vrijdag 14 maart 2008
The Sneaker Bible

“I would say that pound for pound, Melbourne has the best scene in the world.” says Simon Wood. A textbook sneakophile, Simon - also known as Woody, also known as the founder and editor of the world’s favorite shoe bible, Sneaker Freaker – is one of the few people with the chops to make such a claim. An Aussie to the heart, Woody has no qualms running his big time magazine from his (comparably) small time city – and if his words on Melbourne are true, then there might be no better place for a sneakerhead to call home.

We chatted with Woody about the magazine, the city in which it’s produced, and how it is that he came to be more fashion-forward than a Hilton sister.

Oh… and we also talked about shoes. A lot of shoes.

Freshest Kidz: What made you decide to turn your sneaker obsession into a print magazine?
Woody: Well it was simple really; I really thought I could just get a load of free shoes! There was no business plan, no grand scheme, and no idea that I could see into the future or imagine that I’d still be doing it five years later on a global scale. I’ve done a lot of projects and jobs over the years and the mag was a good idea at the right time! You never know how true that is until you’ve already done it.

Freshest Kidz: Why have you kept Sneaker Freaker bi-annual as opposed to quarterly or monthly?
Woody: I just didn’t have the resources in the first few years. I actually did nearly everything on those first five issues, and I didn’t have the ability to hire any staff until a couple of years ago. We made money, but I always had other jobs and there was no way or time to go out, sell ads, and get the money rolling in to fund the expansion - so it just evolved slowly. In 2008 we’ll be doing three issues. Quality is the most important consideration; I don’t ever wanna be accused of doing a shitty, lazy issue with a bunch of rewritten press releases. I think three magazines per annum will cover everything and not leave us scratching to come up with enough to keep the fans happy.

Freshest Kidz: You’ve seen thousands of sneakers over the years. What developments, or consistencies, in the sneaker scene have kept you so interested year after year?
Woody: I relate shoes to music; just when you think you’ve heard it all before, along comes some nutty new shit that just pops off into a new realm. I’m keeping my peepers on Alife this year; I think they’re about to take it to a new level. I’ve only heard gossip, but their colabs sound insane. It’s no secret, there’s so much product about right now. The biggest problem is that the bar is set pretty high, so you have to have some pretty fucking fly shit to rise to the top. I remember when Nike put a NYC embroidery on an Air Force back in the late nineties and we went bananas! So you gotta put things into their historical perspective. I loved the Nike vintage story last year - that was a breath of fresh air - and we had the scoop on that project with Junya Watanabe in Issue 9. People find it hard to hand out compliments and say something is good - human nature I suppose - but all the negativity gets boring and stale after a while.