London-based designer of Studio ALCH and ultimate Nike-loyalist, Mini Swoosh lifts the lid on her flight case to share the three sneakers she can't travel without.
Having emigrated from Australia, with dreams of carving a place for herself on the global sneaker and sportswear scene, Mini Swoosh has become one of London's foremost sneaker authorities since landing in the city a few years ago. Boasting an international following - and with her own label, Studio ALCH, going from strength to strength - Mini Swoosh's passion for limited-edition footwear (all Nike, naturally) is almost unmatched.
Laying claim to an enviable collection of highly coveted Nike sneakers and apparel (everything from the tactical Nike ACG Cargo Pants worn here to hyper limited NikeLab releases to one-of-one customs built by her own hand using old Nike deadstock) Mini Swoosh is London's last word on all thing's Nike and, through her design work, is becoming a leading young voice in the important movement towards a more responsible and sustainable streetwear industry. Co-host of the female-focused sneaker podcast 'UK 6' and having worked with a slew of other Nike talent - from Skepta to Stormzy - Mini Swoosh has seen, worn, and owned the sneakers that have dominated the cultural zeitgeist since her fascination with the US sneaker institution began.
Constantly on the move, travelling between continents to attend events, consult on design projects, and in search of inspiration for her next collections, Mini Swoosh requires a travel-ready sneaker rotation on standby at all times. Catching up in her Dalston-based design studio one midsummer's afternoon, END. asked Mini Swoosh the ultimate question: what sneakers are always in your flight case?
Tom Sachs x NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0
Released in summer 2017, the Tom Sachs x NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0 saw the US-based artist breathe new life into a vintage silhouette. Still reselling for nearly 2,000% of the original ticket price, the partnership caught the attention of resellers and collectors alike, catapulting the release into the upper echelons of covetability among the global sneaker set. Arriving in a custom box imbued with the caveat, 'these shoes are only valid if worn, and worn to death by you. Posers need not apply.' Sachs was resolute in his desire for the shoes to be well-worn and well-loved by those who managed to cop.
"These are the ultimate travel shoe," Mini Swoosh says. "They don't wear out easily and they're just so damn comfortable. I recently took them to the Jason Markk flagship to get cleaned up. I'd never sell them, but I'll always take care of them."
Nike Dunk High x Comme des Garcons
Debuted during New York Fashion Week SS17, Rei Kawakubo's Comme des Garcons gave the classic dunk a premium spin with soft leather accents and transparent TPU panels. A cult favourite since its initial release in 1985, the mid-top sneaker is brimming with retro appeal. No stranger to the power of well-conceived collaborations, the CdG Play x Converse partnership remains one of the most popular of all time and the iconic fashion house's relationship with Nike has birthed some of the most iconic luxury-cum-streetwear sneaker releases of all time.
"I paid resale for these," Mini Swoosh admits. "I only own sneakers, so these are my take on a dress shoe. It's premium, the quality is there, and you can dress them up or down if you need to. You also don't often see people wearing them anymore, which I like."
Air Max Plus TN Ultra OG Tiger
Reissued at the start of this year to mark the 20th anniversary of the TN silhouette, the OG colourways have become enduring symbols of international subculture, transcending any sense of time and place to become a streetwear classic with a rich legacy of its very own.
"TNs are my favourite shoe of all time," Mini Swoosh says. "They have legitimate subculture roots and mean something different across the world, I'm into that. I have the originals, but they're all beat up so I copped both colourways of the reissues when they dropped."