The Word Magazine All*Stars: Damien and Olivier

 Shoes say more about you than any of the rest of your wardrobe picks. And sneakers say even more. Crispy-clean white sneakers will tell you the dude’s a maniac, walking around town with a toothbrush in his pocket just in case he dirties them. Custom-made sneakers with stitched-on punk memorabilia tell you she’s a rebel soul at heart, intent on making her voice heard. Muddy, near-crumbling ones with holes in the front and cracks in the soles will tell you he’s a doer, more preoccupied with living and leaving a mark than letting life pass him by. Truth is, shoes keep it clean, sneakers get down and dirty. And, to prove our point, we’ve teamed up with Converse and selected four favourite figures who live by their sneakers and the stories they have to tell.

Damien Aresta

Artistic director, Micro Festival


We launched a festival three years ago called Microfestival. A lot of my job involves running around backstage in muddy water, making sure the bands don’t raid the catering tent, stay within legal boundaries in their trailers and get to the stage on time. One time, Civil Civic were set to perform the festival’s closing slot and they were too drunk to even remember their name. Five minutes before they were set to take the stage, I ran into their trailer, literally picked them up, got them through the muddy fields and shoved them onto the stage. These muddied, dilapidated sneakers are testament to the story. 

Olivier Donnet



I never clean them – they’re always totally destroyed before I have time for that. Last year’s Dour festival was fatal for my Converse: they didn’t survive three days in 30 centimetres of mud. In the end I was forced to put on rubber boots. My little son is already following in my footsteps; I just bought him his first pair of Converse, little red All Stars in size 33. they’re just easy to wear. you can combine them with anything from jeans to a suit. It’s the perfect middle ground.