Q&A with local sneakerhead
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Chico native and sneakerhead Brandyn Donahue talks about his impressive shoe collection.
What was the pair that made you a sneakerhead and why?
Brandyn Donahue: 1999 Air Jordan 14 “Last Shot”
I was always into shoes growing up because I have two older brothers that were into sports and being stylish. One day, my dad took me and one of my older brothers to our local mall and to Footlocker, and for the first time ever he told us we could pick out any pair of shoes we wanted. And of course, we bolted to the Jordan’s. He picked up the Jordan 14 “Last Shot” and the Jordan 13 “Breds.” I snatched the 14’s from him before he could say he wanted them and from then on, I was into Jordan’s tough.
What is your favorite pair of shoes you have that stand out from the rest of your collection?
BD: My favorite sneaker that I have in my collection, I would have to say, is the most non-profitable sneaker I have, LOL. They’re Adidas “Busenitz,” really comfortable and basic. But what makes it so near and dear to my heart is the fact it’s the first Father’s Day gift I had ever received. Although the shoe has been worn down a lot through the years, I’ll never throw them away or give them up because of the memories.
What are your plans going forward with a rapidly changing era of sneakerheads vs. resellers? Like camping out, participating in raffles or waking up early to catch the release online, just to name a few examples.
BD: Personally, I will be good because I have a what we call nowadays “a plug.” But one thing I can say about being a sneakerhead is that there is no such thing as “sneakerheads vs. resellers.” Sneakerheads pick and choose what they like in shoes and which shoe they will try and get, and resellers don’t care. They buy whatever releases and jack the price up, basically raping the customers that couldn’t get them.
How many shoes does it take to classify yourself as a sneakerhead?
BD: It’s not the amount of shoes you have that defines you as a sneakerhead. There are people that have hundreds to thousands of shoes and they can’t tell you anything but how much they can make off the shoe. I remember when I had, like, only five shoes to my name and they weren’t special high-end shoes that everyone was into or had because I couldn’t afford to buy new high-end shoes often. Probably one pair a year, if that. But I didn’t let that stop me, I knew I loved sneakers and why I loved them. I spent countless hours watching videos and reading articles about rare sneakers, P.E’s (player editions) and samples. It got so far, I could spot fake shoes off a quick glance and I didn’t even have that shoe. I just wasn’t going to let someone say I’m not a sneakerhead when deep down I knew I was, and I knew one day I would have the shoe room I have now.
Does your hobby rub off on your family? If so, does this create more of a bond among you guys?
BD: I would have to say no. I actually used to get made fun of, or I tend to bug some of my friends and family because I am so into sneakers. This hobby isn’t for everyone and just like a lot of hobbies, it can get pricey quickly, especially now. Days when new shoes and new or old colorways are coming and going, it can be hard to even want to stay a sneakerhead because you can end up broke. And that puts fear in a lot of people because it’s something they aren’t that into or willing to risk their last on. But I would say it opened a lot of my peers and family members’ eyes to the fact that maybe their hobbies can be taken seriously and they can possibly create an income from it.
If you had to choose from any shoe that you’d be able to buy at retail value, which shoe would it be and why?
BD: I would have to say I would like a brand new pair of 1999 Air Jordan 14 “Last Shot,” really any of the original colorways of the Air Jordan 14’s. I love that sneaker all around, from the silhouette of the shoe to the little accents no one cares to know about. The shoe was made to look like a Ferrari. They have break lights, carbon fiber, air ports (so the shoe can be aerodynamic). The sole of the shoe is the tire of the Ferrari and the Jordan sign on the side of the shoe is in the shape of the Ferrari symbol, to let everyone know on the basketball court he is speed!
What is the best part about being a sneakerhead?
BD: The best part about being a sneaker head is when Sneaker Con, Dunk Exchange or any other sneaker events come to a local city near you. I can’t even explain the rush of joy and excitement I get when I’m at a big event like those, completely surrounded by rare sneakers you can buy. You can even take your sneakers and sell or trade them for other sneakers. A bonus is the chance to get to know people that are like me and think like me. It’s like a break from real life, where I’m not judged and laughed at for liking my hobby or taking my hobby seriously.
Jordan Rodrigues can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.