Q&A Neal Heard Author of ‘Trainers’



Meet Yeti, Newport’s number one guy and one of the original designers from the late 90s. He’s best known for being the author of ‘Trainers’, the first book on Trainer culture.  He also started the excellent label White Riot, one of the best tee-shirt labels of the last 15 years. His latest incarnation is with a soon to be launched knitwear brand, LORDS.  I swear, he’ll do anything not to get a normal job. This is what Mr Heard had to say.

What did you have for breakfast?

I use my hunger at breakfast as a chance to eat all the good stuff, so Bran Flakes, a Banana and an Apple is the not very rock and roll answer!

What’s good about your hometown?

I am sad to say, not too much nowadays. But it was Orson Welles who referred to the fact that out of bedlam, comes invention and creation. So the fact Newport often deserves its moniker, Zooport, is the reason that so many ‘free thinkers’ and creatives are spat out by the place.

You have to dream and have a sense of humour to survive the experience.

Oh and of course, the mighty Newport County and the truly marvelous Transporter Bridge.

Provide us with a synopsis for your autobiography in 140 characters and what would you call it?

Titled: “Don’t just do something, stand there!”

I am a serial quitter, sometimes, it’s good to take defeat on the chin, chill & enjoy lifes simple pleasures.

If you could punch one celebrity in the face with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?

Jeez, where to start? I would just as happily punch all the ‘normal non celebrities’, obsessed with sharing the minutae of their lives, be it with selfies or the inordinately boring forms of social media of whatever guise…..but I am a lover, not a fighter, so, no one!

Tell us something that not many people know about you?

At the moment, I really cannot stand ‘Trainer Culture’ ! Talk about being done to death.

You’ve got £300 to spend on one new item of menswear, tell us what you’re gonna be buying?

That would easily last me a year. Primark for the Basics. But I would try and factor in a couple of Cashmere Jumpers.

But I could easily spend all of it on the 1981/82 Milan shirt with ‘Pooh Jeans’ sponsorship, as worn by Joe Jordan which is my current obsession.

Favourite 3 labels over the last 20 years?

To be honest, I am more into Vintage and Charity shops. Cheaper, better and why pay for copies?! But if I had to pick one, YMC.

If a film was made of your life, tell us four songs that would definitely be included on the soundtrack including one for the closing credits?

The closing credits would definitely be ‘Everyday is like Sunday’ by my only hero , Mozza. And just about sums up my mood with life!

I would have to have, The Cutter by the Bunnymen. Always makes me feel like I want to start a revolution.

Always let your Conscience be your guide, by Jiminy Cricket from the film Pinnochio. We should all listen to this.

‘The Bare necessities’ by Baloo the bear off Jungle Book, is a great maxim for life.

www.wearelords.com Laboratory of Research & Design School (LORDS) coming soon….


Trainers by Neal Heard