The Hideout - Nike Air Woven Footscape
London, UK
I could write a lengthy introduction for this feature - but I won't. It's not necessary. All I need to say is that these are the first sneakers since 1998 that I need two pairs of (of each colorway) and sunny weather all year long!

Interview: Andrew Bunney / Gimme 5
Please give us a brief introduction - who you are/what you do.
My name is Andrew Bunney, and I work for Gimme 5 in London.
I do a number of different things - design and produce some things for Stussy, help Visvim's distribution, write a little for a magazine, and work on various other things that appear that often involve some of the companies across Gimme 5.

Do you like talking about sneakers? Any interesting conversations about sneakers lately?
I don't really talk a lot about sneakers with friends. In the past for me, it was always more about seeing something, than hunting or travelling to get it. There was no community per se - but like others, I just wanted to have something different.

Do you dress from the bottom up or vice versa?
I don't know if I dress one way up or another. When I buy something or am into something new, it will be the probably be the most frequently used at that moment. I wouldn't say that I base my outfit around my shoes.

Do you think that in 2000 years time people will actually think that our youth culture was centered around shoes?
Not really, because the internet world of 'sneaker heads' is a very small thing in the bigger picture, and no representation of global culture. There is a whole world outside where people barely even notice it. Maybe in 2000 years time, some people will look back and see a change in the way many people wore traditional shoes on a day to day basis, to sneakers, in the broader scheme of things. I suppose it depends who is telling the story...

What makes for a perfect pair of sneakers or shoes?

For me, comfort, style and excitement.

Hamsters, Fraser Cooke's hair, Richard Gere('s head) - what are these, really?
These are not made from Hamsters hair, or Fraser Cooke's hair. It is Pony-skin, or 'hair-on-hide'.
But actually, I was thinking of the animals for the colours - the Brown or Grey is like the coat, the Milk colour is like the belly and the pink insole is like the ears.

Did you develop the idea or was it an instant "this is what we'll do..."?
I didn't think of this as a 'crazy' or 'wacky' thing - as strange as it may sound to some people, I don't think that Ponyskin is an unusual fabric at all to use on footwear or accessories; it's a very common thing. I think classic materials endure the best, and I felt that it would fit the style of the shop well, be something classic and memorable at the same time.
It was great that Michael understood it and Richard really liked it.
This was a project for the store, so I'm happy that everyone liked it and really helped in any way they could - logistics, promotion, or just wearing it.

Which are the important aspects of this model?
For me, it's really important that the shoe is something you want to wear so style and comfort are vital.
Of course a lot of things look better new - I don't wanna wear dogged clothing - but I like the fact that this doesn't have to look quite so box-fresh.

How many samples did it take to get the shoe right and was there anything you were stressed out about/were amused by?
It took two samples only to get it to the stage you see now. The first was exactly the same but for the colour of the insole and store logo.
I'm lucky that Jesse at Nike could understand the style I wanted to achieve so for me it was easy.
I understand that it may not have been so simple from the factory perspective in terms of the natural hair-patterns and the amount of holes in the shoe for the weaving.

So, is "Pony skin" really what the name suggests?
It is often used as a generic term for hair-on-hide. Generally cow hide is used.

Should we feel bad about dead ponies then?
Like leather and sheepskin, ponyskin is a by-product. Leather has hair too before it is shaved.
I want to stress though, this is not the same process as fur or a material where the animal is bred and killed for specifically for its skin.

You also made a pouch that goes with the shoes?
Yes, this was made by Porter in Japan. I really must thank Seta and Shin who really helped this happen.
Something like a T-shirt would be easiest to wear together with the shoes, but I really like Porter, and a lot of people use cameras, PDAs, Blackberry's so I thought this would be a good thing to make. I'm lucky enough to be in a position where I can make things, so it's fun to try.

Do you recommend wearing both together or separately? Do you like matching?
For the people that like tying things together - it can definitely be worn like that.
I actually do like things to match, but I don't often wear printed t-shirts, so it's more interesting for me to find more off-beat items to do that with.

What are some of the reactions that you got when you wore these in the street?
From friends, it was very positive. On the street, I think people liked them too.
It depends how you wear them - I think it can be in an obvious or less obvious way.

You put together a little feature on these sneakers for your website. Now, you're in central London... where did you get the hay from?
The hay was sourced by Edwin.
Cally Pet Store
345A Caledonian Road
020 7609 1255

What are your five most beloved items?
My five most beloved things would be people and memories.
For items, I'm not sure if beloved is the right term - I don't have too many things of sentimental value.
I would find it very hard to get by without -
1. Laptop
2. Phone
3. Camera
4. Notebook
5. The relevant cables for the above?

What's on your list for the next 7 days?
Things to do: I need to sort out some production things, write some bits for a magazine, think of some new designs, maybe go to Eindhoven to see a company there.

To buy: Various books, DVDs, clothing-wise nothing much. I might make a stadium jacket at some point this week. Some E-Bay finds.

What do you see when you look outside your window?
I live in London, so the scene I see is the street, people, buses.
At work, motorbike wheels, and a courtyard.

Who would you like to meet if you could travel back in time?
That's too hard.

Interview: Jörg Haas | Images: © Gimme 5
The Hideout - Nike Air Woven Footscape
This Air Woven Footscape will be available in brown or gray at The Hideout on September 9th and at select sneaker specialty stores worldwide on September 16th. The limited Porter pouch will be available from The Hideout on the same day as the launch of the shoes, as well as from Union LA, and Head Porter Tokyo from the 16th.

The Hideout