Life & Style (USA) Interview
Aug-2007: This interview focused on sneaker style trends – about which I'm no expert – but I was able to offer suggestions on ways that shoelaces could be used to make sneakers look trendier.
- Interviewed for: Life & Style (USA)
- Interviewed by: Stephanie Rygorsky
- Interviewed via: E-mail
- Interviewed on: 29-Aug-2007
STEPHANIE: What are the top 5 sneaker trends that you predict for fall?
IAN: Okay, you got me, I'm stumbling on the first question. About the only emerging sneaker trend that I can think of is sneaker jewellery, along the lines of products like “Kickbars”.
STEPHANIE: Are there any ways you can suggest to update a pair of sneakers you already have?
IAN: The most obvious, cheap and relatively easy way to update an existing pair of sneakers is to change your lacing.
First and foremost, choose a different lacing method. There's a few basic lacing methods that most sneakers are laced with when they come from the store. Take a minute or two to rip them out, then try one of the dozens of far more interesting lacing methods. Whether you're after distinctive, decorative, radical or outrageous, there's methods out there that will really change the look.
Re-lacing can also be used to adjust the length of your shoelace ends, as some methods use up more lace and others use up less. Most sneakers nowadays seem to come with ridiculously long laces, which people end up combating with huge bows, chunky double or triple knots, or leaving the ends dragging in the dirt. Try a different lacing method, or even shorten your laces to the correct length, and the result will both look better and cause much less frustration.
Finally, try replacing the shoelaces altogether. A different color that contrasts with the sneakers' main color (though preferably one that complements any other part of the colorway) will make them really stand out, whilst wide, flat laces will create a more solid area of color. If you want your laces to really be noticed, try using two different colored shoelaces in each shoe, interweaving them for a bi-color effect. Alternately, if you want your sneakers to take precedence over your lacing, use thin, round laces that blend with the main sneaker color.
STEPHANIE: Can you share 1-2 ways to lace up a pair of sneaks to make them look trendier?
IAN: There's plenty of fresh ways that you can lace up a pair of sneaks to make them look trendier.
One of the most popular lacing methods, which is both trendy and reasonably functional, is “Lattice Lacing”. Like other decorative methods, it's most noticeable when done with flat shoelaces. Rather than the laces running sequentially from the 1st pair of eyelets into the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th pair, they instead run as follows: From the 1st pair they run all the way up and into the 4th pair, then 5th, then back down to the 2nd pair, then 3rd, then all the way up to the 6th pair. Because the laces cross over each other several times, they can be interwoven to form a neat lattice in the middle of the shoe.
More and more sneakers nowadays are being supplied with two different colored pairs of laces. One of the simplest ways to lace these both into the same shoe is as follows: Run one lace through the odd numbered sets of eyelets (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.), then run the other lace through the even numbered sets of eyelets (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.). At the top, either tie two separate bows, or tie one bow and tuck in the other loose ends, or hold both colored lace ends together and tie one double-thickness bow. Either way, the bi-colored result looks brilliant and will really be noticed.
STEPHANIE: Is customization a big sneaker trend? What are some ways someone can customize their sneakers?
IAN: For years, people have customized their sneakers. Want to do something different? Try customizing your shoelaces!
Arm yourself with some flat laces that are white or light colored, then get hold of some medium to dark colored permanent markers and you can do some crazy individualization. Repeat a simple geometric pattern. Write a famous quotation, or something from the heart. Divide up the laces with random colors. Use fat laces to create a solid area, then draw a picture on your laced “canvas”. The only limit is your imagination!
The best part about customizing your shoelaces is that they are cheap to replace. Made a mistake? No problem, you haven't destroyed your expensive sneakers. Feel like a change? Again, just buy some new laces and start over.
STEPHANIE: Are there any technological advancements in sneakers that are going to be big for fall or that you recommend readers to look out for?
IAN: Most of the high-tech developments in shoelaces are aimed at the sports footwear market, where speed and functionality are more important, as opposed to the fashion market, where there is less emphasis on technology and more on colors and textures. If anything, shoelaces have been taking a tehnological step backwards lately as more and more slippery synthetic materials are being used, resulting in shoelaces that are prone to coming undone.
I'd like to see manufacturers reverting to blends of natural fibers, like cotton or hemp. Besides holding a knot more securely, these fibers are also more eco-friendly than synthetics.
STEPHANIE: Are there any color combos for sneakers (whether in sneakers themselves, or sneakers and laces) that you think are hot right now?
IAN: Bright shoelaces are definitely in right now as people become more comfortable with using them to individualize their footwear. Even fluoro colors are happening, whilst pastels could make your funky lacing style go unnoticed!
STEPHANIE: Are there any prints that are hot for sneakers and/or laces right now?
IAN: There are more and more shoelaces being produced with designs or messages either printed onto or woven into the material. However, unlike colors (which can follow general trends), I think that patterns are much more prone to individual taste, so I couldn't say which are “hot” right now.
By Stephanie Rygorsky, Life & Style (USA), 17-Sep-2007
Very little of my interview made its way into the finished article, which occupied only one small corner of a two-page spread about best-selling sneakers (see gallery below).