Chrissy Castro of Undefeated Talks Streetwear & Being a Female Sneakerhead
Sneaker culture oftentimes can be a boys club, but there are some women who have been paving the way for female sneaker fiends, like Chrissy Castro of Undefeated. Castro, a Los Angeles native, was discovered while working at a small boutique called Store 13, before making her way into the streetwear world in 2012. Since then, she's been working as Undefeated's assistant manager at the Silverlake branch in addition to part-timing at the corporate office.
Growing up as a sneakerhead attending an all-girls Catholic school, Castro remembers going on missions with her guy friends to places like Fairfax, Melrose, and La Brea to find shoes in her size. She states that at that time, "It was hopeless for me to get anything remotely cool like my friends." Castro's frustration is understandable considering the smallest size available in men's are 6.5 - 7, which translate to a women's 8.5 - 9. While she agrees that it's inevitable that there are just some shoes she can't cop, she believes that the "Shoes that are exclusively for girls, are more precious to have."
In recent times, there have been petitions circulating around the female sneaker community to make more shoes in true women's sizes. Castro's advice to women who want to break into the industry is to "play hard." She states, "I love that I'm seeing more women in this industry. It's a tough place to be in and it makes a sort of mutual respect and acknowledgment between us when I see a girl wearing something exclusive. I hope there are more women out there that can show off how well they play in the sneaker community, especially since there has been a major improvement in the growth of available woman sizes in exclusive shoes now."
2017 is the 35th anniversary of the iconic Nike Air Force 1, and to any sneakerhead, a must have item. Castro oftentimes finds herself wearing the shoe because "It compliments my style, and they can play up or play down any outfit. If you truly want a good sneaker collection, you must have Air Forces to complete it." To celebrate the 35th anniversary, Nike released a special edition Air Force 1 NAIKE Jade that celebrates the relationship between the brand and China. Castro comments that the collaboration is "A beautiful representation of what Jade means to China. It truly celebrates the power they have over iconic Nike styles and their significant part of the growth and popularity of sneaker culture."
Castro is definitely a role model within the sneaker community and streetwear culture, so keep an eye out for her as she continues to make waves and break boundaries in 2017.