RAMENGVRL Nike Shox R4 TL Sole Mates Interview

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The Asian music scene has exploded with many different artists in recent memory, including Putri Estiani – better known by her stage name RAMENGVRL – who has quickly made a name for herself in the overseas hip hop scene. She’s amassed quite a fanbase over her five-year career as an artist so far, and has been hailed for her awesome bars, captivating lyrics, and streetwear-focused style.

RAMENGVRL is aware that she is in a male-dominated industry, but she has been able to stand out among her peers to produce genre tracks, unabashedly showing off her eccentric personality and using her platform to express her thoughts on topics such as the importance of Asian representation and femininity. After dropping a duo of complete projects – no bethany and I do not speak English – the Southeast Asian talent has already earned some notable accolades such as the 2019 Anugerah Musik Indonesia award for Hip Hop Song of the Year and Forbes 30 Under 30 Indonesia winner.

Besides her thriving music career, she is also strongly associated with her unique sense of fashion, which draws inspiration from streetwear culture and hip hop sensibility. She’s not afraid to be flamboyant with her wardrobe choices, but she’s still supremely conscientious about pieces designed to convey the biggest statements. As HYPEBEAST’s latest guest on Sole Mates, RAMENGVRL tells how she developed her own taste for fashion, her love for Nike Shox R4 TL and more.

HYPEBEAST: Can you tell us how you got started in sneakers, fashion and personal style?

A: It must have started when I was in college. For some reason, I loved buying fashion magazines from a young age, like Harper’s Bazaar and She. I think it was because I was drawn to their amazing editorial spread, I was like, “What is this world?” I really read the editor’s explanations of certain collections and I got to the point where I wanted to be a fashion editor myself.

You were born and raised in Jakarta. How would you describe the sneaker culture and fashion there, or in your neighborhood? How does the city influence your style?

I think people are now more confident in expressing themselves through their own style, and I’m not surprised. Now there’s TikTok, Instagram, and all the other niche media telling you “these guys don’t care what other people say about their outfits, and they look good in those clothes.” which is doping. I wouldn’t say the city really affects how I dress. When I was in college, I was known as a girl who wore knitted sweaters and velvet pants in hot weather with a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. Before, I thought that all editorial outfits could be worn at any time. Now I prioritize function and comfort, so you’ll never see me wearing a puffy jacket on the street.

In terms of fashion, you are definitely a musician with an original style. What was the process to become your current character?

Why thanks! First of all, our style is constantly evolving. However, I realized that my personal development, or for example the course of my life, really affects what I like or what I want to wear. In the past, I just wanted to wear black, or gray and I always wore a leather jacket (small ones, I didn’t have any money yet). Now I don’t mind wearing colorful clothes, and I love pieces that make a statement or two. I’m no longer ashamed to speak loudly, as long as I feel comfortable. I think it’s because I’m more comfortable with my body and myself right now.

What – or who – shaped your fashion sense and taste in sneakers to make them what they are today?

When I say Rihanna, I’m kidding but not really. There are a lot of things, but you could say that anime and games have helped me experiment with the many outfits I wear. It would be a lie if I didn’t mention that music, especially hip-hop, was a big factor.

What are your favorite sneakers right now?

My favorite sneakers right now are AMBUSH x Nike Dunk High, Skepta x Nike Air Max Tailwind Vs and the Nike Shox R4 TL “Clay Orange”. If I have to wear black, I’ll choose my trusty, chunky Martine Rose x Nike Air Monarch IV.

What’s it about these sneakers that makes them your favorite?

I think it’s because I can use them every day. Not super interesting I know, but it’s the truth. On top of that, these sneakers make a statement, but are understated, so it’s not too much. For example, the Nike Shox R4 TL “Clay Orange”, how many people would like to wear shoes that look like football boots in orange? The AMBUSH x Nike shoes are just black and white, but there’s something about these sneakers that makes you want to see them all the time, it’s a great design.

How has sneaker culture – or fashion in general – influenced your music?

Fashion and music are two ways of expressing myself, it can’t be just one. The two complement each other. The wardrobe, for example, is one of the main priorities I pay attention to when making music videos or performing on stage, because without the right visuals, without the right look, the message of my songs risks not be fully transmitted.

Given the current conditions, the majority of players in the world of sneaker collecting or sneakerhead culture are men. As a woman, how do you feel about the fact that there are more male actors in sneaker culture than female?

It’s good, really. There are always things that are male-dominated or female-dominated in the beginning. I don’t call myself a sneakerhead, but I can totally relate. I mean, just like rap, right? That’s fine, but be prepared for when the girls take over.

Do you have sneakers on your wishlist?

Definitely the AMBUSH x Nike Dunk High “Flash Lime” and “Cosmic Fuchsia” colorways.

How do you choose the shoes to wear for your shows?

For me, shoes should match my clothes, as well as be a “finisher” for my overall look. There are often times when it’s the shoes that make the difference. I always try not to use more than one statement piece at a time, for example, if the spotlight is a jacket, don’t wear orange knox, you’ll confuse people. But, if the wardrobe is all black, the shoes can be the highlight. It sounds like a hassle, but I think it has now become kind of second nature to me.

This issue of Sole Mates originally appeared on HYPEBEAST ID and has been edited accordingly.

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