Tell us about the one pair of sneakers you couldn't live without?
Air Jordan 1 Fragments. You can call it hype but that's not the reason as to why it's the sneaker I couldn't without. It was the first time I earned sneakers through a job and sheer effort. No lineup, no payment.
How did you come across them?
My friend and old boss Mario whom I use to film videos with was approached by his friend to film his wedding video for him. Mario normally declined weddings, but the catch was us having full creative direction on the video. That said, we accepted the job and ran with it, keeping the day as candid as possible. Now, Mario's friend also happened to be Gemo Wong, Design Director Energy Products of Brand Jordan. Gemo was so stoked on what we were able to produce that he asked for all of our shoe sizes and the rest is history. You can find the video here.
What led you to sneaker collecting?
My older brother was my gateway to the culture, solely from his hand me downs. But, what really sparked my interest in sneaker collecting was during my first job at Footlocker. Considering there were commission incentives, it just made sense to know the product knowledge. You simply weren't going to make much money if you didn't do your homework and know the story behind that colourway or the technology within that air bubble. From there, my curiosity got the best of me, seeing it from afar wasn't enough, I had to try them on - I had to own it.
If given the chance to collaborate on one sneaker design, which brand and model would you choose? What would the finished product look like?
If I had to collaborate on one sneaker design, it would have to be the Nike Innevas. I love everything about the shoe except for the sole. The 3.0 free sole just doesn't cut it for long periods of standing or just running. I would probably switch the sole with a Phylite foam - it's like walking on pillows. And if there were no limits then I would make it durable enough to use in a marathon.
Tell us about the most memorable sneakers from your childhood.
It was the day after Halloween and I had just come home from work to find my favourite pair of sneakers, Jordan 1 Breds, outside on the porch... trashed. My brother and I share the same shoe size so I immediately knew he borrowed them. I had just got into sneaker collecting around this time so I was making sure that all my footwear was kept in pristine condition to either rock myself with confidence or resell if the opportunity came... so I was pretty fumed. Considering Jason Markks didn't exist back then, I decided to leave the shoes, a toothbrush, soap, and a note saying, "Clean my shit", in front of his bedroom door. We ended up fighting over this, bickering like little school girls and ended up not talking to each other for a solid four months... pretty embarrassing. I still have these shoes today and they are my go to beaters that I'll never throw away even when they become unwearable, just due to their sentimental value.
Were there any sneakers you couldn't afford growing up?
I got into the sneaker game in my late teens. Prior to that, I was happy with any pair that was comfortable on my feet and had a swoosh on it. However, once I started collecting, there were so many shoes that I couldn't obtain and it was due to the fact that the shoes that I gravitated towards released already. So I would be back tracking at all these shoes that caught my eye with a double or triple re-sell price tag attached to them. The specific sneakers that I really wanted were the old love and new love Jordan 1 pack.... they were and still are butter.
What is your biggest sneaker pet peeve?
Fakes, I guess? Especially when people front it's real. I strongly dislike fake people and product.
Tell us about your most recent pickup.
Most recent pick up were the Nike Flyknit Chukka FSBs. I was at a Nike outlet in Washington and with outlets, it's either hit or miss. Having to rummage through a random assortment of shoes in your size can definitely test one's patience, but when you find a pair that you weren't necessarily looking for, but know you'll have good use for, it's incredibly rewarding. Why did I need them? I was moving to Toronto in two months and I didn't have anything close to proper winter attire or footwear. It just made perfect sense.
What pair of sneakers continues to elude you?
Nike Mayfly's. You can't really go wrong with them. They're comfortable, light, breathable, and aesthetically pleasing.