Tell us about the one pair of sneakers you couldn't live without?
The Adidas Palace Pro - It's my go-to pair of shoes. I can comfortably walk around all day in them, go to class, go to work, as well as skate around without having to worry about changing shoes. I've worn them just about every single day since buying them, they literally go with anything I wear.
How did you come across them?
I first saw them when Palace teased the new collaboration with Adidas in late 2015 and was instantly intrigued, Palace continues to kill everything they do with Adidas. The funny thing is I didn't actually buy them during the initial release because I told myself I didn't need yet another pair of shoes, but ended up grabbing them under retail from Europe during the holidays. Since then I've bought a second pair for when this pair gives out, as well as the ‘Pumpkin’ colourway.
What led you to sneaker collecting?
In middle and high school I became obsessed with Nike SB shoes. The Nike SB Zoom Tre is one of my favourite shoes of all time and I remember that shoe came in so many different colourways that I started to pay attention whenever a new one came out. Later on in high school, I became obsessed with Kobe's shoes. I would keep up with every single new colourway, but it wasn't until the Kobe V and VI when I could finally afford to buy them often. From there, my style and taste in shoes shifted from basketball shoes to more casual shoes like Jordans and runners. Since then, it's changed again to random high-end designer shoes and skate shoes. Nowadays, I just buy shoes I like to wear. None of my shoes sit in their boxes or stay pristine anymore. I beat up all of them; to me a well-worn shoe looks way better than a brand new shoe.
If given the chance to collaborate on one sneaker design, which brand and model would you choose? What would the finished product look like?
This is a very hard question to answer, but on the spot, I'd have to say the Nike All Court. As a designer, I get obsessed with the little details and storytelling behind things. I would use recycled military canvas for the upper, in olive green. The entire upper would be tonal olive canvas, with an off-white sole and rubber toe cap. The heel tab and tongue would both include some sort of military-inspired graphic, something from the Vietnam War. There are a lot of cool Snoopy/Red Baron graphics from that time period I’m into. If I could, I would make both a low and mid, the lows would be a tonal off-white canvas, going along the same material and graphic storyline.
Tell us about the most memorable sneakers from your childhood.
I always loved bright-coloured shoes. I remember my shoes would never match the clothes I was wearing, but I didn't have a care in the world about that back then. However, I remember my first pair of Jordans being a pair of ‘Powder Blue’ X's specifically to match my flag football team colours. I got them in Chicago and remember wearing them the following weekend in my games. My parents have old pictures of me playing in them, they got destroyed quick.
Were there any sneakers you couldn't afford growing up?
The most memorable was the Adidas T-Mac 3, both the red and blue patent leather pairs he wore in the All Star Game. I wanted them so badly, but my parents wouldn't buy them for me. All my friends had them and would switch one shoe with each other so they could wear one red and one blue. I was so jealous.
What is your biggest sneaker pet peeve?
Laces that aren't the same colour as the tongue of the shoe. I absolutely hate that. Aesthetically it's terrible, aside from a handful of cases. Same with speckled midsoles, they're awful. Also, people that try to keep their shoes looking perfectly new. Just wear them, let them crease, let them age, who cares?
Tell us about your most recent pickup.
A second pair of black Adidas Palace Pros, because one pair wasn't enough and I was able to still find them for retail. I knew if I didn't double up soon, that they'd be gone forever at that price. Once my first pair falls apart, I'll pull this pair out. Also, after writing most of this, my nostalgia kicked in and I went on eBay and impulse-bought a pair of Nike SB Zoom Tre’s from 2006.
What pair of sneakers continues to elude you?
I honestly can't say there is a single shoe that eludes me right now. I'm not really into them as much as I used to be, I’m content with everything I have. However, there are a bunch of old Visvims and Supreme collabs I’d love to own someday.