At nine, I played for my local boroughs Basketball team, the Newham Youngbloods, and the well-respected Caroline Charles coached me. I would look up to the older guys who would train in the court sessions after us.
It was the 90's Era, where you saw Penny Hardaway, Grant Hills, Kobe Bryant (Adidas Era), and of course, Nike Air Jordan. It was always basketball before sneakers back then, so I was naturally exposed to them as a collective.
It was the "What Goes Up, Must Come Down" advert by Nike/Jordan - The 1995 Air Jordan 11 Concords, to be exact. That advert triggered something in me to excel at basketball at a national level and also inspired me to play better.
Being the youngest of 3, those particular sneakers were well out of budget for my parents, and I promised myself that later in life, I'd acquire them. Fortunately, now I own the 2011's and the 2018's. Not to mention that advert was hella cool aesthetically for its time.
Honestly, I first check for imperfections and feel for creases, glues, stains, and shapes. I think I can resonate with most collectors when I say a good "Smell-Test" is one of the best feelings when unboxing a new pair, LOL.
Other than that, it feels great to have them in hand because we all know Stock Images are a completely different experience than having them physically in hand. On feet, I don't care who you are; those first 5-10 minutes are always cautious.
First and foremost, Jerry Lorenzo. I'm a big "Jerry-Boy," if you haven't noticed already. Apart from him, Teddy Santis has done amazing jobs for New Balance!
Lastly for my Filipino people, it has to be Rhuigi Villasenor. He's exceeded himself and has always shown his humble beginnings from where he's been and come from. I always love a story like his. It's truly inspiring!
I would love to see a collaboration between A Ma Maniere with New Balance. Perhaps on the new upcoming 1906D pair that will be released soon. Their signature colorway of that burgundy/blood red/fig would be dope on this type of model. I reckon it would propel AMM into absolute hysteria.
A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 3s is a classic silhouette with great collaboration. New Balance "Refined Future" (Protection Pack - Rain Cloud) for comfort. My by-the-door sneakers are Air Jordan 1 Mochas and 2015 Chicago AJ1s. What kind of sneaker collector would I be without some hype, the OG Travis Scoot Air Jordan 1?
Hahaa! I'll probably never hold this in real life, but the Undefeated x Air Jordan 4 has always been on my radar. I've seen them from afar but have never touched them physically. What a pair, they're timeless, and I'm a sucker for an olive type colorway.
I'm a big hat collector and have been for some years now. I've traveled to several continents looking for specific Fitted/Snap Back caps, and the journey of acquiring caps has not slowed down.
Most recently I visited the Hat Club store in NYC to catch an Astro-fitted cap, and that's now in heavy rotation. I had an ATL Hawks snapback signed by Kenny "The Jet" Smith when he visited London, and that, too, is one of my prized possessions (despite him only spending 1 season there in 1990, LOL).
Youtube: Merkle MoeMan
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