“I’m Maiwsi Ayana, I’m a stylist, and a fashion and culture producer. I’m 23 years old. I’ve had a relationship with sneakers all my life – I’ve been a sportswoman, I’ve been a dancer, every thing I do in my life, I have sneakers on. So he is always involved in a big part of my daily routine.”
Maiwsi, what’s your relationship with sneakers?
Ah, as I said earlier, I have used them my whole life, like when I learned how to walk I had sneakers on. Later on, when I was little, my Mom would buy me a single pair to go to school that had to last the entire year. This was my first connection with sneakers.
When I was 14 years old I started making little things to get my own money, and I was also introduced to the hip hop culture – then I started a stronger bond with sneakers. So I would always look, and admire them, but I didn’t own any.
I started having a bit of contact with sneakers, but would only buy really cheap ones because we never had a lot of money. We bought this one at a multi brand outlet in Brás, it was my first sneaker that I bought with my own money, I paid 70 reais! It was on sale because no one would buy them, but when I saw them, I wanted them. My mom even said “are you sure you want these? Are you sure you are going to wear them?” and I said “yes I’m going to wear them!”. So I bought them, and they were my little companions when I started dancing and breakdancing.
And what’s your relationship with this Nike Court One?
I got into hip hop because of break dancing, I had a gym teacher that was a b-boy, and he took me to his crew’s practice, and that’s when I started to dance. It was these sneakers that marked my beginning in break dancing.
We use to have dance battles on Roosevelt square every friday night,- they would bring Boomboxes- and we would all night long dancing, drinking and photographing. But we started disturbing the neighbourhood, and we had problems with the metropolitan police, and lawyers from the neighbourhood community got involved, so we had to stop. Right when it was starting to get a good crowd.
It was with this nike that I did my first freeze – till then I had only mastered the footwork and stuff but I had never landed a standing freeze.