Designer Jeff Staple is most often associated with his "Pigeon" Nike SB Dunks and other similarly themed projects, but his knowledge and history in the game extends far beyond the shades of grey found on his sneaker collabs.
In order to better understand how sneakerhead culture came to be, Monocle sat down with Staple for the latest installment of The Monocle Weekly.
"Sneakers were always made for performing on courts and for athletes. I think what really pushed it out of that category was hip-hop... When hip-hop artists came about, and people looked up to them musically, they would then look at what they were wearing," Staple said.
He attributes the popularity of sneakers to accessibility and the fact that anyone with some extra cash in their pocket can get in on the action, but mentions that only select people will be able to pull them off.
"The first problem is you've got a wall of shoes at a typical store of, you know, a hundred selections. So there's a curatorial sense where person 'A' can go in and pick a shoe and he looks like a dad, and then person 'B' comes out of the store, the same store, but he's like the coolest guy on earth. So it's sort of like, 'Anybody can win at this,'" Staple said.
To hear Staple further break down the complexities of the culture, head over to Monocle now and listen to the full interview.