Sneakerhead Talks: Oli Murray
"My number one rule is that you have to stay in line of the camp out for as long as you can."
After our previous shoot with Tom Grinyer, I wanted to end summer on a high note. So I took to the streets of Fitzroy and did a last-minute photo shoot with an old friend, Oli Murray. I first met Oli back in May 2015, for the highly anticipated Saucony ‘Righteous One’ camp out at the Up There Store. Together we faced Melbourne’s freezing autumn night alongside a bunch of other dudes, and we’ve been good mates since.
A Little About Oli
“I am currently studying full-time at University and I also work part-time in hospitality, so that keeps me pretty busy. On top of that, I’m a sporty guy; my weekends are filled with either football in winter or cricket in summer. And in amongst all this, I manage to find time to catch up with friends, eat some awesome food and rock some sweet kicks! My pick for eating out is down along Smith St. in Collingwood.”
“I have recently developed more of a classic streetwear style revolving around basic tees with pin-rolled jeans, matched with a pair of sneakers. I have really come to appreciate sneakers, so when I am putting on an outfit I try to keep them the main focus. I used to wear more predominantly Supreme branded clothing including quite outgoing patterned pieces, but now I prefer just to stick to basics and I am starting see this as a more appealing and versatile way to dress.”
Sneaker Game Beginnings
“I still remember seeing the Sneaker Freaker and New Balance 998 ‘Tassie Devils’ on a poster at Sure! Store around my hometown in Melbourne. At the time, I had an interest in sneakers and I owned one or two pairs that I wore casually, but I didn’t really have any knowledge about upcoming releases and I certainly hadn’t heard of Sneaker Freaker. In the end, I missed the release and ended up buying a pair off eBay for about $300. This was a silly amount of money for me and was a ridiculous amount for a pair of shoes, but I bit the bullet because I loved the design so much.
For me, the colours and the design of the Tassie Devils were too good to pass up. I loved the teeth on the outsole and the purple colour scheme throughout the shoe. I just saw it as an awesome design on a cool looking shoe – the Sneaker Freaker tag didn’t really have any meaning to me at the time. I wore that pair to death and I still wear them today. For me, the Tassies opened my eyes to a new world of sneakers including collaborations that have without a doubt created the best concepts and colourways on sneakers that I have ever seen. The more I wore them and became a part of the community, the more I got hooked on all sorts of cool designs. I began to see the shoes as artwork as much as shoes themselves and I suppose that’s what makes me appreciate them so much today.”
Best and Worst Thing About Sneakers
“The best thing is getting to wear rad designs, but be comfy at the same time!
The worst thing is that the demand for all the great shoes out there is so high!”
Thoughts on Camping
“My number one rule is that you have to stay in line of the camp out for as long as you can. There’s nothing worse than people ‘camping’ out for a pair of shoes, but leaving to go elsewhere. Seeing empty chairs lined up out the front of a store just frustrates anyone who is trying to buy the pair. I think that if you’re camping, you stay in line the whole time – sure, go to the toilet or buy some food – that I’m cool with, but otherwise you really shouldn’t leave. After all, you’re lining up for a rad pair of shoes you want!
I must say that it is definitely worth chatting to the people you are camping with. After all, that’s how I met you, Thom, and plenty of my other friends who like sneakers.”
“I went out on a limb and spent a fair chunk of my savings on the New Balance 1500 ‘Providers’, and I’m certainly not regretting it. The pair is from a store in Melbourne that did a limited release and is now closed down. It doesn’t get much more limited than that! Overall, I think that it’s about that originality and authenticity – that it’s from a store here in Melbourne and that it won’t be repeated or restocked ever again. I love hearing stories about Provider store and older pairs of sneakers from the guys like Mike at Saint Side, and so for me to own a part of that history is a really special thing. I love the blue colourway on the toe, it’s just amazing. It is truly one of the nicest colours I have seen on a shoe.”
What’s Missing in the Sneaker Game
“I think we’re missing a place to hang out! I have enjoyed meeting people in the scene, but the only place I have done so is either online or at camp outs. We need a store or something similar where people can go, hang out, and chat sneakers. Make it a coffee shop or a bar style place if that works better, but I think we just need somewhere sneakerheads can go chill and meet one another!”
Next Pair of Sneakers
“I want to continue to expand my collection, so the absolute best thing next for me would be ASICS x Ronnie Fieg GT-II ‘Rose Gold’ or Nike x Atmos Air Max 1 ‘Elephants’. I don’t own any GT-II’s or Nike AM1’s so I would love to add them in.”
Advice for New Sneakerheads
“For anybody vaguely interested in sneakers, my advice is just to buy a pair or two and try to work out what it is you really like. You’re going to have pairs you buy that you know you aren’t really a fan of, and you will have some that you will love much more than you expected. I just think it’s ideal to have a search on the Internet or go into some stores and try to buy a few pairs. Your interest will grow from there!”
Photography by Thom Bonilla