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Face to face with Valentin

Face to face with Valentin, Mr Sneakers Belgium 2024

Valentin, aged 33, is the new face of the fetish scene in Belgium, succeeding iconic figures such as Michael, Bono, and Orion as Mr. Sneakers Belgium. Originally from Paris, he has been living in Brussels for 11 years.

How did you prepare for a competition like this?

I honestly didn’t really prepare myself up to two weeks before the election. I was enjoying each moment of the candidacy making ourself known from the audience coming for the Election Day and the weekends either by visiting bars or events (Puppy & Handler election, Sportswear Social NL), or on the socials. I had an idea of my show that I only built the weekend before the D-Day with the great help of my friends. I watched videos of fetish show contests not only to deliver the message I wanted to express but also to have the wow effect to touch the audience. About the opening and presenting speech, five minutes before stepping on the stage it was not fully ready. I was still changing the order of the key points to be shared. Regarding the jury, I had the chance to discuss with some friends who were part of a jury in the past and who asked me questions to train how I should answer. Then it’s just personal reflections.

Everyone was able to notice an intense brotherhood between candidates. Did this come from the start?

It did! Really as soon as we were announced as candidates the five of us gathered and exchange on our life. It was the start of something great. I will always remember that day when we had to make the photoshoot for the election. We were at La Reserve, on a side the committee, on another us the candidates. We were laughing and enjoying together. David had to really impose himself to get our attention. During the Election Day at Stammbar, we were always together welcoming the public, gathering before going on stage! We meant a lot to each other and some great plans are up to be shared. 

Credit photo: Rodrigue (photoholic!)

When it's time to win, what do you think of when you hear your name?

Nothing! I looked at Christophe and Kriss on the stage, feeling the pain in my arm of my puppy friend (he was compressing my arm haha). And then, after Alexxa’s funny time, David announced my name. I just went on the stage. I couldn’t realize what was happening at that moment. I was hearing the public screaming, hearing my name, seeing my friend’s happiness and for some of them tears. To put some word on it, it’s like a roller coaster, jumping off a mountain, being high… the stress level going down did a lot into it. 

Barely two weeks after your election, you were already in Darklands. How was this first official performance?

I didn’t realize I had the title that I was already in Darklands! You let me jump in the deep sea. Gladly I was surrounded by my friends, the committee, my Belgian, European and Worldwide sash brothers. It was intense with some unforgettable moments such as the Sportswear game organized by Max. My best time was when I went on the stage for the election of my Leather brother and was holding in one hand our sneakers flag, in another our Puppy Belgium 2024 (being a proud handler myself). 

What awaits you in the coming weeks and months?

We had a meeting with the committee for the yearly schedule – when do I have time for myself? Haha joke! Between the #BEsneax socials, #BEsneax parties, the multiples prides, the European events I will attend, I also want to work on my project. 
I can already tell you I will be in Paris in may for the step down of my friend Nico and being part of the jury for Mr Sportswear France 2025. Of course I’ll be there for European election happening in Brussels this year! I can’t be more proud of it. Count on me to be part of this organization! 

Credit photo: Lucas Gentil

To conclude, tell us a little about your related to fetishism... 

The advantage of being Mr Sneakers, it opens a wild range of fetishism. Sneakers can be associated with many others. I consider myself as multi fetish. Being the sneakers ambassador allows me to live my fetish as I like: sportswear, rubber, leather, uniform (yes, in uniform you can find sneaker), or handler! It’s just outstanding. If I can say: Live your fetish, bringing on!

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