Holding on to the past isn't always a good thing, but in the case of Sam Le Roy and Hartcopy, it couldn't be cooler! As one of Instagram's best new(ish) sneaker pages, storytelling around the coolest pairs of new and old sneakers from around the world, Hartcopy has taken the world by storm with its ethos of embracing traditional print for the digital consumer. We got the chance to speak with Hartcopy's Creative Lead, Sam Le Roy, about what got him involved in "The New Print", where he thinks sneaker culture is going, what it's like diving head first into new creative projects and the importance of confidence to get yourself into your dream position. Read and listen below for the convesation!
Hey Sam! Thanks so much for chatting with us. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got involved with Tim and Hartcopy?
So before I got started with Hartcopy I was writing for another publication call Sabukaru - great read by the way. I found Hartcopy pretty early on when it launched and then I saw Tim post on Facebook that he had started the page. I sent him a message like "Hey I'm a writer. Can we work on this together?" I wasn't expecting money or anything. Luckily Tim saw my message and I think because of my experiences at Sabukaru, he gave me a shot. This was around March or April of 2020.
Damn, just like that? All about shooting your shot!
My entire creative journey is all from sending that DM. All opportunities that I've had have been because if sent that message to the right person. I just found a lot of people online and now I can call them friends. Definitely don't be afraid to shoot your shot!
(Listen to more below)
Hartcopy has published nearly 1,400 posts now in not that much time. Firstly, how do you choose what to write about?
The biggest thing for Hartcopy is looking into the past and telling the stories of older pairs and silhouettes. A lot of people really fell in love with Hartcopy from our coverage of older grail pairs, older dunks and Jordan sneakers but we really just cover whatever we think is cool. It's really an extension of our own tastes so as long as we think it's cool then we'll post about it.
Second question. How do you find the time to do all of this AND pursue a full time career?
Luckily, we have a pretty good formula now for creating the content so it doesn't take that long. What is starting to take a lot of time is all of the other partnerships and projects that we are starting to do. I actually just gave my notice this week and will be doing Hartcopy full time now, which is really exciting!
Oh wow! What was the thought process like behind that decision?
I think it was inevitable at some point for this to happen. I have so many plans for Hartcopy in the future but they would never become a reality if I didn't take the jump now and try it. I had a moment at the Foot Patrol event where I knew that not capitalizing on this would be a massive waste.
(Listen to more below)
The First Book Signing.
Just recently Hartcopy launched its first ever physical print sneaker book with a killer launch event at Foot Patrol in London. What was that like getting to connect with people over Hartcopy in person after being a digital first platform since the beginning?
Seeing that many people come together for a product that we made was incredible. It was an amazing feeling and I definitely want to see that again. There's something really charming about bringing people together for a physical product. We've gone through so many followers and likes on Instagram but I can't visualize that. Meeting people in person creates a feeling that I really can't describe.
(Photos: Foot Patrol)
I'm planning books two, three, four and five. Book two is going to be more focused around people than product, but obviously still connected to products. Book three I can't speak about it yet because it's going to be completely out of nowhere [laughs] and I wan't it to be a surprise.
Looking forward, now that I'm full time, I want to also be doing things like merchandise like clothing releases in addition to the book releases. I really want to have people getting Hartcopy in hand and a big focus for me is to keep it affordable.
We have a lot of things in the works as well that I can't speak about yet but just know we're going to be very busy!
And lastly... a reminder from Sam to wear your shoes!
Make sure to keep up with Sam and Hartcopy on Instagram for all the best sneaker content and news on their upcoming projects and keep it locked to Pier Five for more conversations with the coolest entrepreneurs, designers, artists, activists and more out there.