words // Matt Halfhill:
What a year 2015 has been.
I could not be more proud to have myself, George Kiel III and Nick DePaula all included on Complex’s “Most Influential People In Sneaker Media” feature.
The end of 2014 prepared us for the big comeback of 2015. With the editorial restrictions of being a retailer, we finally got our right to freedom of speech back when the retail arm of Nice Kicks was sold. At last, we could bring all of you the news like we had from our beginning through the early part of 2012. It was great to be back to doing what we do best.
In October, I stepped back from being the Editor-in-Chief, handing those duties over to someone who could not be more deserving — George Kiel III. George has been rocking and rolling with the team since 2008, when we made our first round of hires to expand our team in the Austin area. While many thought I exited stage-left from the business, it couldn’t be further from the truth. I think anyone on the team could attest that I have never been more involved with the business, working behind the scenes on a number of things, including assembling a team of All-Stars with more combined experience in sneaker media than the age of Nike.
Early in the year, an industry veteran joined the squad to round out the roster, bringing with him a work ethic and creative ideas that top virtually anyone in the industry. Nick DePaula, for years, was the Editor-in-Chief at Sole Collector, making it so much of what it is today by laying the ground work of what sneaker media should be. Along with his industry insights and relationships with everyone in the business of footwear top-to-bottom, there are nothing but great things coming.
I recognize how hard it must have been for Nick Engvall, a Nice Kicks OG, to write the Complex list with the vast field of so many people in the sneaker media landscape who all bring something new and exciting to the business. Fifteen is a very short list for all of the great people out there, whether it be on YouTube, independent sites, Twitter, Instagram, and other spots on the web.
2015 has been a great year for all involved in sneaker media.
To be named one of the most influential people in sneaker media after 10 years of doing this business is a humbling honor. I can’t describe how great it feels to be named amongst a list of peers that I respect so highly. The list of individuals is a league of extraordinary individuals who have dedicated their lives and careers to bringing you news, opinions, and history of sneakers. They’ve all elevated our collective sneaker culture.
But without the entire Nice Kicks team, I highly doubt I would be named. Every single person on our team brings their best day in and day out to make Nice Kicks what it is.
I would also like to shine light on one of the most influential people in this business that is an industry secret. My wife and co-founder, Allison Halfhill, must receive as equal praise as myself. She is the reason Nice Kicks is what it is today. She is the reason that “good enough” isn’t acceptable. Far beyond organizing and spearheading the On-Foot Look column of styling sneakers with fashion, she pushes everyone on the team forward and challenges all of us to bring our best. Whether it be a brainstorming session for content stories or managing relationships with advertisers, she is it.
For those who know me personally, my mind is always racing with new ideas. If it wasn’t for Allison, nothing would ever be filtered through or executed. Period.
Next year marks the 10th anniversary of Nice Kicks and I personally can’t describe just how excited I am for our team and our fans. We have some incredible projects in the works. Incredible.
The entire year will be a busy one, but we owe it to all of you who have stuck with us through the years to make Nice Kicks what it is today.
Without you, the people, the readers, the fans, Nice Kicks Nation, YOU are the reason we are where we are. Keep pushing us forward and expecting nothing but the best from myself and my team.