The madness that could have occurred from last weekend's release of the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 was kept to a minimum. Most stores gave away their pairs via raffles, and very little turmoil took place. The biggest Yeezy moment, however, had nothing to do with a release — it was a video and set of images that surfaced of a man skating in a pair of the aforementioned sneakers. The long-haired skater — cruising the streets in printed socks and shorts as he rolled through puddles and ollied over a homeless man — is Piro Sierra, a 24-year-old skater that was unknown to people outside of the core skate scene.
After the images of Sierra hit the Internet, the storm of comments ensued. Some thought it was entertaining, and those that struck out on procuring a pair of Yeezys weren't impressed by his act. The sneakers were thrashed. But what he did — use a pair of non-skate shoes for skating — caught the Internet's attention. Mission accomplished for Jenkem magazine. But who is Piro Sierra?
We had him come down to the Complex office in midtown to better understand not only who he is, but also what happened last weekend. Here's the story.
Where are you from?
I was born in Tampa. My father’s from the South Bronx, so I’ve been back and forth my whole life. I went to high school in the Bronx, too, but Tampa’s my home. I’ve been currently living in New York for six or seven years, and I’ve been skating for 11 years, because the Skate Park of Tampa is the move. My sponsors are Hopps Skateboards, The Frontside Agency, and Shaqueefa.
How did you get to skate in the Yeezys?
One of my homies from Jenkem hit me up early in the morning and said,“Yo, we got these new Yeezys, do you want to make this little fuck-around clip?” I said, “Why not, It’s better than going to skate LES park or hit a bar.” I met up with them in front of SHUT skate shop and put them on. They’re really comfy, but I rolled my ankle the first time I went skating in them. I had to go to the bar and take a couple of shots so I wouldn’t feel it. We filmed that shit in an hour. We just went from bar to bar.
What were they like to skate in?
They ripped on the first ollie, but the bottoms are really comfortable. I’m going to wear these until the top rips off.
What sneakers do you usually skate in?
I normally skate in whatever I get hooked up on. I like vulcanized shoes without too much padding. I don’t have a favorite skate shoe. I haven’t found it — yet.
What was the reaction when people saw you wearing them?
I was walking around and people were saying, “Yo, he's got the Yeezys on!” I went back to my grandma’s in the South Bronx and all the dudes were freaking out. I didn’t want to cause too much attention and get jumped over these sneakers. My friends told me that something could happen over them, but I didn’t worry. Me and my friends roll deep, and we all have skateboards. You don’t want to get hit with a skateboard [laughs].
Did you know what the sneakers were at first?
I didn't even know what they were. My homie hit me up like, “I got these new Kanyes,” and I said, “What’s that?” He said, “Those adidas shoes.” I have no clue how he got them.
Are you still skating in the Yeezys?
I’m not skating in them. They’re just chilling shoes. My sock’s already hanging out. They’re definitely not a skate shoe.
What's the reaction to you skating in them been like?
The reaction’s been 50/50. A lot of hate and a lot of love. Sneakerheads are telling me they’re going to kill me when they see me. I’m getting a lot of followers from chicks, super babes. It’s funny, man. I can’t believe people are so psyched on a pair of shoes and skateboarding.
How's your life different now?
Nothing’s changed for me. I’m still broke. I’m still in the hood. My phone keeps blowing up on Instagram. That’s the only change I got. I gained like 2,000 followers the first day. I’m still getting followers. I don’t even want to check my phone anymore.
Would you do something else like this again?
I skate everyday. This wasn’t even my idea. I was just a fucking stuntman. It was just another day of skating. I’m down for whatever. Just hit me up, I’ll skate anything.
Do you work besides skating?
I was doing construction with my cousin, but it beat me up too much. I couldn’t go skating after work. You have to wake up super early. I like drinking, and waking up early is super heavy. I just get product from my sponsors, not checks. I have $2 in my pocket right now. That’s what I’ve got to my name.
All photos by Sean Stout. Follow him on Twitter here.