History in the making.
We had the pleasure of meeting up with Stephen Kavanagh, Stevie Ryder and Dwayne Williams who we would describe as veteran UK trainer collectors. Stephen, Stevie and Dwayne have been working on what they describe as a labour of love for the last 5 years – a unique event that will celebrate the Icon that is the Nike Air Max One, the original Nike Air Max.
Stephen is a materials expert, working for Mulberry in London, so when it comes to kicks and the quality and make up so materials-wise he definitely knows his stuff.
Stevie is a trainer collector and CEO of the Foot Balla fashion line – a very dope clothing brand that pays homage to the Air Max 1.
Dwayne teaches and helps people with behavioural problems and is also an artist and a graphic designer.
We caught up with them in London – this is a little part of their story.
TWOTF: Tell us a bit about how you got into trainers?
Stephen: I used to play basketball as a kid and I remember having this little black and white TV that I used to watch late night NBA basketball games on. I was blown away seeing Michael Jordan play and what’s more seeing him play in his own, signature Nike shoes. That’s where it all started for me – I managed to get a pair of Jordans and I was one of the first kids in my school to have a pair.
Stevie: In school I was always into my trainers. I was rocking a lot of Adidas so you know real old school. Adidas Questars, ZX 930s that kind of thing. Then I moved onto Torsions and then about the same time the Air Max was gaining ground along with other Nike Air classics such as the Air Stab. Even at school in South London I always wanted the freshest shoes, so it really all started from there.
Dwayne: I’ve been into trainers for a long time since secondary school seeing all the hot kicks on other kids feet wishing I had ‘em so that’s really where the fascination started.
TWOTF: When would you say you became a collector?
Stephen: Back at school kids would wear their trainers to death. I would look after mine so that when I got a new pair the old ones would still be in good collection and so I started to have more pairs than other kids in their rotation. I would keep ‘em in their boxes, other kids thought there was something wrong with me.
Stevie: I wish I had kept some pairs from back then but I would wear mine into the ground. Sometimes they would get holes in them and I would put cardboard in them. But as I got older I started looking after them and slowly a collection began to form.
Dwayne: When I went to University my love of trainers kinda fell in line with the creative side of me. I had this one tutor that showed me a few of his rare shoes and I started doing some of my own research into kicks, started getting a hold of some pairs, I guess that’s where the collection started and that was it I never looked back!