When it comes to bossing sneakers, Jess Gavigan (aka @juicegee) reigns supreme. The digital creator, influencer and brand consultant has risen to prominence in the industry, cementing herself as a trailblazer in the world of women’s streetwear.
In 2011, noticing the lack of options for women and girls when the latest drops were released, Juice took it upon herself to make a change. At 22, she opened her own online store, Small Feet Big Kicks, sourcing and selling the hottest sneakers in smaller sizes. Today, footwear is still at the forefront of Juice's mind and she is constantly on the lookout for the sickest new designs. Her latest crush? The new Reebok Nano X1 Adventure.
“When searching for kicks, I inspect the materials and the innovation,” says Juice. “The Nano X1 Adventure's a sick outdoor sneaker because it's light and has a mesh upper so it's super breathable,” she tells us – an important factor when your day can go from a HIIT class in the park to work, an event, then straight to dinner with mates. The shoe’s fun, smaller details also nod to the great outdoors. “I love the bungee-like laces on these sneakers,” says Juice. “It reminds me of rock climbing.”
Growing up in Romford, a suburban town bordering London and Essex, Juice felt like the odd one out at school. Gravitating towards more alternative fashion, Juice, a self-confessed “teenage emo”, found expression through her clothes and experimenting with how she dressed. It wasn’t until she was at uni that she found her look, which she describes today as “function over fashion”. Now an east London local, Juice’s environment and the people around her continue to inspire and evolve her style but feeling comfortable remains her core fashion principle. Think oversized and sporty (not forgetting cute).
Juice spends her days running around the city, splitting her time between delivering flowers for her mate's shop in Peckham, visiting friends in different boroughs, and her many hobbies. Her perfect day involves a hit of fresh morning air, a yoga or boxing class, brunch with mates, seeing an exhibition, shooting some outfits, then dinner at a favourite restaurant. “There’s a great energy about the city at the moment – there’s been festivals and the sun's been out. It makes me happy to be living here.”
An outdoors enthusiast, Juice always makes time to stay active – whether in the city’s green spaces or nearby nature spots. “I was involved in every sport at school,” she says. “I danced from age 3 to 21 and have always loved moving my body.” Far preferring fresh air to the confines of the gym, Juice says that being able to get outside and move is the best feeling in the world. “I hate being cooped up,” she says. “Taking daily walks around Hackney Marshes, doing outdoor classes, hiking, going on day trips to beaches, seeing open water – for me, it’s needed for my mental health.”
When her busy lifestyle doesn’t allow for venturing out of the city, she seeks adventure closer to home. “London has so much to offer,” says Juice, “even if it’s just exploring new parts of the city. To me, an adventure is something kind of unplanned, involving any kind of movement. Sometimes you start at one place and just meander through different streets, using different means of transport, stopping along the way.”
So how do you dress when you don’t know what the day – or night – will hold? Juice builds her ‘fit from the feet up, balancing out a strong look with comfy pieces and an element of sportiness. “All of my outfits are usually based around a pair of kicks, as that’s really all I wear,” says Juice, who has built up a solid collection of over 700 pairs. “I’ll base it around the colours – never wearing more than three – and then the silhouette of the shoe will dictate whether I wear baggy pants, joggers or something a bit more girly.”
As well as her Nano X1 Adventures, heading out on an urban odyssey calls for a few other life-on-the-go essentials: “Comfy bottoms that I can climb, run and dance in easily, as well as a top with pockets to put all my bits and bobs in.” Juice also suggests mixing oversized pieces with more fitted items. “If you’re going for baggy bottoms, wear something a bit tighter on top, or vice versa.” As for accessories? “I try not to take a big bag out when I’m moving around the city, but if I do, it’s ultra light or cross-body,” adds Juice. “Oh, and layers are a must! Always pack a hoodie as, knowing London, it’ll probably get cold in the evening.”
Anchoring comfort in every ensemble is an ethos that makes Juice’s style so enduring and unique. “I always want my outfits to reflect my mood and make me feel good about myself,” she says. “Wear what suits you and what you feel comfortable in – but don’t just go with the crowd!”