VMLY&R Lazy Sneakers. Your shoes have their name on them.

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Erik Hay, Kim Pick (ECD)
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Erik Hay (Art Director, Writer), Lou de Groen (Head of Content Production), Laina Cheung (Producer)
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Steve Boniface (Photographer), Andy Salisbury (Retouching), Mia Vinaccia (Stylist)
  • Client
    Maia Mariner


In Aotearoa New Zealand, thousands of pairs of top quality sports shoes lay around, spare and unused, not living up to their potential. Yet, thousands of young New Zealanders with incredible potential - in sports, dance and life - are unable to participate because they don’t have the right shoes, or any shoes all*.

(*According to the Child Poverty Monitor, 2020, over a quarter of a million New Zealand youth go without basic essentials because the costs don’t fit into their families stretched budgets – and items such as shoes are often out of reach.)

The aim of charity Lazy Sneakers is to match these shoes with these kids.

The idea was developed by 12-year-old Maia Mariner in 2017, when she noticed her peers couldn’t participate in sport because they didn’t have the right footwear. So she created a movement to collect ‘lazy’ or unused sneakers and redistribute them for free to the student athletes, children and families who needed them, so young people could play, participate and reach their potential.

In 2022, Lazy Sneakers wanted to create more awareness and attract donations of quality top brand sneakers which create a great sense of pride and self-worth with recipients. And if we happened to catch the attention of sports shoe companies to encourage donations of brand new sneakers to the cause, that would be a bonus.


With limited budget, cut through mattered. So we took to the streets with a series of posters that co-opted the logos of the world’s top brand sneakers and matched them to their worthy recipients.

Shot on film and carefully styled, at first glance, it might look like a fashion or sport shoe poster – we wanted to grab the attention of sneaker lovers. But on inspection, you would see these are local kids, on the local streets, wearing thrifted gear and top quality sneakers donated via Lazy Sneakers. Copy directed people online to lazysneakers.co.nz where they could find out more, and how to donate good kicks to good kids.


The street poster campaign ran in three high profile sites (with daily foot traffic of over 20,000) in Wellington, in April 2022. As fast as the posters could be put up, they were photographed, shared and “collected” by sneaker lovers (an astonished Phantom Billstickers publicly congratulated “Mike and Becks” for their dedication in carefully detaching the notoriously hard-to-remove street posters). And shoe donations poured in. Since the campaign ran, in May and June alone, more than 750 pairs of top brand sports shoes have been donated, with a retail value of over NZ$100,000. These have included sizeable donations of brand new shoes from top sports shoe companies such as Puma, Under Armour and New Balance.