Sanne Poeze, better known as Girl on Kicks, is coming out with her own book, 'She Kicks'. The book is written in collaboration with Nav Gill, who previously worked at Hypebae, and is being released by publisher Studio 96 Publishing. She Kicks is the first book to focus on women in the sneaker scene and comes with interviews with names such as Aleali May, Melody Ehsani, and Titi Finlay. Sanne talks about how She Kicks came about.
Girl on Kicks
Sanne Poeze is the name behind Girl on Kicks (@girlonkicks). Eight years ago, Sanne began sharing sneaker content under the name Girl On Kicks. "This actually started as a creative outlet alongside my full-time job and eventually resulted in the platform it is today," Sanne says. "Over the years this started to grow and six years ago I quit my job and threw myself fully into Girl on Kicks."
This has taken Sanne to a lot of different places over the past few years. In 2019, Sanne released her own sneaker with Reebok, the Daytona DMX. That same year, she also collaborated with Jukserei on her own streetwear-inspired jewelry collection. Next up: releasing her own book. "This has long been a dream of mine," Sanne says.
Ever since she was 16, Sanne has been into sneakers. "Through a friend, I became familiar with the world of sneakers, forums, and exclusive releases. I then bought my first pair of sneakers through eBay." This was the Nike Air Max 1 Atmos Beast Pack, which is still on display in Sanne's living room. When Sanne started working at the Nike Store in Amsterdam during college, her interest in sneakers grew. "Here I learned more about the history of sneakers and the world behind them," she says.
Women in the sneaker scene
Despite Sanne's reluctance to use the term 'female sneakerhead', she is seen by many of her followers as a female role model in the scene. "I never consciously portrayed myself as a 'female' sneaker lover. I just did what I liked and shared that, the rest followed naturally." Soon Sanne noticed that she attracted mostly female followers with her content and it led to where she is today, with over forty thousand followers on her Instagram.
Active in the sneaker scene herself for more than a decade, Sanne has noticed that the women's community is growing. "There is more and more room for women in the world of sneakers, you can see that everywhere. Think, for example, of the WMNS exclusive releases, they don't have to stay for me personally, but they are definitely relevant for other types of girls who like sneakers." Here, she refers to the work of Titi Finlay: "I think gender neutrality in the sneaker world is a step in the right direction."
Titi Finlay is one of the female sneaker enthusiasts who has a feature in the book She Kicks. Together with Nav Gill, formerly employed at Hypebae, Sanne came up with the idea of creating a women's sneaker book. "I got to know Nav through an interview I did for Hypebae some time ago, and we've remained good friends ever since. When I asked Nav why there wasn't a book for female sneaker lovers, she had the exact same question and our idea for She Kicks came about."
According to Sanne, the idea for She Kicks was not a concrete plan at the first stage. "We were occasionally brainstorming about how cool it would be to write a book. At one point I thought: we have to do this." No sooner said than done. Nav and Sanne locked themselves in an Airbnb for a weekend and sat there working on their pitch. "Both of us had never written a book before, so we had no idea how to approach this," says Sanne.
After finalizing the pitch, the idea for She Kicks took a year or so to come to fruition. "Life happened," Sanne explains. That year, Sanne had a child, corona took hold, and Nav changed jobs. A year after forming the pitch, Sanne by chance received an email from publisher Studio 96 Publishing, and the ball started rolling again.
In the first phase of making She Kicks, the two have been mostly interviewing women and individuals behind major brands like Nike and adidas. "While breastfeeding, I did these interviews through Zoom," Sanne says while grinning. "I think I only rested for about two months after giving birth before I started working on the interviews for She Kicks."
During this period, Nav and Sanne interviewed more than forty (female) sneaker lovers who are active in the sneaker scene in their own way. Using the stories and quotes from the interviews, the guidelines for She Kicks were then created.
Inspiring and innovative
With the book, Sanne and Nav want to highlight women in the sneaker scene. The history of sneakers reaches back many years. Women, according to Sanne, only later play a bigger role in this industry, which at first was mainly run by men. Names like Aleali May, Titi Finlay, and Melody Ehsani pass by in the book, but the ladies behind the scenes at major brands also do their stories. With names like Deena Bahri, Stella McCartney, and Andrea Perez, She Kicks is filled with unique stories and quotes. "Inspiring stories, special anecdotes, and an interactive experience. I think that describes the book best," Sanne says.
The choice for the sneaker on the cover, the Air Jordan 1 High Satin 'Shattered Backboard' 1.0, is also well thought out. This colorway takes its name from the game in which Michael Jordan shattered the scoreboard with his dunk. "This powerful move we also wanted to bring back in this book," Sanne explains. "The women in this book are shattering backboards, kind of that thought. In addition, the softness of the satin on the sneaker symbolizes the softness of women."
In addition to focusing on women in the sneaker world, She Kicks also addresses the future of sneaker culture. Topics such as NFTs and sustainability are highlighted in the book, and She Kicks also comes with an interactive feature. When scanning certain pages in She Kicks with the Studio 96 Publishing app, you can enter giveaways, get to see videos, or watch an NFT.
"I'm mostly excited by the idea that the book is so obtainable," Sanne says. "When I look at She Kicks, I think: this is our book. That's very special."
She Kicks will be released on December 1, 2022, and pre-orders can be placed now.