Maha presents Couch Sessions: a serie of interviews with inspiring people from all over the globe. Kick back, relax and get familiar.

Sanne Poeze, better known as Girl on Kicks, is an established name in the streetwear community. She started her sneakerculture driven-blog many years ago and it grew out to a creative empire inspired by the latest fashion -and sneaker trends including crazy collaborations and even her own shop.

As part of our Couch Session series, we sat down with Sanne to talk about her on- and offline life, growing up in a man’s worldas well as her ambitions as an all-round creative.
Get to know Sanne by reading the interview down below.

How did you get introduced to the streetwear/sneaker culture?
It all started in high school when I was around 16 and my best friend started to get into sneakers. He helped me get my first pair of ‘exclusive’ sneakers  - the Air Max 1 ‘Beast Pack’ from the US. After that I started to learn and read more about sneakers and I got to know the whole culture and community behind it.

Where do you draw the most inspiration from for your work?
Of course Pinterest and an occasional saved Instagram picture.
It might sound weird but I love art. Going to museums really gets my creative juices flowing. I’m schooled as a graphic designer so I think I’m super triggered by everything with lines, colors, textures and aesthetics. I also love going for a walk with some music in my ears and look around me to get inspired!

You’re focussing on way more than just your blog right now, like styling, art direction and even your own shop. Which of these things are you most passionate about?
Everything! That’s part of the reason why I love my job: it allows me to do all these things. It all started out as a blog of course; but I always considered myself more of a creative than a blogger. So, art directing and styling is when I can go all out with my creativity.
The webshop is relatively small still but I love doing this and it’s a combination of things we design ourselves and curated things. And we (my assistant Natalia and me) have so many ideas for products that we’d like to add to the webshop.

With the Internet controlling our lives nowadays and your job being online, how do you think this will develop in the future and how will you adopt to that?
I love how the Internet and social media makes the world smaller. It’s so easy to find and meet like-minded people from all over the world and I love how that turned Girl on Kicks into a community as well (over 75.000 photos are posted with the #girlonkicks!).
It of course has the sad side effect of mean people hiding behind their Instagram-account to bully people/body shame girls/etc. And that people confuse the ‘perfect’ image on the gram with real life.
I am completely aware of the fact that Instagram and social media will change so I have my back-up/future plan ready, haha! It’s one of the reasons why I’m not doing just things on Instagram and why I’d like to grow Girl on Kicks into an agency and worldwide platform.

You share a lot about yourself online, what are some of the things that you enjoy offline that we don’t know about?
Good question; theres one big thing I never share on my IG which is my boyfriend. We’ve been together for nine years and I love keeping him off the gram ‘cause so our relationship is something I get tot keep for myself!
We also have a dog (Swoosh - Mini Dapple Dachshund - see her little model appearance in the photos) and I love spending time with her; going for walks on the beach/in the forrest for example.
I’m a big fan of nature too - I know a lot of plants & flowers by name (random fact, haha).

What has your experience been as a woman working in a male-dominated industry?

In the beginning I had the feeling that I had to prove myself double in order to be taken serious. But the moment I really started believing in my skills and knowledge I didn’t really care about that anymore and that really worked for me.
I told myself to prove them wrong about their prejudices and work my ass off to grow Girl on Kicks into a badass company, haha!

Can you name someone you hope to work with one day?
Ooh, so many! I’ve been working with Reebok on a global campaign and have some other exciting things coming up with them.
I would love to continue working with Nike and also work for/with them on global projects.
I am aiming to co-create capsule collections with brands that I like & work with amazing young creatives to create magic together!

What difficulties did you experience in your path and how did you overcome that?
I’m a very sensitive and emotional person so that has been the biggest thing for me to overcome. It really got me doubting myself and I was afraid to speak out on my dreams and goals.
I actually didn’t really overcome those things; I learned to embrace it and use it as a strength instead of seeing it as my weakness! I cry all the time but that doesn’t mean I’m not strong!

What advice would you give to others interested in getting into the same line of work?
It doesn’t happen overnight! And as ‘easy’ as it might look on the gram you have to work your ass off, haha! Also training your brain into seeing content everywhere you go comes in handy too! Look around when you’re in the tram/train or when you’re walking. Look at lines/colors/locations/aesthetics.
And it never stops. I hate this saying it but it’s true; I'm never not working.

What kind of girl were you growing up? What kind of woman are you now? What kind of woman do you hope to be?
Those are some deep questions y’all!
I was a very emotional and sensitive girl dealing with major performance anxiety issues when I was little. School and studies were a hell for me and it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do!
I think I’m now at a point where I’m proud to see what I’ve build for myself and I’m happy with the (business) women I became without losing my OG characteristics, haha! As for Girl on Kicks I’m aware of the fact that it’s going well and my company is doing great at the moment but I’m still crazy motivated to keep building and developing it even further. #worlddomination

What’s up next for you? Tell us the scoop!
The Global Campaign for Reebok’s ‘It’s A Man’s World’-project just launched - of which I’m part of! And there is something really exciting coming up with Reebok in January as well!
I’m also launching my jewelry collab with Berlin based brand Jukserei on the 29th of August and I might or might not be working on a book ;) Last but not least: launching Girl on Kicks’ agency part! So, stay tuned!

Interested in the shoes that Sanne is wearing? Our Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG 'Obsidian Blue'-raffle is live right now. Click here to enter. 

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