Creative director and prolific sneaker collector Ste Wing lifts the lid on his flight case to share the sneakers he can't travel without.
A sneaker collector whose passions go back as far as the 80s - long before the days of week-long queues and official resale marketplaces - Ste Wing has spent the best part of his life carefully curating a collection of iconic footwear grails to rival the very best of them.
One half of global creative agency Visionarism, building his wardrobe from the ground up has always been part of Ste's approach to style. Having worked on creative campaigns with industry titans including Nike, Puma, and ASICS, Visionarism has built a reputation across the world as a go-to source for killer content for sneakers, lifestyle and beyond, and this is knowledge, passion, and access which Ste works back into his own private sneaker archive.
A proud Mancunian, Ste's sneaker selection reflects his roots in the northwest of England and combines them with a contemporary outlook at the cutting edge of global sneaker style. Always on the move - ready to set off to the next continent at a moment's notice - Ste's flight case needs to be prepped and ready at all times. Catching up in his hometown of Manchester one afternoon, END. asked Ste Wing the ultimate question: what sneakers are in your flight case?
Nike x Sacai LDWaffle | Green/Multi | 2019
One of the most hotly anticipated sneaker releases of the year so far - and with 3 fresh colourways set to launch later this week - the Sacai x Nike LDWaffle from Chitose Abe arrived to the sneaker scene this year as the footwear embodiment of the old adage 'good things come to those who wait'. After an indefinite delay which sent ripples across the global sneaker sphere, the LDWaffle finally dropped in two OG colourways in May of this year and was the indisputable kingpin of the fashion week's which followed in June.
"Sacai's designer, Chitose Abe, said she wanted to balance ideas of stability and betrayal to create something unexpected," Ste says - his background in fashion styling shining through as he talks us through the silhouette. "The new silhouette with the elongated midsole was definitely a love/hate thing for a lot of people at first, but I think they can be worn in so many ways to suit anyone's style."
Jordan 1 Retro | Bred "Banned" | 2016
Inarguably one of the most revered sneaker silhouettes of all time, you'd be hard pushed to find a sneakerhead without an Air Jordan 1 in their rotation. With a well-deserved position in the sneaker hall of fame, the AJ1's classic Bred ("Banned") colourway is a firm favourite across the world.
"This is my favourite from the Jordan series along with the Jordan 6 Varsity Reds and the Jordan 3 Black Cements," Ste says. "I have the pairs from 2001, 2011, and this is the 2016 release. I don't think they can go wrong with a Jordan 1 and the colourways we've seen over the past few years have been really strong, too."
Nike Shox R4 | Metallic Silver/Comet Red | 2018
Steeped in legacy and a silhouette that has long-since divided opinion with it's industrial-inspired exposed air chambers, Nike's Shox have been enjoying a resurgence throughout 2019 with a collaborative outing with Grime MC, Skepta, set to drop in a matter of days.
"This is a sneaker that represents my youth in Manchester," Ste explains. "It was a close call between Shox or TNs as I grew up with multiple pairs of both. Shox definitely made their mark on street culture in the UK in the late 90s and early 00s and they're getting the attention they deserve again this year with new colourways dropping and Comme des Garcons releasing their take on the silhouette at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year."
New Balance 770.9 | Pink/White | 2019
Seamlessly blending contemporary taste and classic design, New Balance's reissue of the 990V4 and 990V5 were true testament to the power of subtle detail switch-ups making a big impact on timeless silhouettes.
"The 770.9 hybrid was a must-have for my collection," Ste says. "I already had the 990V5 in grey so I went for the pastel pink colourway for summer."
Visionarism x ASICS TIGER - Hyper GEL-LYTE | Black | 2018
A sneaker of his own creation, the inclusion of the Visionarism x ASICS TIGER HyperGEL-LYTE to Ste's flight case is essential. Designed from start to finish with his partner at Visionarism and the team at ASICS TIGER, the process involved a year of learning the inner depths of the sneaker design scene and working to innovate a new sole-technology that works to provide comfort to those who're always on-the-go.
"There's two colourways of this sneaker and it's still mad when I see them being worn out on the streets," Ste says. "They were Europe exclusive but I've seen them on foot in Tokyo and LA."