Freshness Feature: Mike the Executive Interview – ISB

By - June 23rd, 2006

Freshness Feature: Mike the Executive Interview   ISB

Interview by Thomas Bradley
Produced by Liquidrice

International Sneaker Battle – June 24th – Edison, NJ


ISB!!! What’s going on with the first ever International Sneaker Battle?

Well it has taken a lot of hard work and straight love to come to this first show. We wanted an event that both super official sneaker heads and regular kids from the hood can come, display their collection, and see what we consider the finer things in life kicks, cloths, cars, chicks, and (to some people) celebrities. We wanted the celebrities to be apart of the show so they can come hang out and interact with their fans. We want this show to be an avenue for people who love kicks, creativity, and the movement that has developed out of these two genres (is that the right word genre? If not replace it with a good word).

We hear you’ve been inundated by heads looking to compete in the ISB, just how intense is this getting?

I can’t begin to tell you how great the response has been. Since day one people have been reaching out to me and supporting the event. The coolest part has been seeing all of these different people in the music and fashion game embrace the show and our movement. These are people I used to look up to and now I am getting the opportunity to work with them, and have come to realize are COOL AS HELL. From people like Fat Joe and Macho who are down to just kick it and talk sneakers. To JB and M-dot at JB Classics who are amazingly creative and cool. To Cipha Sounds and Miss Info at HOT 97 who I consider my good friends, and with whom I get to work with every Saturday at HOT 97.

Freshness Feature: Mike the Executive Interview   ISB


Though this is the first date on the ISB tour there’s definitely already been talk of the future and where the tour will be headed concerning both geography and intensity. Speak on the opportunity for growth involved with the ISB tour.

We are definitely working day and night, seriously we work all hours of the day and night I’m tired as I write this, to think about what city we will go to next and how we can make the next show better and more diverse than the last. I can’t give away everything but the Atlantic City Show on September 9th is going to be nuts, we definitely have a couple tricks up our sleeves!! You guys will be the first to know when we make the announcements… SO STAY TUNED TO FRESHNESS PEOPLE!

As far as intensity we just want to keep exposing more and more people to what we love. This is why having our event at the Funkmaster Flex Car Show is so important, it exposes the sneaker community to a whole other crowd that might not know about paying 5 grand for a pair of kicks or why anyone would paint on their sneakers.

Our next two shows are:
July 22nd Hartford, CT
September 9th Atlantic City, NJ
**If anyone wants to enter hit me up directly at mike@internationalsneakerbattle.com
or 212 653 0017.

Though the custom game is spreading like a disease there’s a certain style of customization native to the street. Why do you think it’s a natural fit to have the street style customizers at the ISB?

I think it’s such a natural fit because our show incorporates elements of hip hop, through the artists at the event and Flex, and also loud colorful, creative ways of expression both of which come from the streets. Hip Hop started as a way for kids in the hood to express themselves. They were wearing fly gear and always staying fresh to death.
At first I had to think about how best handle the customizers. I didn’t want them to feel alienated, but I didn’t want other people who just collect to be turned off.
Then I realized that all great artist are customizers in there own field. Stash makes sick Collaborations with Nike, and in my eyes is one of the most successful sneaker customizers around.
Let’s talk about the competition. Explain what’s going down with the competition concerning rules, judging, categories, and prizes. (About who is coming *names*?! Let me know )

Yes the competition. When we started the battle we wanted to make sure people knew we didn’t start this to waist anyone’s time, so we had to think what was the only way to get people attention? Money!!! And the Prizes are as follows¸ (www.internationalsneakerbattle.com/prizes). They also get a crazy trophy which I think is so dope!! Could you imagine how weird your moms would look at you when you come how with a 7 foot high trophy for kicks, I love it!!

The Prizes for the Edison Show are:
Best Overall Collection – $2,000
Best Vintage Collection – $1,000
Best Rare Collection – $1,000
Best Display – $1,000
Best Custom Pair – $1,000
Best Nike Air Force Pair – $500
Best Nike Dunk Pair – $500
Best Jordan Pair – $500
Best Other Pair – $500

As far as the Judges for the first date I wanted people that I can personally trust and rely on so thankfully I was able to get:
• JB from JB Classics
• Yu Ming from this great site, Freshnessmag.com
• Macho from Terror Squad (who by the way has an absurd collection)
• Pete from Sneaker Pimps
• Roman234Life (who must have a cousin in Asia because his hook ups are sick, I think he gets sneakers before Nike themselves.)
• Tommy Rebel from The Brooklyn Basement (His love for sneakers is 2nd to none)
• Shawn Pecus from Def Jam
• L Boogs from the Heavy Hitters Crew & La Kalle

Freshness Feature: Mike the Executive Interview   ISB

Who’ve you been exchanging ideas with about the ISB tour and what type of creative thoughts have been bubbling in the ISB camp?

When exchanging ideas with people I generally look for a love and passion for what they do because I can then feed off that energy and in turn get myself amped about the project. We definitely have a steady pipeline of ideas that we are working on and will turn out in the upcoming months so please stay tuned for fresh kicks, fresh cloths, and fresh hats.

Some of the people we are working with are:
JB & M-Dot from JB Classics
Crystal Howard from New Era
Ted and Orville at Adidas
Dawn at Nike
Barney at PUMA
Lou from Kicksclusive Magaizne (Look out for Flex in the September Issue)
Steve from SB Wear
Omar and Karim at Palis Clothing
Rob and Jeff at Weekly Drop
Chino at 4 U: House of Fitted Hats in the Bornx

Besides the daily operations at the ISB H.Q., what else does the executive office see coming to fruition in the coming months?

Some really dope and creative collaborations from brands everyone knows and loves. We work day in and day out to create products and events that big up the culture and the movement as a whole. So through these collaborations and events we hope to continue on the right track to meeting our objectives…

Thanks again for letting us do this Interview, we really appreciate and thank you guys for what you do for us and the culture…

> International Sneaker Battle

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