So just last week the King of Trainers and I caught up with Leon Witherow aka Prestology who we have been following for a while on Insta and who is probably the world’s greatest Nike Presto collector. It was a real pleasure to catch up with him at Niketown London’s amazing new Sneakers Cube space and hear about his passion for Prestos. Check out the words and pics below, make sure you click through the pages below.
Massive shouts to Leon was a real pleasure, and those Prestos, just amazing.
TWOTF: Tell us who are for the people that don’t already know.
LW: My name is Leon Witherow, born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, been in love with Nike from I was a kid. My neighbours were sneakerheads so would come and show me their latest pairs of Air Maxes, 180s, Dunks so it kinda stuck with me. When I was 12 I was able to afford my own pair and went to a Nike factory store and picked up a pair of Delta Forces. And then over the years I got more and more into sneaker culture and I was also a part of the Melbourne street art scene. And if you’re a part of that community you have to have a fresh pair of Air Max 90s that’s just standard uniform out there on the street!
I went through university and studied industrial design; I’ve always loved art and design. I guess that combined with sneakers I could always appreciate not just the coolness of a sneaker but the actual design as well. After I left university I started working at a Nike Factory store because really my goal was to work for Nike and work my way up the ladder, and ideally one day design for them.
TWOTF: So how did your love for the Presto begin?
LW: So one day I was at work cleaning up the discount wall and my best friend called me and said Leon I’ve just tried on this shoe in Footlocker called the Presto, if ever you see one or get one in you have to try them on immediately. Sure enough that day a couple pairs came in. It was an Australasian exclusive colourway and we got two pairs in my size, I tried them on immediately and it really was a life-changing moment.
TWOTF: I remember them myself; there was something about them, the comfort, and the innovation when it came to the sizing, what was it for you?
LW: It was a combination of different things, it was so left of field and I’m naturally drawn to things that are out there, out of the square. I’d never seen a shoe with a shape like that, the whole way it was made. And you know me I’m a big boy I need a shoe that’s comfortable for being on my feet for 8 hours. But the more I researched it the more I realised it was much more than a shoe and that Nike were trying to create a cultural shift with this shoe. The shoe had a place in art and street culture and it was actually the first time Nike had tried to blend sportswear and high fashion. When you read about their early branding and marketing strategy they really wanted to push this shoe into high fashion. They wanted to see people combine them with dresses and stuff like that, that whole performance fashion look.
It took risks that’s the thing I loved most about it.