If you had to choose only one shoe from your collection, which would it be and why?
The shoe in my collection that means the most to me is the original release of the Nike Sb De La Soul Highs. Growing up, hip hop and skateboarding were a big part of my life. I used to go into my brother's room and go through his rap cds, that's when I was introduced to: Dr.Dre, SnoopDog, The Roots, and of course De La Soul. When I was in highschool, I started to skateboard and I always purchased Nike Sb High tops, because they reminded me of Jordan 1's; my favourite shoe growing up and maybe to this day. The De La's hold a special place in my heart, bringing me back to my childhood, thats for sure.
How’d you obtain it?
I missed the initial drop at GoodFoot when the shoe first released. I was into sneakers and loved visiting the store whenever I could, but was never able to afford the kicks I wanted. As the years went by, I hunted ebay for them, only to see the resale prices rise to $500-$600. I never ordered them, as I am always skeptical purchasing shoes online. Last year, I was able to get my hands on a couple pairs of Floral Janoski Sbs and I put a pair on Kijiji to see if anyone wanted to trade sizes, as they were to small on me. Someone replied saying he was willing to trade a pair of gently used Nike Sb De La souls for the Janoskis and I was very pleased with this trade after confirming the shoes were real and in good condition.
When and what made you get into sneaker collecting, sneaker culture?
I remember a good friend of mine always having a ton of Jordans when I was younger and he got me interested in shoes, but it wasn't until the Nike VC Shox came out that I became obsessed with basketball shoes. The technology at the time was insanely innovative and to me, they are still one of the craziest shoes ever made. The success of Vince Carter on the Raptors only increased the hype of the shoe for me, as I am born and raised in Toronto and grew up loving all sports. My heart might belong to the game of hockey, but there's something about classic Nikes and Jordans that bring back memories of the 90's for me. Not just from basketball, but from cultural and childhood influences. Fresh Prince was one of mine and am sure, many peoples' favourite shows, along with other pop culture influences, which played a major part in shaping how I dressed and what I believed to be "cool". Of course, Will was always rocking the latest Jordans or Nike heat as well.
How does your occupation/lifestyle influence what sneakers you choose to wear?
Right now, I am finishing up a marketing program in school and constantly working on my photography. This gives me the opportunity to really dress and behave how I want to. I do not believe I have a style that can define me but rather I dress how I feel 99% of the time. I am probably wearing a pair of shoes made by nike though.
If you could collaborate with any brand, which and what model would you choose?
Nike is the obvious go to for me for many reasons. The innovative technologies they have been able to develop over the years are remarkable. Air Max bubbles, Shox, FlyKnit, just to list some of the innovations and not to sound like a sales rep, but these products truly represent an innovative company. My collab would probably go along the lines of a Jordan One done in FlyKnit...you'd cop.
What’s one sneaker (grail) that you’ve failed to track down so far and are still looking for?
Not to sound cliche, but Bred 1's. The classic silhouette on the Jordan 1 High is in my opinion the most classic simple Nike/Jordan ever made. Out of all the shoes I own, I would give them all up to have a line up of only fresh 1's to wear for the rest of my life.
Any memorable sneakers from your childhood?
PF flyers, the fastest shoe a kid can own. If you don't agree with that reference, I'm not sure we could be friends. Just kidding, but not really. I still own a pair that I wear to this day.
Any sneakers you remember not being able to afford when you were younger?
I mentioned them before, but the Nike Vc Shox. I think I was in grade 6 or 7 when they came out and I begged my parents to get them for me. I am very blessed and was maybe a little spoiled, because eventually they gave in. I remember the shoes came close to $300, which was extremely expensive at the time for a pair of shoes (it still is, but times have changed). I wore them to school for one day and told my parents they hurt my feet so that they would return them. They didn't actually hurt my feet, I just didn't feel right walking around in such expensive shoes at such a young age. I knew if I told my parents that, they would just say keep them, so I told a white lie so they would return them. I wish Nike would retro those.
What's your most recent pickup?
Nike De La Soul Highs in white. The original drop was a major influence in my sneaker addiction and having the white hightop is only fitting. I am also looking forward to the original colourway to drop in lows. I guess I will have to source the original white lows now. Defiantly an addiction.