A preview of our new men's range - with our first #hobesguy Huston Conti of @shoesofnyc. Georgia chats with Huston about street style, life in New York and all things shoes.
Describe a typical day in the life of Huston Conti.
I get up pretty early and make sure I get to the gym first. Everyday. No matter what. If I don't it can throw my day out of whack and then I spend the rest of it trying to find time to workout. The rest of my day is spent preparing for meetings, having meetings or trying to get meetings. I work at a tech startup part time as a side hustle as well to make a little more money and continue to do what I love with Shoes of NYC. And I bike a lot! I'm all over the city everyday and its so much more fun riding my bicycle than taking the train. Mostly I prefer to stay busy, so I tend to keep my days full with work projects but also allow myself some flexibility within my schedule - you've got to make sure you take care of yourself and enjoy each day a little bit.
How do Hobes fit into your daily life?
I'm always mobile in NYC and when I leave my apartment I'm not making it back until late, so I have to bring everything I need for the day with me. It all goes into my backpack and real estate is limited in mine. Shoes usually take up a lot of space but Hobes are perfect because they're so minimal and easy to pack. And I can wear them with anything. I'm usually concerned about how my shoes look with what I'm wearing but I never have to think about that with Hobes...they always look good.
What’s the concept behind @shoesofnyc and how long have you been doing this for?
Shoes of NYC began as an Instagram-based blog in 2014 and is organically evolving into its own media company focused entirely on footwear. My partner Lexi and I discover shoes found on the streets of NYC and post a photo to Instagram along with a quote from the person who's wearing them. We showcase what real people are wearing now, and where you can buy similar styles that fit your lifestyle.
You probably spend much of your time on the streets of NYC looking at shoes and talking to strangers about their style. What is it about Hobes that are different than other shoes you’ve seen/worn?
That's an understatement! But yes, I'm never not doing any of that. With Hobes I think they have this unique minimalism about them that I haven't seen replicated with many other brands. They've created a shoe that is so simple yet has so much personality you can't help but want to stop whomever is wearing them.
If you could photograph shoes in any city in the world where would it be?
You are a Northwest boy at heart. How has your style evolved since moving to NYC? Do you still have that PNW flair?
I may be jaded but I don't think it's changed that much. I've always dressed primarily in basics and essentials...the only difference is that NYC allows me access to much trendier brands and styles that are more difficult to find in Seattle. I'm still wearing jeans and a t-shirt, the same as I did back home...they're just way cooler now. Regarding that PNW flair - I couldn't get rid of that if I tried...I wear white crew socks with everything. Everyday. No matter what (well except with my Hobes).
Where do you find style inspiration usually?
Street style. I'm the biggest copycat. Sometimes the inspiration is subconscious too and sometimes I even dream about it. Then I'll wake up and go to the store to try and replicate it.
What’s one NYC indulgence you can’t live without?
Rooftops. We don't have them in Seattle and I can't imagine NYC summers without them.
Words to live by?
I met a local woman while backpacking through a village in Greece several years ago. She was 98 years old, chilling at a café, drinking wine and looking like she didn't have a single care in the world. We ended up having a conversation that didn't last more than a few minutes but I asked what her secret to a happy life was. She told me 'to drink wine and swim naked as often as possible' and I've been trying to live by her words ever since.