Happy Father's Day. Today we have a special #MeetTheCollector for all the dads.
WHAT INITIALLY STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR COLLECTING/SNEAKERS?
The Air Jordan 1 started my love for sneakers. I grew up in Sierra Leone (West Africa) and had no idea who Michael Jordan was, but in 1987 or '88, I watched a movie called Police Academy 4, and there was a scene in which these kids were skateboarding, and they all had on what I found out later were Jordan 1's. I was drawn to that shoe, and when I moved to America (Baltimore) in 1990, I bought my first pair of 1985 Chicago Jordan 1's from Sears.
WHEN PURCHASING A PAIR, FOR YOURSELF - WHAT ARE THE MAIN ATTRIBUTES THAT LET YOU KNOW IT'S AN INSTANT COP OR MUST HAVE?
A lot of different things make me decide if I need a sneaker in my life. Everything from the history of the model, to the nostalgia of wearing the same sneaker I owned as a kid, to new colors I think are dope. Sometimes having a shoe in kids sizes can also be the deciding factor.
WHAT'S IN YOUR CURRENT ROTATION? WHAT'S IN THE GIRL'S CURRENT ROTATION?
I have been Air Force 1's heavy so far for June. The Rocafella Air Force 1's from 2017 are currently my favorite white-on-whites, I have been wearing those fairly often, and the black Off-White Air Forces with the White swoosh are also in my rotation.
My 9 year old Sophia says her favorite sneakers are Air Force 1's, which is evident in what she chooses to wear every day. Snakeskin Air Force 1's from 1996, Blue Jewel Air Force 1's from '97, which were brand new 2 months ago, and today they look like they been through a lot, a dirty pair of white-on-white Air Forces, Stüssy huaraches, and for skateboarding, she wears checkerboard slip on Vans.
My 5-year-old has been wearing some of the older stuff I had in the stash for her. A pair of Air Wintralias from 1998, Air Turmoils from 1995, Reebok G-Unit's from 2003-ish, and most recently the Iowa dunks that retro-ed. Those look nice in kid's sizes.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO PASSING DOWN THE SNEAKER LEGACY TO YOUR CHILDREN?
In all honesty, it is not essential to me at all. I know that might not be the answer you are looking for, but I try not to make it seem that sneakers are essential and a part of their life. I would rather they focus on being amazing, well-rounded humans and doing extremely well in school. At some point in their growth, clothes, fashion, and sneakers might become important to them, but I prefer that time is not right now. So while they have many sneakers, my wife and I do not make a big deal about it. They are allowed to go out and play in vintage sneakers from the '90s and get them dirty. It is what kids do.
WE SEE THAT YOUR KIDS WEAR A LOT OF GRAILS - HAVE YOU BEEN BUYING THEM SNEAKERS BEFORE THEY WERE BORN? WHICH WAS THE HARDEST PAIR FOR YOU TO COP FOR THEM?
The first pair of kid's sneakers I bought was when my wife was pregnant with my eldest in 2011. I got a full-size run of baby to toddler infrared Air Max 90's. The hardest pairs to get were these Nike Baby Footscapes that were only released in Japan. I bought 7 or 8 pairs of them in different sizes. The rarest pair they have is from DJ Clark Kent, he collaborated with Nike on an Air force 1 in 2017 as part of the AF-100 campaign. There were 50 or 100 pairs made, and Clark gave them to his Friends & Family. The smallest size that was made was a size 4.5Y and he gave that to my daughter Sophia.
AS YOUR KIDS HAVE GOTTEN OLDER, DO YOU AND YOUR WIFE BUY SHOES BASED ON THEIR PERSONALITY? AND IF SO, WHO LIKES WHAT?
My wife is very good about letting them express what shoes and clothes they like and lets them pick out their preferences when shopping. I am not a fan of some pairs, but they are getting older, and they are figuring out what their style is and what makes them feel comfortable. I enjoy watching their journey.
FATHER'S DAY IS APPROACHING, AND HONESTLY, YOUR FAMILY IS PRETTY FLY -- AS YOUR KIDS GET OLDER, WHAT IS ONE THING THAT YOU'D LIKE THEM TO REMEMBER ABOUT THEIR DAD?
In 20-25 years, they will have some dope #tbt pictures to look back at. I am kidding, I want them to have every opportunity to pursue any interests, sports, etc., and I hope I can line up those opportunities for them. Knowing their mother and I loves them is what I would like them to remember.
WHAT'S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE THAT YOU WOULD GIVE TO A CURRENT OR SOON-TO-BE #SNEAKERDAD?
The biggest mistake you will make as a new dad into sneakers is buying crib size sneakers. I had many 1c, 2c, and 3c sneakers, and my daughters never wore them. They are still very young, and squeezing their feet into those sizes is hard. You will also notice the shoes will fall off shortly after you put them on. My recommendation is to save your bread and start buying at 4c or 5c.