Laced Up: A Conversation With Sneaker Collector and Creative, Anna Bediones
Meet Anna Bediones: a creative producer, social media and fitness expert, and a well-known sneaker aficionado based out of Toronto, Ontario. We spent a day with Anna to tour her apartment (and incredible walk-in sneaker closet), catch up on her approach to wellness and beauty and learn how she sets herself apart from the rest.
Photography by Sonia.
For our readers, could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?
My name is Anna Bediones, also known as "A to the Bed" and I'm a creative consultant. I work with brands to develop creative ideas to elevate their presence—anything from art direction, event concepts, digital strategy and more. I began as a freelance writer for a number of outlets, which I think is a common misconception with me—I don't do as much personal blogging (but I'm trying to).
You’re an advocate for living an active lifestyle, what advice do you have for other people trying to introduce fitness into their routines?
Start slow, make a commitment, and don't let your ego hold you back. I know it's easy to feel discouraged or intimidated but your body will learn it and you have to give it time. Your ego will compare yourself to the things around you, and maybe even a past version of you, but you have to live in the present and be kind to yourself. Start slow to find a routine that works for you, otherwise, you won't stick to it.
Why is fitness so important to you?
I've always been an active person—I grew up playing basketball. As I grew older, I was forced to learn that I had to work hard to maintain a level of fitness that I expected of myself. I'm also very hard on myself, so if I don't live up to my own expectations, whether aesthetically or in my abilities, I feel disappointed. Eventually, this also came with a dependence on fitness as an outlet for stress, so not only did inactivity affect my physical wellness, it affected my mental wellness as well.
How does bouncing from meetings to workouts affect your skincare and beauty routine? Do you have a regimen you swear by?
I try to schedule my workouts before or after meetings/events because I'm paranoid about leaving my makeup on too long after sweating and clogging my pores. I'm acne prone so if I deviate from this even once, I will break out immediately. Right now I am religious with removing my makeup after sweating—I reach for wipes when it's not time for my full nighttime routine so laziness is not an option. I'm also really obsessed with the Peter Thomas Roth Acne Serum and the Stratia Skin Liquid Gold moisturizer.
Was your upbringing in an athletic setting? How did you get introduced into sportswear and sneakers?
My dad was heavy into basketball and he and my mom influenced my style at an early age. They dressed me in sporty/unisex clothes so I carried that through to my adult years. As a child, I was super active so I always needed to be comfortable. Once I started playing basketball, I developed my own obsession with sneakers and all of this culminated into who I am and how I dress today.
With drops happening all the time, and the sneaker market growing. How do you differentiate what makes a sneaker coveted or rare to you?
It's tough to keep up with everything that drops and I certainly go through phases where I "need" everything, but it's just not possible or necessary to sustain that lifestyle. I love having a lot of sneakers but I get overwhelmed when I suddenly have no space for anything and then I'll go on a huge shopping ban and then repeat the cycle all over again. Typically I have a harder time resisting retros that I wanted but couldn't have growing up, and anything newer becomes a "must have" when it means something to me. I obviously get sucked into the hype at times but I try not to let that dictate what I think is cool or not cool. Everything I am now comes from being the unpopular choice, so I'm trying to base my decisions on aesthetic, innovation and whether or not it fits my brand. For example, a brand collab isn't an instant hit to me—it takes more than that.
What are some of your favorite sneakers?
The Air Force 1 and the Jordan 1 have become my favourite sneakers to wear—they're versatile and simple yet still say I know what I'm doing, especially when I wear 1s. The Chicago 1 became my favourite pair in recent years and I reach for them a lot. The Jordan 11 "Space Jam" always has a place in my heart because it was an incremental part of my childhood and my intro into the world of sneakers. I also love Air Max 180s, 93s, and 97s. Some of my newer favourites are the Nike Zoom Fly SP and the Yeezy 700 Wave Runner.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style has a heavy emphasis on functionality which I then try to keep as balanced as possible. For example, I often turn to sneakers because my primary method of transportation is walking and biking since I live in such a central area in Toronto. When I say balanced, I'm thinking oversized tees/hoodies with trousers, or menswear with feminine touches: Sometimes my lace bra will peek out, sometimes I'll throw a silk slip dress over vintage Levi's with a leather moto, and sometimes I'll pull up in basketball shorts and a crop top that I cut myself. I try not to dress too trendy and I don't shop a lot. I like finding vintage pieces to accent my existing wardrobe instead of re-inventing myself every time something new comes along. Oh, and I'll forever acknowledge the importance of a good tee—one of my favourite tees is a white Costco one that I stole from my brother.
Your online presence continues to be original, where do you find inspiration and creativity?
I'm always observing the types of things I gravitate towards and put my own flavour to it, whether it's male figures that I look up to, runway looks that I translate into something day-to-day, or past eras. I try to maintain my own style instead of jacking someone else's and running with it, and I take pride in seeing old photos of me 5, 10, 20 years ago and knowing I'm still the same at the core.
Can you tell us more about @thejump.co and what you are doing within this collective?
The Jump is a series that I developed with 10 creatives in Toronto that could offer differing perspectives towards sneaker culture and performance. I tried to tap into varying age groups and creative fields. We have a traditional "sneakerhead" who can provide the technical aspect, but we also have a barber, a DJ, a music producer, a photographer, a film producer, comedians, and more. It's really cool to see how this collection of people has grown together and I hope to grow even more with them in the future. For now, it's confined to Toronto for accessibility reasons but I'd love to expand someday.
How has Toronto played a part in your creative career?
I grew up in a suburb outside of Toronto called Mississauga before moving into the city around 5 years ago. I feel like it really made me once I became a part of the community. So many of the people I met in the industry have come through living here and couldn't have been replicated by commuting into the city for events. Being able to be present has allowed me the opportunity to meet everybody that I've met and it's immeasurable until you're really in it.
You’ve partnered with Jordan Brand and Nike on various projects throughout the years. What does it mean to you to be a creator?
I feel so fortunate to have worked with my favourite brands. To me, being a creator is being somebody who is willing to put themself out there and share their ideas with the world. I'm still working on this, to be honest. It takes a lot of courage to be a creator, to put your heart and soul into something and then stand behind it.
What makes Toronto’s creative community different than other cities?
Toronto's creative community is so small and therefore (mostly) collaborative. I haven't been to a ton of places but I don't get the same vibe in the cities that I have been to. We're so new in this space and I appreciate everybody's efforts to make a name for the city. I think that brands are also recognizing this and are more and more willing to tap into local creatives for work.
Do you have any exciting projects or collaborations this coming year and in 2019?
I have a couple! I can't speak on them yet but I have both brand and personal projects in the pipeline. Wait on it!
Lastly, I have to ask—are you excited for the upcoming NBA season? What’s your take on the DeRozan trade?
The DeRozan trade was truly heartbreaking but I also understand that this is a business. It just didn't have to happen the way that it did. I feel as excited about Kawhi in Toronto as he does :)