Calling Bullshit On The Rule All Women's Trainers Have To Be Pink And Dunked In Glitter
The Debrief: If you're looking for trainers that don't shout about your vagina, we've found the place for you
Here is a fact about trainer shopping that you may, or may not be familiar with. JUST BECAUSE I HAVE A VAGINA DOESN’T MEAN MY TRAINERS ARE PINK AND/OR SPARKLY. Phew, that felt good.
Last weekend, I decided that since I’d managed to make it a week before payday without spunking all my cash on bottles of red and Byron burgers, I deserved a treat. Said treat being a new pair of trainers that I could wear office-to-gym without looking like a knob in either environment. After a five-hour hunt through the streets of Soho, I returned home sneaker-less, and with a serious case of dolly shoe-induced foot cramp. The problem, it would seem, is a fatal misunderstanding between trainer designer and the normal, self-respecting woman.
Walk into any big-named shoe store branch in search of simple, practical sneaks and you will be greeted by a very definite separation of styles. MAN vs WOMAN. BALLS vs BREASTS. SEQUINNED SOLES vs UNION JACK PRINTS. Not only is the dedicated space for women’s styles usually confined to a poxy corner of the shop (most likely labeled something sickening like, 'ladies corner' or 'for the lasses'), but the variety of styles and options are, shall we say, limited.
What makes sport brands and shops think that us girls are only capable of exercise if we are blessed with a delightful patch of leopard print on the heels of our shoes? I mean, of course our feeble, female feet couldn’t withstand a 5K run without glittery embellishment. The laces just don’t tie up if they aren’t canary yellow.
But that’s where Pam Pam comes in. Out of the exciting and refreshing trend of gender-neutral fashion comes a London concept store boasting stylish sportswear and calling bullshit on gender-specific sneakers.
So goddam nice they named it twice, Pam Pam London is a safe haven from the UK’s gender-polarised sports shops. Opened just last month and founded by a couple of fashion retail pros (both Bethany Heggarty, 31 and Rio Holland, 30 had previous careers in menswear), Pam Pam London takes a fresh, holistic approach to girl’s sportswear – and it works like a dream.
'We found women of all ages looking for men’s clothing and footwear in their sizes,' say the girls, 'We really felt the lack of brilliant women’s stores and, in particular, a lack of availability of women's sneakers.'
After noticing a couple of chic stores setting up shop in Copenhagen (where else?), the girls thought they would share the idea with the UK. 'There were and are a brilliant selection of sneakers out there, but not a lot of outlets, and none in the UK exclusively for women - until now.'
Ever-so-slightly set back from the Bagel bakeries of Brick Lane is the laid-back luxe of Pam Pam London. Walls are crisp ivory; mooching space is optimum and the clothing brands unheard of – oh, and best of all, not a single sequin in sight. Not only are Pam Pam offering their cool girl something different, but they are also treat their clientele to rare styles of shoes. The girls have bagged exclusive accounts with the likes of Vans, Adidas, Reebok, New Balance and Saucony, whilst offerings from fresh fashion meat Novesta, Vanishing Elephants and Garment Project provide the; 'oh it’s just this really cool new brand I know' element. According to Pam Pam, 'the sneaker game is definitely changing.'
Fad or for real – it’s hard to tell. Exactly what this means for changing gender stereotypes isn’t exactly clear. The downside? It looks like you might actually have to start going to the gym…
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