If you’ve come across an interview in Complex with an unexpectedly substantial subject, there’s a good chance Aria Hughes, the pub’s deputy style editor, had a hand in writing it. Prior to Complex, Hughes was an editor for WWD, and prior to that, WGSN, a London-based trend forecasting company.
Hughes’ view on sneakers was very much shaped by her upbringing in Northern Virginia aka the DMV, which is often, wrongly, overshadowed by New York in terms of its influence on sneaker culture. Commenting on her No. 1 pick for 2021, Hughes explained, “In the DMV, Nike Flightposites and Foamposites were a staple. I never owned a pair, but they almost became the DMV version of New York’s Air Force 1. They were ubiquitous but you still looked cool wearing them.
“When I saw these in the runway pictures from the Comme des Garçons show, I immediately knew I wanted them. To me they were a piece of art and nostalgia mixed in one. It’s also not often that Nike creates an entirely new upper so that made them even more special. I received the black version as a gift, and I wear them often, but something about the white pair kept tugging at me. I ended up purchasing those and I envision bringing them out for special occasions. Kind of like Cinderella’s glass slipper. But each time I wear the sneakers and look down at the toe box they make me think of home, and because they are Commes, the life/career I’ve built for myself in New York.”
Check out Hughes top five sneakers for 2021 from her fifth to her first pick.