During our visit to Nigra Mercato store, we had the pleasure of meeting Álvaro, a talented photographer from Madrid. He shared his journey in photography and his passion for sneakers, particularly the Nike Cortez. He stumbled upon photography randomly, opting for a technical course that seemed intriguing due to its focus on images and light, which ignited his interest in photography. Today, his work offers a thoughtful perspective on urban scenes and portraits from around the world.
His passion for sneakers grew while working at Foot Locker, where he began photographing sneakers events in Madrid. Álvaro mentioned his preference for the Nike Cortez came due to its culture, history and the influence of rappers like Snoop Dogg and Eazy-E. He also spoke about his love for the Air Max 1, but currently, the Cortez holds is his favorite model.
“My name is Álvaro and I’m from Madrid. I work mainly as a photographer and I have a good taste in sneakers too. I’m wearing a Nike Cortez today. I don’t know if that’s good taste, but I like it (laughs).”
How did your interest in photography begin?
alvaro It was totally random. I never studied anything, I have always been lazy. I finished high school, the basic level in Spain, and my father said to me: “I’ve got a job for you in the supermarket”. I said “no”, and he said: “Well, then it’s either the supermarket or a technical course”, so I agreed to the technical course.
I had no interest in photography at the time, I mean, I knew what photography was, but I didn’t have a clue how it would work. I simply chose a course that seemed easier because it had images, light and retouch. I said: “Images, let’s go! I’ll sign up for this one”. It was incredible, I learned how to use a camera, how to set up a light. And from then on, I haven’t stopped since.
How did you start working here with Fran at Nigra Mercato?
alvaro When I finished high school, I needed to earn money so I started working at Foot Locker. I always liked sneakers, but I never had the money to buy them, I mean, not many (laughs). So when I started working there, I started buying more sneakers.
There used to be a lot of sneaker events in Madrid and, when I began to take pictures, I started meeting different people who collected sneakers. At the same time, I started taking pictures of sneakers as well, which used to be something that was done a lot more, and I got some recognition.
So I started with that and after a while, I was invited to an event. There was a media outlet focused on sneakers here in Madrid, and they invited me to go over and photograph the adidas event in Berlin, they were promoting the EQT. That’s where I met Fran. He also went to the event, representing the store, to check out the new releases from adidas.
I was making jokes on the plane, trolling the people, and Dani, Fran’s partner likes to troll too. We were trolling people and making jokes, and they were like “you are a nice guy, I like to troll, you like to troll too. You are a photographer? We need a photographer! Would you like to work with us?” So, that’s the story of how we met.
Why did you choose the Nike Cortez for the Kickstory interview? What is it about this silhouette that makes you like it so much?
alvaro Honestly, I like it because of the whole Chicano story. I’ve always liked the shape of the silhouette, it’s so thin. But mostly, because I’ve always seen rappers like Snoop Dogg, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, wearing Cortez and they’ve always caught my eye. I like them a lot and I have several different models. This year they’re releasing a bunch of Cortez and I can’t wait for some of them to arrive so I can buy them, because they’re more different. My favorite colorways are the Compton black pair and also the Long Beach blue one, those are nice.
And besides the Cortez, is there another model that you really like?
alvaro Yes, Air Max 1. I’ve also got a bunch. I would say that Air Max has always been one of my favorites – all kinds, Air Max 1, 90, TN. But Cortez is the one I wear the most. I also have Jordan, New Balance and some adidas. I don’t know how many pairs, 140 more or less. I don’t buy a lot anymore, but it’s something I like. Before, I wanted every new release. But now, I prefer to spend my money traveling with my camera (laughs).
Owner: Alvaro Lopez