What you wear on your feet can reveal a lot about you. In recent years the love for sneakers has soared to an all time high. I wanted to know what all the ‘hype’ was about so I went to the shoe store Packer at their Jersey City location and sat down with their employee Joshua Stone. Here’s what he had to say:
Where are you from?
I was born in London and raised in France. I was sick of France and wanted a change. I had dual citizenship so I figured it I’d check it out. I went to the French Caribbean, Martinique, for a couple months first. Then I went to NYC and then finally Jersey City.
At what age did you realize your love for sneakers?
At age 9. I had this obsession with cool patterns. My parents didn’t see the point in getting them [sneakers] because they were crazy expensive and my foot was still growing. My first pair was a pair of adidas dragons.
Where was the first place you worked when you got here?
When I got here I worked at Memes, a Japanese/American owned company that opened in the 90s. It was my first job getting into New York. I worked there for two and a half years. I left because I felt like I wasn’t growing.
What are your top 5 favorite sneakers of all time?
- New Balance UKRB 670 made in England “Red Devils”
- Le Coqsportif Flash x Sneaker Freaker “Summer Bay”
- Adidas Consortium LA Trainer OG MIG
- Nike Air Max 1 “87” “Curry’s”
- Visvim FBT OG
How did you end up at Packer?
I was walking around the neighborhood and friends of mine were telling me “Oh this used to be a sneaker store” but it was closed down and they said “yeah I think it was called Packer”. I thought to myself, ‘really a Packer in Jersey City’? As time went on I forgot about it. Then I was online looking for work searching sneaker websites through Instagram and I tried to see where the store [Packer] was and realized they were in Teaneck. One day I walked by [Jersey City location] and saw that they were doing renovations on it. I couldn’t find the owner at that time but then a pop-up came on Instagram telling me when they were reopening. It was perfect timing. I was there an hour before opening with my resumé in hand. I asked to see manager who took it and gave me the same “Oh just come back if we see you more often we’ll see how things go”, and so I came back and when I did he remembered my name after that we built an organic relationship from there. They usually don’t hire anyone from outside in the company but they hired me.
What is your favorite thing about shoes?
It’s one of my favorite accessories that is affordable. They are timeless pieces. You can go back to any era. I love New Balances a lot, the quality of comfort is up there and they have great color schemes. There’s so many brands of shoes that I like, if I start talking about them all we’d be here all day. I don’t have a favorite pair, it’s more of favorite time periods for me.
Is your family supportive of your sneaker endeavors?
My mom has always been a positive supporter of me. My dad never understood it until recently.
What is the definition of a “hypebeast” and would you consider yourself one?
Let’s say a hypebeast is a random guy who could be new to it and has no idea about anything with fashion and decides to walk his way into liking it. He’d be over the top with every new drop and follow everything the blogs or websites say. No I am definitely not a hypebeast I don’t jump on every ‘hype’ product that’s out there that everyone wants. In this business you have a lot of access to things and it jades you. You’re not really the consumer so much. Everything doesn’t have to be bought to me. I don’t need it when it drops. I don’t subscribes to Hypebeast or Highsnobiety or any of the sites that push out what’s ‘hot’, the only magazine I have a subscription to is Sneaker Freaker.
What’s it like at Packer when there’s a new drop?
It depends on how hype it is, if it hit Hypebeast or Complex or any of these websites it can get so crazy. We can have lines out the wazoo lasting over two hours. There’s a lot of s*** that’s being sold out, like NMD R1 is just a hype shoe. It’s a bang average pair for me. (Bang average= not worth the hype). It’s just a product Adidas is making money off of. The shoe that I think is going to change the game this year is the Adidas EQT Boost 91/17.
What’s your style?
I feel like it’s a mix of the 90s, 80s, and Japanese-ish. My style is my own and really depends on two things: the weather and my mood. If i wake up and have a shoe I want to wear then I’ll build my outfit based on that. There’s definitely levels to it.
You can follow Josh’s sneaker Instagram @gnihsoj ! Packer is located 382 Marin Blvd, J.C. and 941 Teaneck Road, Teaneck.