Tell us about the one pair of sneakers you couldn't live without?
The Tiffany Dunk Lows are probably in my top 5 favourite sneakers ever. When they came out over ten years ago, I had been collecting sneakers for some time, but really had to hustle for every pair as I was working for minimum wage at a pharmacy in my neighbourhood. Because of skateboarding, I felt like I had this connection to Nike SB. When you're a skateboarder, other skaters only want you to wear skate shoes. So I had always gotten shit for Jordans, runners, etc. But these were the exception to the rule. The quality, the shine on them, the croc skin combined with the Tiffany blue and metallic swoosh. It instantly became a colourway that would not only catch everyone's eye but become a huge part of me and my collection.
How did you come across them?
I ended up having multiple pairs of this shoe. I think at one point I had 6-8 pairs. The first and most important pair, I ended up getting off of a kid in high school. He was your typical Brooklyn kid, trying to live a flashy lifestyle. I remember he had these dunks, but he didn't know anything about sneakers, he just bought them because he could. After a few weeks, I remember continuously low balling him and prayed he didn't know what exactly he had. He finally bit, I cleaned them up to pristine condition and still laugh about it till this day. Oh the days when you could cop something for retail weeks after.
What led you to sneaker collecting?
My older brother always had the best sneakers. My mom always wanted us to have matching kicks when I was young and he always looked out to make sure that happened. My first memory was in kindergarten. I was lined up in the hallway with my classmates and a 5th grader walked by and I just remember she was screaming "Oh damnnnnnnnnn shorty got the Griffeys on!!". Pretty sure at the moment I was like oh so this is what happens when you have dope shoes on. And then I probably started taking it a little more serious in junior high where I would get sneakers and clean them every day and hold on to them. Even if I grew out of them, I liked the way it felt and looked to have quite a few pairs. I started becoming super obsessive over my possessions at a young age.
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 could I would definitely choose the Jordan 1. At age 27, I don't think there is a sneaker that looks better in all settings than the 1. Dressed up or down, this is the shoe that holds its own anywhere. I'm a huge fan of premium leather and high quality suede. I would definitely use a combination of those materials, maybe even switch up the insole if possible to make them as comfortable as the Nike SB X Jordan 1 that released a few years ago. What I love about leather is how it softens over time, fades and wears well in the rain. Game over right there.
Tell us about the most memorable sneakers from your childhood.
Again, it would have to be that first Griffey that ever came out. I had them until Hurricane Sandy swept them away from me 4 years ago. But the colors, the strap, the look, the air bubble. The fact that Nike marketed it to make you actually feel like Griffey when wearing them. Unbelievable.
Were there any sneakers you couldn't afford growing up?
When I grew out of kids sizes and sneaker prices shot over 100 bucks, I remember my parents giving me shit for the shoes I wanted. I wore skate shoes for quite a few years, so they got used to the 60-70 dollar price point. I finally got my mom to splurge on a pair of the white carina blue patent leather dunks from Footaction in 2000-2001. In those years, I remember having one shoe last quite a while, because it was rare for me to get something I wanted that I could hold onto or talk about. I started working at my father's electrical company in the next year to be able to afford what I wanted.
What is your biggest sneaker pet peeve?
Oh God, quality control for sure. I remember so many releases, Jordan in particular. In the last few years, every Saturday I would go to my spot to pick them up. I'd grab them and run out to avoid any problems and get home. I'd open the box and find some type of glue stain, cardboard feeling leather, paint cracks or chips. My heart would take a hit every single time, because not only the money but the energy that went into getting them. That was a huge bummer and still is. I never understood why each shoe could vary so much from release to release.
Limited releases have to be another, the community and "sneaker game" is so big right now it's obnoxious. You have kids who three years ago didn't know a thing about this game, who now line up and cop multiple pairs. Or bring their whole family to stand in line with them to cash in. I don't knock the hustle, but I miss the days where the sneaker game felt more like an underground group. If you noticed someone in a pair of Unkle Dunks on the street, you immediately had a connection to go and chat with them. Those days are long gone.
Tell us about your most recent pickup.
My most recent pick up was the Adidas NMD PK in Glitch Black. This was a pretty rare shoe when released. I didn't care much for it because of the hype, but was always curious about how comfortable they really were. I wanted them, but wouldn't go the extra mile for them or use a favour. I was at a good friend's house and we were talking about this model in particular. I ended up buying a pair from him. That same night I also picked up a pair of Fire Red 3s and multicolour flyknit racers the day before, haha.
What pair of sneakers continues to elude you?
There are a few to name. The two that come to mind are the Asics Gel Lyte iii Salmon Toe and Super Greens. I could have got the Salmon Toe years ago for 300 bucks. I passed because 300 dollars for Asics seemed crazy. Fast forward that pair now goes for 1K! Onto the Super Greens, I tried everything in my power this last week to obtain a pair. No dice. Resell values are through the roof, and again, the worst kids ever getting them and making it impossible for the rest of us. It's not looking too good for me here!