Women in Sneaker Culture: Lynnie aka Elle Sneaks
Women in Sneaker Culture are definitely involved & making an impact but not highlighted as much and that needs to change ! I first came across Lynnie aka Elle Sneaks via Instagram while getting deeper into UK music and culture pages and saw a post for the store in London Presented By and then her YouTube shopping segments with celebs and influencers that come into the store and was so excited to see a woman doing these! Check out the interview below & see how Lynnie is making moves and pushing things forward for women in the industry! Many thanks and much respect to Lynnie for taking time out!
The first time you fell in love with trainers/kicks/sneakers - what shoe was it?
Elle Sneaks: The first time I fell in love with sneakers was way back when; I think I was around 9/10 years old. My siblings and I would stay at my grandad's every Friday, and my uncle had a crazy lineup of sneakers! I used to put my small feet inside of his big UK12s and walk around in them. His collection was mainly Jordan's and Nike Uptempo, which is probably one of the main reasons why I love Nike, Jordan's and bulky shoes.
How did you start working at the Presented By store, and what did you hope to accomplish with that opportunity?
ES: It's a long story but I’ll try and make it short and sweet! I had just left my job of 3 years at Nike, and decided to go down the YouTube path - unboxings, capturing sneaker events, etc. March 15, 2017, I emailed Crep Protect asking for a care package to create a review video of their products. I got a response back from one of the owners, which took me by surprise. His response was "Someone will be in touch." I had so many emotions: anxious, nervous, everything! I get another response by my now-director, telling me that he's viewed my samples of work and loves my energy and passion. He then followed up telling me that they are embarking on a project and that I’d be the perfect fit for (it). I was super excited and just in shock; Idropped everything and went to the location I was given. I had my interview in the middle of Percy Street watching Presented By being built; we had a great chat, discussed ideas that they had for the store and vice versa. I knew I had to work my way up so I was ready to really put my head down, work my butt off,and enjoy this new journey I was about to embark on. Fast forward to 2019, I look after the influencers that come to the store, handling social media accounts, and I'm now starting to learn more about marketing and PR. I'll never stop learning - I don't want to - I’m always up for a challenge and getting down to the nitty gritty. Looking back at the email I first sent, all my goals mentioned in my proposal has come to reality; it feels weird saying it and realizing that it's actually happened. I'm humbled by it and can only thank God. I’ve still got a long way to go, I’m super ambitious and I still got pinnacle that I plan to reach.
Talk about how your experience with filming the shopping videos with various celebs came about and how different sneaker expos started contacting you to be involved/hosting.
ES: I have a BA degree in Music Journalism and Music Business, so I wanted to put that to use. When we launched the first episode with Charlie Sloth, I didn't expect so much views and hate. That was really my first time experiencing such negativity towards me; I expected to get a lot of Complex comparisons but our aim was to really get the UK scene involved. I got over it later but I guess that's what comes with putting yourself out there. Keyboard warriors/haters have nothing better to do than spread hate. I'm blessed to have a great team, family, and friends that support me.
What were your top five sneakers when you first got interested, and how has that style evolved to your present day top five?
ES: In no particular order: Jordan 6s; AF1s; Cortez; Yeezy 700; Jordan 1s.
All these silhouettes are still my go-to's. I would say my style of kicks aesthetically has grown; when I came across Yeezy 700s, I couldn't stand to see them or look at them, then for some reason the more I began to look at them every day, I suddenly grew to love them. Also, a shoe like a Sacai, very different to what I grew up seeing in shoe stores or wearing in general. It definitely keeps me on my toes; I like trying something new.
What’s next for you in the sneaker world as you continue to grow your brand online?
ES: Recently my best friend Fabien asked me this question and for the life of me I couldn't give a straight answer; that made me realize that I really need to have a plan. It's cool to be spontaneous and comfortable but you always gotta plan ahead. I recently created a group of female sneakerheads like myself that want to get in the game and learn the reselling and finding out how to win raffles and just create a girl power buzz. The sneaker world is male dominated but I’m gonna change that concept.
What are some things you want to specifically change or champion in the industry for women in sneaker culture?
ES: As mentioned in the previous question, I want to change the perception that only guys can have the freshest sneakers. Girls can rock it too, even better than guys. We can do it all. Since starting my sneaker group Sole Steppers, I've helped the girls win pairs that they want, given tips and pointers; we keep each other informed on drops, share links, send each other recent cops and pick-ups. The response I initially received when I had the idea made my heart happy. So many girls DM’ed me wanting to be a part of the group; they were so happy, but I don't think they realized how happy they made me. It was a light bulb moment and I thought, why not? Who doesn't want to be looked up to and inspired by in this world? I do; I want to be great. This is just the start.