Sneakers and Small Talk: Amanda Surel

Peeking into Copenhagen's sneaker culture with one of the city's sneakerheads.

All photos: Adam Katz Sindig

This week, we’ve been talking to sneaker-lovin’ babes around Copenhagen to find out what about sneakers makes them tick. Of course, it has to do with expressing personal style—but it also has to do with the role sneakers play in contemporary culture. Here’s what Amanda has to say about it.

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AMANDA SUREL, 24, SNEAKERHEAD

Wearing Nike Air Force 1 – What the Pendleton

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

Amanda: My name is Amanda and I’m just a 24-old girl living in Copenhagen, currently studying Information Science and Cultural Communication at the University of Copenhagen, I do a lot of things (modelling, etc.) but I don’t want to have one label to always be part of my description. I identify with a lot of things that inspire me. I like to stay as authentic as possible and I observe a lot. Very cliché – trying to be authentic – but it works for me. I try not to care to much about other people’s opinions and I’m very loud.

What makes you a sneakerhead?

I don’t really think of myself as a sneakerhead, because it’s never been a new trend for me. I got my first pair of sneakers from my dad, who used to play basketball, when I was ten. Ever since then, I haven’t really used anything else since and my love for sneakers has been the same for years.

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How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is very mixed, it often depends on my mood. I change a lot and I don’t follow trends. However, the most important thing for me is that my clothes are something I feel comfortable in. I can wear anything as long I feel good. Over the last few years I have spent a lot of time training and it has helped motivate me in many different ways—also within my style and what I find sexy.

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

In my opinion, sneakers play a big part in contemporary culture. I like that you can dress up with some sneakers, but also tone it down. Even though I like the hype of sneakers, I would never camp out for a pair: I like to shop casually and take my time. I get the hype, though, and when I was younger I had the same passion for sneakers, I just didn’t have the money for them. Today, people see sneakers as a “must have” item and I get that, too. I worked in the “sneaker industry” for a couple of years and sneakers have definitely become a normal part of people’s definitions of “good style”.

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

I would probably be an all/white Adidas Ultra Boost, the 1st edition before they got “killed” by the mainstream. They are legit the most comfortable sneakers I have ever worn: white just looks good with anything and I only work out in these babies. Or my Nike 95 in pink: I wear those to almost everything and they help my look get more girly when I’m in the mood for all black.

What are your words to live by?

My own: Put on some music, fix your face and go handle your business. I always try to remember to focus on what’s important. I have always been brought up to work hard for the things I want to achieve in life without hurting others along the way and at the same time not to be a people pleaser. I believe that you can be yourself and be nice to others while achieving your goals.

Complete this sentence: “When I wear sneakers…”

“I feel better than if I was wearing anything else.”

Thanks, Amanda.

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Amanda 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 a special edition of the style from nike.com/sneakers.