If you had to choose only one shoe from your collection, which would it be and why?
Air Force 1 Ueno. Favourite shoe of all time. It was around late 2006, I can't remember the exact date, but I was watching 106 and Park and I saw that a new video was dropping from Fat Joe called Make it Rain and in the video, there were a lot of nice sneakers that he was wearing; Jordan 6 DMP, Jordan 3 Fire Red, White Air Forces, but around the 1:45 mark in the video, there was one shoe that caught my eye and it was a pair of Air Forces that I had never seen in my life. It had a flower print and a bit of pink in it- I instantly fell in love. I did not know what they were called or where to get 'em. All I knew was that it was the most amazing pair of shoes I had ever seen in my life. After that I watched 106 and Park often just to see the flower print shoes. This happened all before I was even into sneakers, so I didn't know where to start looking for this shoe, or what to even search for. All I knew was that it was an Air Force 1 and I really wanted to have them one day.
How’d you obtain it?
I did some research and found out that the Air Force 1s I was looking for was called Air Force 1 Sakura Ueno and it released as a Japan Exclusive in 2005 as a Super Limited Tier Zero release. At that point, I pretty much gave up hope on them because they were extremely limited and as such, the price for the shoe was insanely high and I didn't think that I would ever come across them. Also, around this time is when I started shopping at a sneaker boutique called Goodfoot because that's where all the kids at my highschool were going for their sneakers. As I began to shop frequently at Goodfoot, I started to meet new people and other sneaker connoisseurs. A few years later, I found out that one of the frequent shoppers at Goodfoot had a pair of Sakura Uenos. I never thought that I'd come across this shoe and when I found out that this person had them, I couldn't believe it. He was also willing to sell them to me. I didn't care about the price, so I started saving money like crazy. Fast forward a few months and I had saved enough money to buy 'em. I finally got my 'holy grail'.
When and what made you get into sneaker collecting?
Around 2007 I started visiting sneaker related forums and websites more often. Also, most kids at my highschool were wearing the coolest limited edition sneakers that you couldn't get at Footlocker or at the mall. Instead they were buying their shoes from boutiques. These all got me really interested in sneakers and sneaker culture.
How does your occupation/lifestyle influence what sneakers you choose to wear?
I work at a sneaker boutique so I'm constantly exposed to all kinds of sneakers. It makes me want to downplay what I wear and just stick with classics. At this point I just wear whatever I like regardless of brand, value, or how limited they are.
If you could collaborate with any brand, which and what model would you choose?
Nike Air Force 1. I want to bring back patent leather. White on white. White mid sole, white outsole with the entire upper patent. One of my favourite airforces back in the day were the slam jam's, so I'd like to do something like that.
What’s one sneaker that you’ve failed to track down so far and are still looking for?
I used to have a hit list pulls out phone Air Force 1, 40/40 club. It was Jay Z's club that he owned. Originially they were only given away to members, but I could never track down my size since they were so exclusive. I have a whole Rockefeller/Jay Z collection. I'm still missing the Blueprint Af1's as well.
Any memorable sneakers from your childhood?
Air Force 1 Low Denim Swoosh. They were the first pair of Nikes I ever got as a kid. I needed a new pair of shoes for back to school in grade 4/5. My parents gave my sister some money to buy a new pair and when I showed up to school, my friends were saying things like, "wow, my older siblings wear these!" I think after that I realzied how cool sneakers could be.
Any sneakers you remember not being able to afford when you were younger?
The Air Jordan Melo 1.5 came out when I was in middle school and I think retail was almost $200. Melo was one of the hottest players at the time and his shoes were extremely popular, but they were way too expensive. I didn't even bother asking my parents, because I already knew the answer.
Any shoes you regret picking up?
Too many to list...Nike SB Gibsons. It has brown leather and pink fur on the inside of the shoe to look like a guitar case. At the time, I was just trying to collect every SB that was coming out. I was trying to match them to an outfit, but they're near impossible to pull off.
What's your most recent pickup?
Air trainer 3 in the white/gum buttoms. I wanted something white for the summer. I was looking for something a bit different, not airforces or huaraches. It was low key.