What were the highlights of 2014 for you in terms of the sneaker industry and in your own collection?
2014 allowed me to recover some pairs I had been unable to obtain over the years such as the early Nike Kobe line, and also obtain a few gems in-between. One of the main highlights in the sneaker industry was an abundance of new and up-and-coming companies coming out the woodwork and/or surprise a lot of people, which includes brands such as Brandblack, Under Armour, and Peak. I’ve been fortunate enough to work in-line with some brands based upon feedback on how to improve a performance aspect of a shoe and they actually listen to every detail explained to them and try to apply it to a shoe that will hopefully exceed expectations for not only the athlete on-court but also the consumer.
9 of 10
If you could map out the perfect sneaker year in 2015, what would that include for you?
In terms of obtaining pairs of sneakers I wasn’t able to get while I was younger, I’ve already establish a top couple, which includes the Air Jordan I “Bred,” Nike Zoom Kobe 2, and Nike Zoom Kobe 3.
The perfect sneaker year of 2015 would be that brand(s) who do retros or nostalgia pairs stick to the original carbon copy plant that worked. I’d also like to see anything re-mastered or retro’d stick to the original colorway process instead of overbearing shoes that just sit on the shelves, or even consider directly releasing Player Exclusives which would be the shoes that regular consumers can’t get or are nearly impossible to obtain, IE – Nike Air Pippen 1 without the Air Max bag, but a full-length Zoom. It would be nice to view an advancement in technology used in shoes. Where’s the new state of the art “wow” factor? We live in a time where technological advancements have gone far beyond expectations, so I’m hoping brands will utilize what’s out there or even come up with something new and better for the likes of consumers. It’s something simple like that that can go a long way.
Last but not least would be slowing down the releases. Yes, consumers love the shoes, but every week purchases can hurt the pockets. I’m pretty sure a lot of others including myself have been extremely picky nowadays and just slowing down on the shoe purchases. Just because a shoe comes out doesn’t mean you “HAVE TO” get it. Get what you like, don’t let the outside influence your personal taste, but most importantly manage your time and money wisely and your priorities.
10 of 10
Every sneakerhead has that moment. You know the one, where you spot a shoe that literally changes the game for you, where suddenly you’re all “I HAVE to have that sneaker!” and you go from being an average kid rocking hand-me-downs and sale rack shoes to the guy turning his love of one sneaker into an all-out obsession.
For 33-year-old Stanley Tse — aka @nyjumpman23 — that sneaker was the Air Jordan IV, a masterpiece of a shoe that somehow followed up and topped one of the greatest Air Jordans of all time. At the time, legendary designer Tinker Hatfield didn’t want to reinvent the wheel with the IV, as he did with the III, and so he took inspiration from Michael Jordan‘s work ethic off the floor, where Chicago’s finest had only recently become a father. The slight improvements that he did make? They all had to do with on-court performance, and the result was a beloved shoe that was both aesthetically pleasing and worked on the floor.
It might’ve been a seminal moment for the Air Jordan line, as well as sneakers in general, but it’s still just a small part of the sneakerhead culture living and thriving in 2015. Tse is still here living it too, from his performance reviews to his collection of underrated heat that hasn’t released in close to 20 years.
Over the last year, we’ve seen sneakerheads not just in New York City but all over the world, from England to Los Angeles. And the sneaker obsession is only growing.
Unlike some of the cats you’ll see on Instagram these days, @nyjumpman23 has been in the game for a minute. Let him tell you how it’s changed and how it will change.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney
all images via @nyjumpman23