Interview by: Thomas Bradley
Produced by: Yu-Ming
To collectors, some collect items of interest, some collect items of value, others may collect for prestige, than there are those who collect for the love of the item. In the five years we have existed we’ve seen many of these collectors. The different forms of collectors have different ways of keeping storing their collections. Many will prefer their items in mint condition with their original packaging and some may take them out of their packaging for display. Than there is The Mayor who’s amassed a collection of now 1000 pairs of Air Force 1s. He’s a different type of a collector, he keeps all of his AF1s in clear shoe boxes for organization, neatness and the joy of seeing each and every one of his pairs. The Mayor was recently given his 1000th pair by close friend and AF1 aficionado DJ Clark Kent in honor of The Mayors passion for the AF1. -Yu-Ming
Interview continues below…
1. Where did you grow up?
Born and bread in the greatest place in the world South Bronx New York – Home of the Yankees
2. How did your neighborhood and family affect your sense of who you are and your personal style?
This was the home of hiphop and the originator of style.
3.When did you begin to feel more than what might be called an “average affection” for sneakers?
Growing up I always wanted to be fresh from the t-shirts to the jeans or sweats and the only way to top off my outfit is with a fresh pair of kicks- so you can say from when I began my addiction to fresh would be around 1982.
4. How did they (a new pair) make you feel?
Putting on a brand new AF1 everyday makes me feel like I’m on top of my game…We all know I like to be on top of my game.
5. How did you fund this passion early on?
Growing my grandfather used to give me $60 a month that would be spent on a fresh pair of kicks. Also my very first job was working in a sneaker store-what more can one ask for.
6. How and at what point did those around you begin to associate you with sneaker collecting?
I was always heavy into “wearing my sneakers” I guess my claim to fame came with my interview with Sole Collector magazine and people began to recognize me everywhere I went.
7. As your passion for collecting grew did anything ever occur that made you question your personal hobby?
Yeah, when I had over 700 pair of sneakers in a one bedroom apartment living with my lovely girlfriend who is also a shopaholic- so I guess you can say that we where the little old couple living in the shoe.
The Mayor now lives in a much bigger place with a whole basement devoted to his collection.
8. How did you care for and store your collection originally?
Stacking my boxes became hectic because they would lean and fall all over the place and it would be very difficult to find my shoes, so one day I was shopping and walked into the The Container Store and fell in love with the stackable clear boxes- I’ve been using them ever since.
9. When did you begin to form your meticulous, organized collection process?
This almost came naturally because I really wear my kicks so I needed to see everything that I had because sometimes I would forget what I had.
10. The Clear boxes….how did they come about/when/where are the boxes from?
Within the past 8 years I’ve been storing them in the containers- The Container Store.
11. Most sought after model as a youth? Now?
Growing up I had a thing for Air Force High’s and now my favorite shoe is the Linen atmosphere Air Force 1- which I try to keep in my collection at all times. I currently have 2 pair and always seeking more.
12. What are some fond memories you have from collecting?
There is no particular fond memories but what I do love is the relationships that I have built over rubber and leather. I enjoy watching others along with myself going the extra mile to cop that sought after shoe.
13. How have you seen the collecting community change throughout the years?
To me the love of the game is predominately gone…the resale of shoes has destroyed the game….It’s hard to tell who the real shoe wearers are from the camp out kids who spend 3-4 days on line to buy a shoe and resell it… If they had a brain they would realize that all the hours they put in for camping out for the shoe and reselling is almost like working for minimum wage.
14. The Internet….(how it’s affected sneaker collecting and how you feel about it)
It’s the gift and the curse. The one thing I learned about the shoe game is patience. If you don’t run out and buy everything from the internet at top dollar eventually the price will go down- so please please be patient.
Entourage Air Force 1 – Personalized for The Mayor by DJ Clark Kent for his birthday.
15. Why NIKE?
I’ve been in love the Air Force 1 since as long as I could remember. To me Nike puts out the best product on the market today and for my favorite shoe the AF1 to stand the test of time for nearly 27 years and take a simple siloulette and change it up so many times – is simply amazing.
16. Discuss the personal milestones in your collection….
I remember driving by the NIKEiD Studios at 255 Elizabeth Street – without a vision or connection to get me through the doors drove me crazy. One day I ran into one of my better friends – the AF1 King DJ Clark Kent-a friend for over 20 years made my dream come true and now a 130 pair of iD’s later – I’m still a kid in a candy store.
My other milestone is my 1000th pair which my good friend DJ Clark Kent awarded me with, he had it custom made as a 1 of 1 with 1000 “1s” lasered on the upper. Now its on to pair number 1001….I know…I’m sick
A special pair of Air Force 1 personalized with 1000 “1s” representing the 1000 pairs of AF1s presented to The Mayor from DJ Clark Kent and the Nike iK
17. Where do you go from here?
More and more Air Forces….lol….In a perfect world I would love to be a consultant for Nike- I ‘m creative and I think I can offer a lot to the brand…… I know what the streets want…. Thank you for taking the time out for doing this interview and I hope everyone enjoys it.
Below are an assortment the few The Mayor’s AF1 iDs
More on The Mayor’s and his 1000th Air Force 1 on Sneaker News