When we talk about the sneaker culture in India, we think of high-end Jordans and Yeezys sitting in a sneakerhead’s closet, and the lengths this collector community goes to in order to grab a recently released pair. One such sneakerhead, Sangeet Paryani, founded Superkicks, and turned his love into a full-blown business. Superkicks started when Paryani identified a huge gap in the Indian market as there was limited availability of global sneaker drops. With the opening of Superkicks, the gap in the market was bridged, and sneaker fans got access to some of the best and coolest pieces from across the globe.
Dedicated to bringing limited edition, heritage styles, contemporary silhouettes, and burgeoning streetwear, Paryani has managed to create an empire. “Starting Superkicks, I wanted to create an Indian brand that provided access to a variety of global brands that operated in the space, so I am naturally much invested in the streetwear universe. I’ve always been around shoes, owing to the nature of my family business. I was fascinated with the world of sneakers and the sense of expression they brought with them. Streetwear and sneakers bring about a sense of creativity, individuality, and freedom for me,” he details.
We have to agree about the sense of expression — half of Kanye West’s fans stepped into fashion thanks to the Yeezy launch. The pandemic led to people diverting their energy in a never-seen-before way towards social media trends, one of them being the streetwear boom. It gave a rise to a new crop of sneaker lovers in India — through thrifting or following social media trends — ultimately leading to shaping the streetwear culture, in general, in India.
“The visibility of trends via social media, music and international blogs has played a huge role in the rise of streetwear culture in India. Influencers’ Instagram feeds, brand social pages, and editorial publications have allowed virtual access to people in India who wish to interact with the culture at a basic level and beyond. Homegrown brands have also been a major catapulting force behind this boom, with labels such as Jaywalking, NoughtOne, and Huemn offering international level collections with localised accessibility.”
Influences count for a lot in the world of sneakers. The essence of taking elements from various cultures and turning them into a commodity is something that has been the core of the streetwear wave. Paryani thinks that streetwear originates from such subcultures, growing from a certain lifestyle trend and then making its way into fashion. “You can see influences from skateboarding, surfing, hip-hop, sports, and other such subcultures that have a significant impact on today’s modern interpretation of streetwear. It’s a form of casual clothing that is adopted by today’s great fashion houses. It is a form of expression that truly resonates with one’s creativity. We can see it from simple drops, communication on social media, collaborations, and launches of new brands.
The evolution of streetwear has catapulted over the years, and just when you think you have seen it all, there is a young genius out there who just does something out of the blue that has us wondering.” Superkicks’ future looks promising. The brand is launching its own apparel line, titled ‘Superkicks Core,’ marking its debut in the clothing category. Paryani explains, “We are currently in the planning phase of the second collection drop. We recently launched our Superkicks pop-up store in Guwahati, and became the only sneaker store in the Northeast.”