“My name is Luis Felipe or Lula, I’m 28 years old and I’m an architect and urbanist graduated from Mackenzie. At the moment I’m working on a project with a restaurant made out of containers, and it’s my first big job. I’m at a really good moment right now, not like when I finished college. I graduated from Steiner where I met Ian, he was 2 grades lower than mine, but he has always been a good friend and we had a lot of basketball stories together and lots of talks about sneakers.
Lula, what’s your relationship with sneakers in general?
Sneakers are something that I really enjoy looking and admiring the good design. Everything that’s a part of product design, differently from architecture where we create everything for people, product design reaches people on another level because it’s everything around us that we can touch. So the sneaker you’re wearing, that watch on your wrist, the cup you hold, the chair you sit on, everything has a meaning thought out by a designer, an architect maybe, but this is more present in design. And sneakers are a part of this as much as any other object because weather is the creative process or his purpose, there’s a project behind it. It has a form and a purpose, it’s meant for certain spaces, it has its flows and dynamics.Of course, it depends, there are some sneakers and brands I don’t like, but they probably have their value because people buy them. For example, Asics has some models that I think are ugly as fuck, I just don’t get it. (Laughs)
But I think that the relationship I have with sneakers is really superficial, it’s not deep at all, it’s not crazy. The relationship I have with them is just the pleasure of admiring good design, and wish I could do it, to have those ideas and to create. That’s my relationship with sneakers, nothing deep, I just admire those who make, think, execute and creates these marvelous things.
And what’s your relationship with this Reebok?
Man, I’m a bit leftist at the moment, I get really critical about media oppression, publicity, all that stuff about you trying to be something that you’re not etc. But when you have a hero that not only is unreachable, because he’s far away but also very expensive to have on your feet, because here in Brazil it’s expensive to have sneakers that in the US are really cheap to get. And to have that hero and to get attached to the little things you can do to be more like him, like to copy his hairstyle – yeah I had cornrows. I was at that age where we begin to understand how sponsors and brands work, and my relationship with them was to achieve what I wanted and admired: be more like, get a bit closer and creating psychological security.
Who brought me these, was my cousin, she was in Miami and I was so nervous and scared that the sneakers would come in the wrong size. When she arrived with them it was awesome because I had my eye on the A IXs, but I couldn’t get them, so when I got the Xs it was really dope.
The story I have with them is: to have a link with your idol, with the sport. It was my first pro model, that had the technology, it had pump and you could really fill it. Regardless of where it’s made, it’s really well made, and really well thought out. The sneakers are still here, the idol is not.
Bro, as a wise man who goes by the name of AI once said “When you dress like a superhero you play like one” (laughs)
A myth! (laughs). It was something that stuck with me for a long time, they were the only sneakers that I took really good care of, and I mean, they are still in pretty good shape. I only played with them on indoor courts.
Do you have a specific story with them?
These were the sneakers that I used the most in my whole life, so I’m going to be very cliche and tell a basketball related story with them. I studied at Pueri Domus and I left there angry, not liking anybody. So I went to Steiner, and one day a game between the two schools came up, and I was going to play specifically against the people I didn’t like. It was my first time as a starter and it was my best game, and against the people, I held a grudge. We won the game and I scored 14 points, one of them being a fadeaway 3 from the corner, right on Bob’s face, he was a guy that I really liked but he was guarding with a lot of contact, I remember I threw up the most unbalanced shot and it went in. I think it was the highlight of my life. I never did anything as cool again. It was a super special game and I was wearing the AI’s. As time passed I stopped playing because of college and stuff, but they were still “The Sneakers”.
I got into basketball with Iverson as my Idol, during that time my only real good sneaker was this Answer X, but AI left, I had the opportunity to watch him play against Kobe in Denver when I was living in the US, and that really got to me. He left and I stop playing and the sneakers were put aside. Now I have replaced my Love, it took some time but now I’m moving on from the Iverson’s to the Kyrie II’s. It was an era as a child and a teenager worshipping someone through their sneakers, and now being older I found a new idol, and I’m officially retiring these sneakers.