Tell me about the one pair of shoes from your collection you could not live without
This is a tough one, but I'd have to go with the adidas ZX 8000 in the original aqua colour scheme. To me, this shoe embodies everything; form, function and fashion. I'd probably be buried in them. The ZX 8000 is the first adidas shoe to introduce the Torsion technology. I won't geek out over the details, but, in a nutshell, the Torsion sole system was "designed specifically to support the midfoot and allow a refined heel-to-toe stride." The Torsion system is still used today in modern running, basketball and tennis silhouettes.
How did you obtain them?
I have almost every issue of this shoe, except the very first one (sigh). I bought a few pairs of the 2004 issue from a local outlet store for a ridiculously cheap price. The 1998 issue was brokered by Quote from Germany. All the other pairs are from (online) stores. I still need the original 1989 version. HELP!
What were some influences that led you to collect sneakers?
Sneakers have always been a part of my life. They have been part of almost every subculture that has happened over the last 35 years; from the mods to the football casuals to hip hop. I got into adidas in the mid 1990s when I lived in England. Before that, I would wear whatever I could afford or my parents bought for me. I am a bit of an 'Anglophile', so I have a real connection with the UK and its subcultures. adidas has been a favourite amongst British football fans for some time. Fans would 'acquire' adidas shoes (and other designer sports gear) while travelling on away trips to European destinations. As I’ve come to learn, it was the Liverpool fans in the late 1970s and early 1980s who set this trend. It was all about one-upmanship back then (as it still is), but unless you were on these European trips then you just wouldn't have the latest sneakers. Designer clothing was just as important though. I’m talking about brands like Cerruti, Ciao, Ellesse, Fila, Lyle & Scott, Pringle, Marco Polo, Stone Island, Barbour, Benetton, Burberry, Pop84, Georgio Armani, some of which continue to be popular. Over the past few years, I’ve met loads of adidas collectors and enthusiasts from every corner of the world. I must do 2 to 3 trades a month with friends in the UK. Not sure how many parcels of shoes have crossed the Atlantic during the past decade or so, but I'm sure we’ve kept the postal service and courier companies pretty busy. I started to collect in a meaningful way around 2003, when I was finally able to afford it. Most of the shoes in my collection are reissues from the adidas back catalogue (70s, 80s, and early 90s); you'll find mostly low cut suede 'training' shoes, and 80s/90s runners, rather than basketball silhouettes.
Walk us through your ideal collaboration
I would rather see adidas reissue models from its 70s, 80s, and 90s catalogues, in original colours and quality materials.
Are there any sneakers that stick out in your mind from your childhood?
Adidas Gazelle, Samba, Stan Smith, Superstar, British Knights, Nike Trainer SC, Jordan 4.
Was there a pair of sneakers you remember growing up that you were not able to afford?
I got them if I really wanted them. When I was growing up, you didn't have to worry about line ups and resellers, it was a matter of whether you had enough pocket money.
What's your most recent pickup?
Adidas Boston Super x NBHD 'Shark'.
What’s one grail that continues to elude you?
1989 adidas ZX 8000 Aqua. I may stop the whole collecting game if I manage to find a pair in my size in DS condition.