Tell us about the one pair of sneakers you couldn't live without?
I will have to say that my love for the ZX 8000 style is pretty strong. I have one colorway in particular that is really special to me, because it was the first runner ever to really catch my eye. They're not a collab or special release, but have such a strong statement and colorway!
How did you come across them?
They had been chilling in the Originals section of the outlet store I was working at. I kept looking at them everyday, asking myself if I would have the guts to one day cop and wear them! The shape was so unique and the colors were flashy. I had a hard time picturing myself wearing running shoes.
What led you to sneaker collecting?
Definitely when I was introduced to hip hop culture when I was in high school. At the time I didn't own any brand name sneakers, I was only rocking what I found fresh and/or what Mom had found for me. When I started break dancing back in 2005, I noticed all the bboys around me had "breaking" shoes... Cortez, K-Swiss, Superstars, etc... So I told my Mom that I needed breaking shoes! Of course, Mom was as educated as I was about sneakers at the time, so we went to Wal-Mart and got a pair of crispy all white Sugi skate shoes. When I got to practice next Monday, all the bboys started making fun of my Wal-Mart shoes. Since that day I was always learning about "dressing fresh", like how to match kicks with my outfit, etc... One day I saw an ad in the newspaper, Sports Experts (a Québec based sports boutique), who had a deal on classic Puma Suedes (bboy classic shoes for sure!) They had four colors on sale for 50$ each! I said, you know what, let me buy all of them. After that, I was always hunting for shoes in all colours to match all of my track tops and foam caps!
How did you end up collecting and working at Adidas?
Back home, a friend of mine was working in an Adidas outlet store outside of Montreal. In school, he would bring me samples and give me stuff. He said he would refer me if I wanted to apply to be a sales associate. I was already in retail, so I said let's do it! I dropped off my resume on three occasions and finally got called back on the third! My career in Adidas started then, in 2010. From winning free shoes from sales competitions, to getting cheap samples, I would buy every single Originals shoe in the store. Slowly, I built a large collection of kicks at home, consisting of shoes I found to be fresh and funky. Nowadays, I feel pretty stupid since I'm more into runners. Looking back, I remember seeing OG 7000s and some dope Star Wars ZXs back then and not even thinking once of copping them, SMH!
Fast forward a few years and my collection is now made up of mostly Adidas runners. The ZX range is so big, there is always something beautiful coming; innovative patterns or materials. I've recently made it to the store manager position and I'm loving my job! Everyday I learn something new about the brand and our products. In Canada, the Adidas game is not as strong as it is in Europe. I am always glad to meet or hear about crazy collectors like Shari or my man Paul in Vancouver. Adidas is like this underground, but International world, where only the real recognize the real. I wish one day to be able to have my say in product designs and help the brand grow. I will always rock my Adidas shoes, because I love them!
If given the chance to collaborate on one sneaker design, which brand and model would you choose? What would the finished product look like?
The ZX 8000 for sure. Forest green suede with different textures and interesting details. I am a fan of gum soles (not often seen on runners I find) and suede. My roots are native and I have this thing about being close to the forest, but unfortunately I can't often be. I would like my shoes to represent the peace of mind of the forest, not too flashy or corny. Pine tree green with brown leather accents perhaps? And a light grey sole with gum underneath.
Tell us about the most memorable sneakers from your childhood.
My boy Max, in my (bboy) crew now, was always rocking white Cortez' with a green Nike swoosh during practices back in the day. We have 6 years between us, so when I was a kid and started dancing, he wouldn't pay much attention to me. I always remember thinking he looked so fresh. We became friends with time and many years later, we were at his place looking through his shoe collection and we found his old pair of beaten up Cortez'. That brought back some nostalgia.
Were there any sneakers you couldn't afford growing up?
Not that I can remember. I will say though, that I wanted Superstars, but had to find a cheaper replica with 4 stripes and I couldn't care less. They were half the price and I didn't feel like I had to go for the real ones. Things like that will never happen again now though.
What is your biggest sneaker pet peeve?
A sneaker friend of mine, Ced, always posted on his personal instagram pics of his kicks and would always hashtag #loveoverhype. I later realized the meaning and honestly, I don't like people's collections that are completely built around hype. Something cooler is always coming. Just wear and rock what you like, price does not matter. Just because it's expensive doesn't means that it's dope. Just because you see some hype stuff on your favorite rap artist, does not mean it is cool. Ultra boosts are dope, yes, but just wait for 2016, 2017, 2018... Honestly, just wear what you really love.
Tell us about your most recent pickup.
ZX Flux Italia Independent. I was not a fan at all of their first Consortium collab, but they came back with a general release for a super decent entry price and some crazy details on them. Lace lock and tip, fabric, the insole, everything is dope about this shoe! And petrol blue is a dope color! Well done!
What pair of sneakers continues to elude you?
Definitely looking to complete my OG series of X000's with the OG 9000/7000/5000s. One day.