Dogs We Dig #10: Thom Bonilla
Recently we spent a sunny afternoon with Thom of DopeKoto, Australia’s own Hypebeast. Just under two years old, DopeKoto is a formidable powerhouse of niche content, filling a hole in the Australian market that has existed for a long time. Showcasing kicks, threads, cars and hip hop with an emphasis on Australia, its aim is to close the gap between streetwear and street culture. It was founded in mid-2015 by Kenny Ng, and has taken huge strides in the short time since. Churning out high-quality content are their multidisciplinary team of six, spread across Melbourne and Brisbane.
Thom is a photographer, writer and editor with one hell of a shoe fetish. He’s one of those dusty guys you see in the city with a camping chair, waiting two whole days in line for Yeezys. He’s been on board with DK since early 2016 when he was asked to shoot some kicks. Struck by Thom’s shoe gluttony, Kenny interviewed him for the first edition of Sneakerhead Talks, Q&As with Dudes Who Love Shoes Too Much. Thom stuck around, and has since carried on the instalments with other solemates (notably our mate Adam of Concrete Jungle).
Thom’s ultimate Sneakerhead interviewee? The legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, responsible for (amongst so much else) the Air Jordan 3 through 15. Failing that, Jeff Ng, founder of the street-meets-chic brand Staple, would do. We somehow got onto the topic of scented sneaker soles. If Thom was in charge of the olfactory manipulation of a shoe, “It’d smell like craft beer. Or VB.” You know, either/or.
For Thom, the shoes that sparked the fire were a collaboration between Sneaker Freaker and Saucony - a dank purple pair of buds termed the Kushwhackers. Sticky. These were apparently so irresistible, he bought another pair for his girlfriend (aw), though he’s disappointingly vehement that they never wear them together (not aw).
Thom is freshly returned from a trip to Japan and an exposure to their effortless steeze and endless weirdness. He describes the concept stores of Supreme, Undefeated and Kicks Lab in Harajuku as fkn mind-blowing. But his favourite city in the world will forever remain his hometown, Melbourne. “It’s got everything. Why would you want to leave?” Well said, pal; we’re with you.
Who are you?
I'm Thom. Teacher by day, amateur photographer @rawthomato & content creator for DopeKoto by night.
What are you into?
Sneakers, camping trips, vinyls and photography.
What's your quest?
To be an awesome teacher and inspire young minds. I want to travel and photograph the world and work with like-minded individuals.
What's around the corner?
Bridge the gap between street culture in Australia with creative content on DopeKoto. Another camping trip and hopefully a new lens.
What do you wish would fuck off forever?