Emilie Riis, Advertising Strategist
Emily Hodgson, Advertising Producer
Purple Unicorn Planet was started as a campaign for women with small feet who were frustrated with sneaker companies for not producing smaller female sizes in male sneaker styles.
XO: Girls are just as much a part of the sneaker culture as men yet sneaker companies seem to still not acknowledge that. Why do you think there is such a delay in accepting that we too have a really great eye for all the elements that produce a sick pair of kicks?
PUP: The sneaker culture originally emerged as a male subculture. It was linked to male performance sports, such as basketball, and it’s only in recent years that girls have manifested themselves as sneaker connoisseurs. This might be one reason. However, in recent years girls in the sneaker community have been making noise, you would think surely by now big brands would have caught up.
XO: When you’re in a sneaker shop what aspects of the sneaker do you ladies feel yourself gravitating towards when you see it on a shelf?
PUP: We are definitely drawn to muted colourways with the combination of interesting textures. Less is more. There’s no need to plaster a shoe with tons of different colours and ‘aggressive’ use of textures. A more subtle approach where all the elements have been nicely balanced out create a stylish look. The A.P.C collaborations with Nike are a good examples of this – we need more designs like this!
XO: There is this assumption that women don’t appreciate sneakers if they are constructed with a strong aesthetic (darker colors, strong fabrics, etc). Are you ladies working on also getting sneaker companies to understand that they can take just as much risk with color ways as they do when designing guy’s kicks?
PUP: Yes, this is a broad thing. We have focused on updating the women’s design, however, we advocate for a general ‘shake-up’ and strongly advise brands to start thinking about expression over gender.
XO: Has there been a lot of support from male sneaker heads supporting the movement?
PUP: Yes loads, it’s been great! Guys from across the whole globe have been really supportive in tweeting, blogging and personally emailing us. So, yes, it’s been great. We’ve got emails from guys saying they get our frustration as their girlfriends are always complaining about the same thing. Some guys have also expressed that they would like some of women’s colour ways so maybe this is a two way street? We take some of their colourways and we give them some of ours.
XO: My hope for you Ladies is that your efforts provide a change for the masses! Let’s just say a sneaker company in your honor offers you ladies a rerelease of your all-time favorite sneaker in women’s sizes? What sneaker would that be and why?
ER: Imagine!! That would be out-of-this-world-awesome! If it was only one style I think we both could agree on the Nike Lunar Force 1 Milan from the city pack. It’s such a subtle mix of colours and textures yet it’s timeless in its appeal. We’re loving the skin-coloured insides.
EH: Our ultimate goal which we keep on our website is for Nike to release all the trainers on PUP for the first time for women out there! Right now I’m loving the Nike Air Force 1 Downtown LTG QS, I love the woven texture.