Sneaker fiends are flocking to Sneaker Pimps, an exhibition touring across the globe with 1000 kicks to gawk at, while Peter Fahey, the mastermind of the show, commands a fleet of rubber soles. Sneakerpimps mix of style, hip-hop and rubber is a working example of functional art that isnâ€™t manufactured by government grants and vogue. Fahey talks to Format about laying the foundation for Sneaker Pimps and reveals the lineup for his dream-team Sneaker Pimps exhibition.
Format: Describe your affection for sneakers. Is it materialistic, spiritual or on a whole other level?
Peter Fahey: Itâ€™s always been, to me, a good way to define taste, style and sometimes character.
Format: The first pair of sneakers you bought with your own money, what were those sneakers?
Peter Fahey: Airwalks.
Format: In your youth, have sneakers placed you in trouble, i.e. being jacked for your sneakers or vice-versa?
Peter Fahey: Nah not really man, cause I used to wear skate-shoes all the time. I wasnâ€™t a big Jordan head and still am not. I used to find all types of skate-shoes that those types of people didnâ€™t even fuck with.
Format: Do you have golden rules for the treatment of your sneakers?
Peter Fahey: Yeah, SKATE IN EVERYTHING YOU HAVE! Shoes are for wearing.
Format: In 2006, sneaker publications in the forms of books and magazines are commonplace. How did you research sneakers in your youth when access to information was limited?
Peter Fahey: Just straight go to shops and look around. I mean there wasnâ€™t really Internet back when I started getting into it, hardcore. So youâ€™d be jumping from store to store you know. Plus, even to this day, I like what I like, not what 1,000,000 people online say is hot. So, rarely, now do I search for shoes online or see whatâ€™s coming out. I like going into a store and seeing something that is a dope color-way and coping it. Doesnâ€™t matter if that store is Foot Locker. Hot shoes are hot shoes.
Format: Sneaker Pimps is a major attraction, however, the show is not limited to sneakers. DJs, musicians, artists and custom sneaker designers fill Peter Fahey: Sneaker Pimpsâ€™ shows. Describe your all-star line up using all the elements to a Sneaker Pimps show.
Beastie Boys, Nas and Jay-Z on the lineup. Banksy and Kaws painting live. Lakai team doing a street demo. [This] could happen next year in the Statesâ€“well, Iâ€™m dreaming for it, anyways.
Format: What are the challenges that you and the Sneaker Pimps team face while executing shows?
Peter Fahey: Well, displaying 1000 plus sneakers and all that artwork is a huge job, because you have to be very careful to be respectful of the artwork and the sneakers. Having a small staff of say six trying to manage a crowd of 2000-plus people. There are a lot of challenges.
Format: What are the factors that either include or exclude sneakers from the shows when you make your selections?
Peter Fahey: Well if the sneaker is from the limited variety then it has to be just that. There has to be some reason why the shoe is in the show, i.e. 1 of 100 pairs in the world and then for art shoes we donâ€™t really exclude anyone. If people are willing to put in the time we are willing to display what they got.
Format: Currently, rapper endorsed sneakers are extremely popular, what rapper(s) that do not have sneakers would you like to see with sneaker endorsements?
Peter Fahey: I think mine already happened years ago. I loved that Wu-Tang Dunk, however, it was more of a collaboration. There actually isnâ€™t anyone who springs to mind who hasnâ€™t done one already
Format: Sneaker manufacturers like Nike receive negative publicity for out-sourcing factory work to countries with unstable governments, economies and social programs, with the purpose of being cost efficient; what is your position on this argument?
Peter Fahey: I donâ€™t have one, because I donâ€™t make sneakers, but I donâ€™t like any human being, no matter who it is, being taken advantage of, however, I do understand how economics in third world countries work.
Format: Next to stepping in dog shit, what are the worst things your sneaker soles have endured?
Peter Fahey: My dog actually ate one of my sneakers, before. I had a huge dog and stupid me left my shoes out so it ate and chewed the shit out of my kicks.
Format: What is the future for Sneaker Pimps?
Peter Fahey: Developing the sneaker pimps clothing brand and taking the shows to a higher level. In 2007 we are running a series of Sneaker Pimps block parties throughout the USA, which will all be outdoor and feature live skate demos, live street basketball. Huge hip-hop lineups and, of course, the sneakers.
More Info: http://www.sneakerpimpsusa.com