Tell us about the one pair of sneakers you couldn't live without?
It would be the black Riccardo Tisci x Nike Air Force 1 High. The Air Force 1 is my favourite shoe of all time, so I was very excited to see what Riccardo Tisci was going to do with the model once news broke about the collaboration. Needless to say, I was very impressed with all three models and I went on to purchase two different models in two different colourways.
How did you come across them?
I kept seeing teasers on Instagram, Twitter, Hypebeast, etc. and followed the news and information very closely. I wasn't able to purchase any of the white pairs due to some things coming up during the day of the release. I initially passed on the black pairs and held out to get the tan mid's. A few months later, I was searching for the black lows and mid's when I caught word that the high's had dropped at a few outlets. I reached out to a few people and a buddy was able to grab them from his outlet for below retail. I was skeptical about the height of the shoe at first, but after receiving them and seeing them in person, those doubts changed immediately.
What led you to sneaker collecting?
In elementary school, I always got to pick out a new pair of shoes for the upcoming school year. In 5th grade, there was a pair of Jordan's that I wanted that I wasn't able to get, due to the price. After seeing my friends get the shoes they wanted and not me, I started to notice sneakers more. Throughout middle school, I would save up what little money I could from birthdays and holidays and would buy new shoes when I could. Things started to progress when I entered high school and I was able to do other miscellaneous things for money. I bought an all white pair of Air Force 1's and that's when things progressed fast. I was buying a new pair of shoes roughly every 6-8 weeks, all air force 1's, with all of the money I was able to earn going directly towards this new hobby.
If given the chance to collaborate on one sneaker design, which brand and model would you choose? What would the finished product look like?
It would definitely be an Air Force 1. The design would either be a single colour or would have very limited use of multiple colours. Rich leathers would be used, but most of the design elements would come from the construction of the shoe. Similar to how Riccardo Tisci, Acronymn and a few others in recent years have done extraordinary things to the Air Force 1 by altering the shape, my collaboration would have an interesting element that would alter the overall shape of the shoe.
Tell us about the most memorable sneakers from your childhood.
My most memorable sneakers would be those all white Air Force 1's that I bought when I was a freshman in high school. Those shoes were with me through so many things. Between wearing them to homecoming, playing basketball in them after school, people purposefully stepping on them because they were "too white" and countless other things, they took a beating. Even though they are completely thrashed and have holes in the sole, I still have them to this day.
Were there any sneakers you couldn't afford growing up?
When I was in middle school I really wanted the White/Navy LeBron II for the upcoming basketball season. For whatever reason I loved the shoe, and The LeBron II is my favorite LeBron model to this day. It matched my school colours perfectly, but my parents were not willing to spend that much on me, due to the fact that I was still growing and that they would be destroyed throughout the basketball season. I had to settle for a pair of Dada Cdubbz instead.
What is your biggest sneaker pet peeve?
The idea of sneakers being a status symbol. When people think that having a specific shoe will "make them cooler" or something along those lines really annoys me. I think people need to be comfortable with their own style and wear things that compliment it. There are many instances where I have seen someone wear a basic shoe, such as a Vans Sk8-Hi or an Adidas Stan Smith, and it flows better and works very well with their style, as compared to someone who is wearing the latest Yeezy model that doesn't go well with what they are wearing whatsoever.
Tell us about your most recent pickup.
My most recent pickup is the Nike x Riccardo Tisci Dunk Hi Lux. The extended height of the RT x AF1 became one of my favourite elements of the shoe, so I was instantly drawn to these. The use of premium materials, the super exaggerated height and the very bold swoosh all add up to make a very interesting shoe that looks wonderful on foot.
What pair of sneakers continues to elude you?
The gold liquid metal air force 1 high. As gaudy as it is, I have loved that shoe from the minute I saw it. I need a 7 or 7.5 in them due to how large they run so finding that size, for a fair price, is next to impossible.