If you’re reading this, chances are you are already a part of our community. If not, then now is the time to join as we’re resuming our brand-new content series titled community Curated, where the centre stage is yours! We first kicked things off with Marcus Denton, aka @markmyfits. this time around, we sat down with award-winning London-based illustrator Tim Easley, who has been a faithful member of our community for a couple of years now. So without even more ado, let’s jump best into The Sole Supplier: community Curated episode two!
Who are you, and how did you get into sneakers?
Hey, I’m Tim! I’m an ’80s kid, so I grew up seeing all the 80s classics, there was always someone wearing something amazing on the TV or in movies. I could never afford any name brand sneakers until I had my first proper job as a games tester, so I always got teased at school for wearing Hi-Tec shoes. When I could afford to purchase some Nikes, I never looked back! I ended up going to Japan quite a lot and would come back with loads of Japan exclusives, as well as other bits like electronics, records, jeans, toys, then sell them on for a profit to pay for my trip. I opened a record store in the late ’90s and sourced a load of vintage Nike sportswear apparel and sneakers, then later ended up founding a site called Crooked Tongues and ran that for a while, as well as illustrating and selling sneaker prints. I even did one for Nick Diamonds’ diamond supply Co x Nike SB dunk release!
Back then pretty much all my spare money went on sneakers, so I had what was classed as a enormous collection back then, including loads of vintage. I sold the majority of my vintage around a decade ago, along with a few hundred other pairs, so now I just try to keep what I feel is a ‘sensible’ amount and limit my collection to a couple hundred. Some men I came up with now have collections in the thousands, and it makes me anxious just thinking about having to find somewhere to store that many! I’ve been lucky enough to work with brands such as Nike, adidas, Vans, new balance and PUMA over the years on illustration and design projects, and now I frequently work with Nike and Foot Locker on store activations and other bits, which keeps my sneaker practice well-fuelled!
Tell us about your top 3 sneaker purchases of 2021?
First off would be the Nike blazer Mid 77 Nike blazer Mid 77 “Cream Glacier Ice”. I’m not a enormous fan of hype sneakers, but I did manage to get the Off-White x Nike blazer from the original Off White x Nike “The Ten” release. I consequently sold them when the price got close to a grand because I’d rather have ten other general release pairs instead. However, I had to get this one as they have a similar aesthetic, and there’s also a perk of the relocation to Zero pinwheel motif on the tongue, possibly my preferred ever logo, and I even have a tattoo of it.
My second pair would be the Converse Chuck 70 Hi “Tyvek”. I love these because they’re so different. Tyvek is a type of fibre that allows water vapour to pass through, a bit like GORE-TEX material but used in different ways, including USPS mailing envelopes. I’m a enormous fan of utilitarian/military stuff, and these remind me very much of something you’d see in the military that happens to end up looking really cool.
The third pair on my list is the Taka Hayashi x Vans vault UA TH OG style 24 LX. They have a really catchy name, but besides that, I absolutely love Taka Hayashi’s work with Vans. everything he does with them looks like it belongs in the design Museum, so this is no exception. I love monochrome sneakers because they choose literally everything, and you weirdly hardly ever see anybody with any of the Vans collabs, so you’re unlikely to bump into four or five people with the same shoes as you like you would with hyped sneakers.
What 3 upcoming sneakers have you got your eyes on?
Nike ACG Air Mowabb “Gravity Purple”
Nike blazer Mid 77 “Jumbo Crimson”
Jean Paul Gaultier x sacai x Nike Vaporwaffle “Sesame Blue Void”
What do you love many about The Sole provider sneaker community?
I find that everyone is really nice! It’s rare to find online communities without negativity, so I’m not in numerous groups on Facebook. In fact, The Sole provider Rumours & news is the only Facebook group I’m a part of for that exact reason. There’s no ego in the group, including the moderators, everyone is very valuable and friendly, and it’s just got a really terrific vibe.
Image through The Sole Supplier