Sneakers and Small Talk: Josefine Ulrika

Peeking into Copenhagen’s sneaker culture with one of the movement’s leading ladies.

All photos: Adam Katz Sindig

This week, we’re talking to sneaker-lovin’ babes around Copenhagen to find out what about sneakers makes them tick. Whether it’s their uber-comfiness, their fresh and fly style or their cultural symbolism, everyone has a different reason—and Josefine does, too.

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JOSEFINE ULRIKA, 19, SNEAKERHEAD

Wearing Nike Air Force 1 – What the Pendleton

GIRLS ARE AWESOME: Hey, Josefine. Tell us about yourself. 

Josefine: My name is Josefine and I’m 19 years old. I live in Copenhagen and work full time in a sneaker shop called Naked. Besides working my butt off, I spend a lot of time with my friends and family. I love to be social and surrounded by people. I’m terrible at relaxing and being alone—it’s really one of my bad sides! I love to keep myself engaged and constantly get on new ideas about what I want to achieve. My friends, family and co-workers mean everything to me. It sounds very cliche but it’s the truth. It is very important for me to be surrounded by people who understand me and who I really click with.

My job means a lot to me and has given me a lot socially and creatively in the industry, but also as a person. I have met a lot of new people through my work and for that I’m very thankful. I have always loved that through a branch or a hobby, you meet people who share the same interests.

What makes you a sneakerhead?

Sneakers have always been of great interest to me. Since I was little, I have always had a soft spot for them. I think it began when I started dancing. For the first few years, I went to modern dance but after four/five years my interest began to fall towards hip hop and breakdance. The entire pace and music quickly caught my interest, and thus also the entire style. I remember my friends and I could spend hours watching videos of the coolest break-dancers and hip hop dancers. They had the attitude and the style we connected with. My friend Melissa and I began to do battles and other dance events. We saw all the dancers dressed in conducted, cool and clean outfits. Through their personal style and dance, they could express themselves. I think it was here that I really felt inspired to grow my own personal style and find one I could express myself through.

Since then, sneakers has always been a part of my uniform. Sneakers allow you to combine different looks. For example, when I go out, an outfit could be a loose pair of black silk pants, a cool shirt, gold earrings and a pair of pink Air Max 90s or a tight dress and a pair of Club C’s.

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How would you describe your personal style?

Casual but still clean. I love streetwear and especially tracksuits.

How would you describe the role sneakers play in contemporary culture?

I feel the whole sneaker wave has gone completely berserk. I really can’t get into the whole Kanye West wave and the whole trend about the Yeezy. And I’m sorry that sneaker fashion has become more of a collector thing than it is about feeling like the coolest person in the city with your fresh pair of sneaks with more respect for the design and so on.

On the other hand, I am really glad that sneaker fashion spread for all age groups. We’ve got the coolest older women coming into the store who know just what they want and leave the store looking like a million in a fresh pair of sneaks.

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If you were a particular sneaker, which one would you be and why?

If I were a pair of sneakers… That’s a very difficult question. I think I’m a mix between a Jordan 1 and a Presto. Clean, comfortable and stylish.

What are your words to live by?

Be surrounded by good people who understand you, support you and make you laugh.

Complete this sentence: “When I wear sneakers…”

“I feel comfortable and confident.”

Thanks, Josefine.

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Josefine is wearing Nike Air Force 1 – What the Pendleton—probably one of the most famous pairs of sneakers in the world. There’s been over 2000 iterations, and now, a Nordics drop will feature unique patterns of Pendleton wool, made with 100 per cent virgin wool. You can get the shoe at a pop-up store in Copenhagen: from December 9-10, a giant sneaker box will appear in the centre of the city, containing surprise drops of four limited edition sneaker styles you can only get there.

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