For Hanna, based in a small town in Norway, it all started with the Nike Air Max 90. She turned a lifestyle into a hobby and is now turning up the heat on her career within the sneaker space. She owns over 250 pairs of sneakers and has amassed over 73,000 avid followers on Instagram.
Here she speaks to The Edit Man London.We’ve seen a big rise in females within the sneaker community. Do you think there are enough female role models in this space and is there anyone you particularly look up to?
There’s definitely room for a lot more females within the sneaker community! With that said, I love the development I’ve seen the last few years. The female sneaker culture is thriving, and I love it! I look up to a lot of beautiful women; Aleali May and Melody Ehsani are two definitely worth mentioning.
Talking of role models, you’ve had a quick rise within the sneaker space but for most partnering with Nike is a dream. How did this happen and what can you tell us about your partnership with Nike?
I can’t really say that I look at myself as a role model, yet, but I look forward to being a woman working in and for the culture for many years to come. Partnering up with Nike was definitely a big moment for me! They were fascinated by my unique and rare story of sneaker-collecting. The way I’ve managed to do what I do, from a small remote town in Norway. They flew out to Norway to get an up-close view, and hear my story in themselves. The result was amazing, and the feedback was fantastic. I was also selected to be a part of their Air Max Day campaign in 2019 and I look forward to do more work with and for them.
We noticed you have a number of tattoos including the Nike symbol along with a silhouette of the Nike Jordan 1 on your arm. Why specifically that Jordan 1?
The reason why I’ve tattooed the Jordan 1 silhouette, is because it plays a big part in the sneaker culture. There is so much history behind it, and it’s such a timeless shoe. But most importantly, I feel good wearing a pair of Jordan 1's! One of my all-time favourite sneaker silhouettes, that I know I will appreciate for the rest of my life.You read Phil Knight’s (the founder of Nike) Shoe Dog - an incredible book. What was it about that story that enthralled you and are there any parts of it that resonate with your character or personality?
It's an amazing book, I could talk so much about it! Most importantly to me is the way Phil talks about the whole process he went through to create his brand. Life isn’t always a fairy tale and neither is the road to success. That’s why I never give up. Definitely a book I recommend everyone to read!
You were recently part of Klarna’s Heartbeat 4 Sneakers & Sneaker Deal Week, as were we. What can you tell us about your involvement in that project?
I’m proud that I got to be a part of Klarna's sneaker week campaign and it made me even happier when I got the brief and they’d already used images of me and my sneaker closet in it. The whole idea of making a raffle system where you have to actually enter with your heartbeat, was brilliant and I hope we´ll see more of this in the future! More shoes to the people that wants to wear them, and less to all the bots out there.Talking partnerships - you are JD Sports Ambassador and attended the Women’s Football World Cup in Paris. What did it mean to you to be a part of that event?
Paris is one of my favourite European cities but being there under the finals of the World Cup, as an Ambassador for JD Sports & Nike - made it even more special. JD does so much great for the culture and I feel honoured that I was a part of that event and that they take so good care of me. I also look forward to doing even more work with them in the future.
Talking Sneakers - you have over 250 pairs. If you could only choose five to wear on rotation for the rest of the year, what five would you pick and why?
These are always the worst questions, ha-ha! I would have to start off with one all black pair and one all white pair – that’s always a must have for me because I can match them with everything. I would go with an all-white pair of Air Force 1 low and the all black Nike x Off-White Prestos. Then I would choose three statement pieces. The Jordan 1 Union Black Toe, Syracuse Dunk Low.. and the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97. That’s the first pairs that I thought of, so don’t ask me again tomorrow – the rotation might look different! Ha-haThree of the biggest sneaker drops this year have included the Chunky Dunky, the Air Dior and the Jordan 4 Off-White Sail. All three have been incredibly hard to get and most entered the resale market for extremely high prices. What’s your take on this?
I just think I’ll never get used to the feeling of not getting the pair I want... Those three shoes are incredible pairs, and I wish I could get my hands on all of them. The resell prices are exceedingly high and I have made myself a promise to not overspend on shoes. Even though I really, really love them!
If we gave you £2,000 to spend on our site, which items would you pick and why?
There’re too many sick pieces in your store but I'm still sad I couldn’t get my hands on the Jordan 4 Off-White Sail (*pictured below), so that would be my first priority! Then I would grab the Jordan 1 Aleali May Shadow because it’s an amazing pair designed by an amazing lady, that I’ve been trying to cop for a long time.Do you have any projects you’re working on at the moment you can tell us about?
I am working on a lot of projects at the moment. Looking into creating some of my favourite garments, all the way down to my own perfect details. This is super exciting and I look forward to show you and all the people what I’ve been working on lately. There's also my never-ending sneaker collection whom I’m always working on - of course!
We’ve mentioned a few campaigns/partnerships you’ve worked on but which has been the best to work on and gives you the fondest memories?
I've done so much work I’m really proud of. Being in the panel at Crepe City, two years in a row - really took me out of my comfort zone, just like talking directly on radio did. So, I tend to really remember the live performances very well. But the fondest memory must be the time Nike HQ flew down to my hometown to shoot and talk with me. Seeing myself in the SNKRS app around the world, me being online at Nike.com and all over their socials was indescribable. I’ll never forget this.
Lastly, can you give us a sneak insight into what is in store for Hanna Helsoe in 2021?
2020 gave us all a spontaneous break from different projects and work in general. This has been a struggle for most of us but at the same time a perfect opportunity to let my creativity flow. 2021 will be filled with a lot of new projects, more content and new adventures. I’ve been partnering up with business developers, different agencies and designers – so I’m super excited and can’t wait until we are all set to launch everything we’ve been working on behind closed doors.
You can find Hanna's Instagram here.