As a child I was really into playing soccer and skateboarding and both require specific footwear in order to play along. My favourite moments as a skater or soccer player were almost always when it was time to buy shoes.
Soccer shoes were typically all black back then, which was mid-90′s. But when Adidas Predators started to get real popular, around the late 90′s, soccer shoes starting experimenting with colours, red and black, white and black, black and green. That’s when things got interesting. If you had a pair of Predators, you were one of the few. I wasn’t rocking Predators, I had the all black less expensive brands that were around back then.
Around the same time, skateboarding shoes were just starting to develop in terms of using more foam, more design and appealing to the non-skateboarder as a shoe that was basically just cool to wear. My first pair of skate shoes were the Osiris Olson’s. They were so cool, I remember they had a hidden pocket underneath the tongue. I would keep a crumpled up $20 bill in there just in case. As I got better at skating, I would tear through shoes much faster, so it became quite an expensive sport. I began looking for alternatives besides the big skate brands. I found a pair of all white no-name shoes at Payless. I think I bought five pairs at $20 each, and skated those until there were holes in them. The pairs that I wasn’t using for skateboarding, I would wear as casual shoes to school and when I was out with my friends. I was never into name brands and showing off logos so it worked out.
Growing up as a Canadian kid, with Italian heritage, I was always around my grandparents while my parents were at work. I would sneak into my grandfathers closet and browse through his jackets and hats – he was always pretty stylish for his time (well he still is). He was sort of my fashion idol back then. I was also into vintage, and he had that natural vintage look all the kids strived for, because his clothes really were from the 70′s and 60′s. He was the real deal. Real vintage.
Fast forward. I am now 25 and the founder and designer of Luigi Sardo. The name is inspired by my grandfather, and the design is influenced by all the years skateboarding and all the old school soccer shoes I used to wear as a youngster. Funny how things work out, instead of becoming a professional soccer player, I chose skateboarding. Then, instead of becoming a professional skateboarder, I chose shoes. One thing is constant though: family will always be the core of my inspiration.
Thanks for reading,