girl and she was selling the "Masters" in my size; deadstock. It was like I was riding a rainbow the rest of the day.
STARTING A COLLECTION? CLASSICS NEVER DIE.
Start with an Nike Air Max 1 or a pair of adidas Stan Smiths. Really classic and they go with everything. For a colorway, I would stick with something light or something white. A white with a gum sole and you can’t go wrong. Keep it clean and simple.
SHOP THE SNEAKER STYLES BELOW
MY ADIDAS STAN SMITH TATTOO...
My father passed away 14 years ago and the tattoo is actually a picture of his shoe. These were the first pair of sneakers I remember him wearing as a little girl, and it has the letter ‘A’ on the tongue for his first name. When you’re getting your first tattoo, you want it to be special and have some meaning. Its the love of two things – my father and my sneakers.
THE COOL MOM FUNDAMENTALS.
It’s inevitable that your kids are seeing mom has a million pairs of sneakers. I don’t buy tons of sneakers for them (they grow out of shoes so fast). My kids choose what they want to wear everyday. My daughter is really obsessed with her Nike Huaraches and her pink adidas Stan Smiths. My son loves his adidas Superstars. I like that they like different things.
I’ve kind of been the mother that all the other mothers go to when they want to know what sneakers to buy. I’m in a community that’s a little more suburban and conservative. “Hey Rom, what sneakers should I buy?!” I’ll tell them they should really try these new Vans etc. I’m like the sneaker advisor (LOL).
CONNECTING THE DOTS IS SO NECESSARY...
Sneaker culture means giving my kids the ability to create their own style and independence. It represents confidence. Sneakers also represent sports, style, strength, and being comfortable. When you’re comfortable in what you're wearing, you are comfortable with yourself. The women that really love their sneakers and hold their own are really confident, strong women.
STATE OF THE UNION... IN SNEAKER CULTURE.
Nike is doing great stuff [for the female demographic]. Their campaigns are strong. The Force is Female is really, really cool and the whole [Nike] Cortez campaign was fun. PUMA is also working really hard to grab strong female representation within their own branding.
If I could change one thing it would be the ability to be able to access the releases easier. It’s not asking a lot. If you’re going to drop that shoe, let us have it!
CONFIDENCE NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE.
#Chickspiration to me... is all about being able to know how to rock your kicks. I want to be a source of inspiration to show the world how all these great girls out there can rock their kicks confidently.