Tiago is a portuguese who moved to Barcelona only for a 3 month exchange program, but that in the end has been living there for 7 years. Tiago studied photography, covering many water sports events. Today he is the technical responsible for all the structure of the photos of the tourists inside the Barcelona stadium, the Camp Nou. Tiago told us his stories with a sneaker that is certainly the Grail of many people, a Mars Yard x Tom Sachs.
“My name is Tiago Reis and I’m about to turn 31. I’ve been living in Barcelona for 7 years now, I came here to study photography for only 3 months but I ended up staying for a few more years (laughs). before I came here I studied computing and multimedia communication in Portugal. I also did some photography stuff there, mostly swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo etc. I came to Barcelona to do Erasmus for 3 months, help out on a photography collective. After that, I got a job that I didn’t like, I worked at night and during that time I started to study documental photography. Till this point I didn’t buy sneakers, I liked them, but I didn’t have the money. Now I got a way better job, I started making more money and so, I started buying more sneakers.”
To you, what is the sneaker and streetwear universe like in Portugal?
tiagoWhen I lived in Portugal, I was completely out of what you would call fashion or sneakers. I studied at Vila Real, a city that’s an hour and a half away from Porto, very small, almost like a village, and there’s almost nothing there. But a friend of mine opened a sneaker shop and that’s when I started buying my first Air Forces 1, I was 12. I remember the first shoe I bought at the time that was like really different was the Nike Shox, when I went to visit my family in Canada in 2000. I was the first person in Rio Tinto, where I lived at the time, to have a pair of Nike Shox. Two or Three months after I bought mine, everybody in my neighborhood, in my school, was wearing one.
And here in Spain, what are the similarities and the differences?
tiagoWhen I came to Barcelona, during my first year I was very into photography and I was quite distant from the sneaker world. But then everything changed when I started working and the first Yeezy Turtle Doves started showing up. There was this guy from Denmark that I saw on Instagram that was here, and he was in a line at 24 Kilates. So I thought “I’m going too”, this was like 4 in the morning and I was able to get a pair! When the Turtle Doves dropped there were people that got them on the afternoon of the next day, there was no hype yet. But nowadays, if you want one, you have to get in line a week before. So for what I see now, Portugal is a little bit better, there is still a very big problem with fakes, there’s Supreme Spain, where people from television are wearing fake Supreme and Louis Vuitton– now I don’t know whether they don’t know and buy them just because, or they know they’re buying fake ones but they just don’t care. There are some important stores opening up here in Portugal, but even so, it doesn’t come close to Barcelona.
And there is another problem in Portugal, which is that people talk a lot but don’t buy stuff. It’s a lot like here in Barcelona, people complain that there are no events here like there is in London, Amsterdam, etc. But when there is an event here, nobody buys anything, no one wants to spend their money. We had the Loversneakers here, I opened a mini stand with my friends, each one brought their sneakers and we sold more sangria than sneakers – we made a jar of sangria so we could sell it (laughs). I ended up selling only one pair in two days. So that’s it, people talk too much, but the truth is that they just want to buy them so they can sell it. Everyone talks shit on resellers, but everybody does it. If I can buy a sneaker for €200 and sell them for €600, why wouldn’t I do it? It’s a job -– I bought it, I sold it, I get another pair or go on vacation. To buy sneakers you need money, and to get money I sell my sneakers. I’m not spending the money I got from my work, that money goes to paying the car, the bills, the house, a trip, food etc. Without the resell, there is no movement. It’s annoying when you want to get some sneakers but when you’re down at the store there’s no more left, it’s annoying, but it’s what it is.
Aside from brands or models – what’s your relationship with sneakers in general?
tiagoThat’s a tough question, I should have studied (laughs). As I was saying, since I was 12 or 13 years old I’ve like sneakers. I remember I played football and I had to get my boots and since then I’ve always had to have something on my feet that was more than just black shoes. Maybe I always paid more attention to what I put on my feet than to what I wore. Now why I like it so much, I can’t explain, its something within me. For example, when I went to Canada I bought a Nike Shox, I wanted one because it was different and I hadn’t seen anything like that in Portugal. By the way, at that time the Euro had just become the country’s currency and the Nike Shox was about €250, so when I saw them I wanted right away! I realized I liked sneakers when I got them, it was that moment when I said: “this is cool!”.
Do you consider yourself a sneakerhead?
tiagoWhat is a sneakerhead? (laughs). I like sneakers, so I’m a sneakerhead. If someone came over to my house and saw my 60 pairs they’re not gonna say I’m a sneakerhead, they’re gonna say I’m crazy. I spent €10.000 on sneakers… And for what? (laughs)
What’s your relationship with this NikeCraft Mars Yard x Tom Sachs?
tiagoWhen the 1.0s came out I didn’t know anything about them, I only found out about when I was already here. The whole concept of the Space program, NASA, all this stuff has its appeal right? I might have sneakers that I can walk on the moon with. They’re my favorite, but at the same time, they’re the most uncomfortable shoes I have (laughs). You could only buy the 1.0 if you went through a series of tests and well, this has a lot of meaning to it. Also because it has the NASA theme, spaceships – I really like all things scientific and space, Star Wars, and all that kind of stuff (laughs). So when I found out that the Tom Sachs 2.0 was coming out, I was really happy. The box is amazing, full of writing, it comes with a book from the designer himself, the sock liner is all written as well. The Mars Yard is so much more than just another Yeezy, you know? It’s a whole nother level of concept.