I’ve always been a bit of a trainer girl at heart. I think it started in the late 80s, probably after watching Neneh Cherry on Top of the Pops, or perhaps it was the Beastie Boys “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”. Up until that point I’d mainly channelled the look of Pepsi and Shirley with my perm and kitten heels, so trainers were a major (and far more comfortable) fashion departure.
My first ‘proper’ pair came from a holiday to San Francisco – killer Nike Air Jordan basketball hi-tops in red and grey. They were my pride and joy as I returned to the Sixth Form with a proper Stateside rap attitude. Then came the Fila craze (olive green leather, worn with a particularly (un)fetching white nylon tracksuit) and a bumbag. Anyway, moving on!
I danced my way through my Indie and Acid Jazz fuelled university years in a selection of trainers- royal blue Adidas Gazelles (in homage to the effervescent Jay Kay), Puma States in both pale blue and emerald green suede, red striped leather Adidas Superstar (Shell Toes), followed soon after by what has become my all time favourite, the iconic Adidas Stan Smith.
Ah, the Stan Smith. Sigh… my ultimate trainer. So comfortable, so stylish, so versatile and effortless. My current pair are off white snake skin with Velcro fastenings. When I fractured my ankle they were the only things that would fit post-cast. I wore them with shorts around Disneyland Paris, with a bikini on the beach in Portugal, with smart dresses for my birthday celebrations, with a suit for business meetings (a la Phoebe Philo). They just work.
There are certain trainers that have never done it for me. Converse and New Balance make my feet look massive (size 39). Vans were just too chunky. But the Stan Smith has always been my favourite. Don’t get me wrong, my Nike Air Max high tops will always be the go to trainer on a rainy winters day, but for an easy breezy look, Stan Smiths are top of the list.