TWOTF: So what brings you to Niketown London?
LW: There is an amazing retrospective on the Presto with ten pairs from my collection being displayed down here in ‘The Cube’. Nike asked me to send the pairs that had the most significance to me, a story and a meaning, for a little exhibition here in ‘The Cube’.
TWOTF: In a super saturated sneaker scene with so much being released every week why is the Presto still relevant? Or is it?
LW: Well you can look at it from two perspectives because in bringing back the shoe you attract the older audience who remember the shoe but at the same time you attract that new audience, the younger audience looking for that next big thing. You notice that from working in sneaker culture and in retail everyone is always looking for that next best thing.
TWOTF, KOT: Is it just the right time now? Because they came back a couple of years back and pretty much hit the sale racks.
LW: I think it speaks to the power of social media. And I say this having done a lot of research right now trends you know they pass a lot quicker. And the minute a trend is seeded it spreads like wildfire I mean look what happened with the Huarache and the Sock Darts.
KOT: Do you think it’s a good thing?
LW: I like the fact, well I am Nike to death but I like the fact that the brand is able to reach such a wide audience. For example the Sock Dart was such a revolutionary shoe back in the day and I like seeing someone from a younger audience trying on the shoe and seeing what an amazing shoe it is. When people hear the story of a shoe they get excited and Nike are able to do that and do it in a time where they are able to have a much wider reach and a much wider audience.
TWOTF, KOT: So if we talk numbers….I was just gonna say that…how many pairs?
LW: Just sitting on 200, and there’s always room for more.
TWOTF: Is there room where you are living?
LW: No there is not! So whenever I buy a pair I usually send them home to my parents’ house in Melbourne so my bedroom there is now just a Presto room. And I guess when you don’t sell any of your pairs the collection can only get bigger and bigger.
TWOFT: So what is the top three on the hitlist?
KOT: Maybe we shouldn’t ask that we don’t wanna build the hype….
LW: The number one is the Hello Kitty. There were two pairs and a third colourway for friends and family, and VIPs. A couple of sample pairs just emerged and unfortunately have been sold to people other than me! It was pretty heartbreaking so any of those I’m after.
Then there were a couple of super rare, like one off player editions. Nike has a lot of manufacturing in Korea and back in the day Nike did a collab with some local school kids and did a really crazy tiger stripe pair, unofficially known as the Busan American School PE. Just through endless research I have tracked down a couple pairs to a guy that works at a military school in Stuttgart, through constant stalking! But don’t think he’s gonna let them go…