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Grown-Up Sneakerhead feat. Elkin Cardona

October 2nd, 2013

Elkin Cardona was the winner of the Articles of Style February Giveaway where he went toe-to-toe with Jace Lumley, edging out the win thanks in part to some support from his sneaker-enthusiast family over on Niketalk.

“I was raised in The Bronx, NY through the 80’s and 90’s. It was practically the birthplace of hip-hop culture which, as far as I know, goes hand-in-hand with the love many share for sneakers.

It wasn’t so much about collecting or making a quick profit… I didn’t buy a pair of Jordans to stash away, I bought them because I wanted to be the freshest kid on the first day of school.

Nowadays I’m a 31 year old wedding photographer and no longer dress like I did back in the 90’s. My wardrobe has matured over the years but my love for kicks has remained – and I still wear them 90% of the time. I believe that in order to be dapper you don’t have to throw away (or sell) your kicks to stock-up on shoes, you just have to update the way you wear them.”

As a recovering sneakerhead myself, I wanted to share more of Elkin’s style perspective. So we linked up in NYC for a photoshoot and my guidelines were simple: show me your three favorite pairs of rare sneakers and how you incorporate them into your everyday wardrobe.

1. Money Maker


“Im a sucker for light colors…maybe i should be living in Miami. During Fashion Week I came across some people that asked me “White after Labor Day?”. I thought it was a joke, lol. I had no clue this was a taboo and honestly I don’t care…there’s something about mixing white with browns that I love.

I also wanted to share this amazing new camera strap. Being a wedding photographer, the worst thing is being nicely dressed and lugging around those awful canon straps, completely ruining your look. It took me a while but I finally came across a very functional and stylish holster-style camera strap. It’s called the Money Maker double camera strap; the leather and hardware are top-notch quality and it can hold up to six cameras! This thing has earned me many compliments at weddings…if you’re a photographer and like to make an impression, YOU ARE WELCOME :)”


“Sneakers and fashion have changed my life to be honest, by giving me an outlet to express myself…

Over the past years I’ve become a regular contributor to quite possibly the best forum on the net, Niketalk.com – a place where guys can go and find info about sneaker releases, upcoming events, etc.

For us regulars it has also become somewhat of an online family (complete with its sibling rivalries) but when it’s time to come together this forum has achieved many great things from donations to build schools in Africa to the simplest if things, like helping me win the February contest here on Articles of Style.

All this because of a passion for kicks.”


2. Yeezy Season


“This look is pretty much my idea of an everyday fit. Not everyone can come up with a reason to suit up or tuck their shirt in as much as they would want to…

I figure as long as things fit properly I should be ok.”


“If you’re an avid sneaker fan than these need no introduction, the Nike Air Yeezy 2.

This was the second collaboration between Kanye West and Nike, in my opinion an iconic shoe for many reasons and probably the reason why rappers are now getting endorsement deals with brands like Reebock, Adidas, etc. as if they were athletes themselves… a milestone for hip-hop culture.”


These particular sneakers really do represent the epitome of collecting.

There are so few pairs in existence that, even though they retailed for $245, they’ve sold on secondary markets like eBay for up to $90,000!


3. Dressed Up & Down


“I love the formality of a suit, but I like to experiment and show that it doesn’t always need to be paired with a dress shoe or loafer.”


Elkin also proves that when you understand the basics of fit, color and proportion, you don’t have to break the bank to look fly.

He looks like a million bucks in brands like H&M, Express, Gap, Zara, Land’s End, etc. After all, you know he’s saving up so he can splurge on the kicks.


I haven’t always been on board with the flyknit kicks, but I think I’m starting to come around. This look is making me reconsider.


Thanks, as always, for reading and special thanks to Elkin for participating.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style


Photography by Alex Crawford