1.What’s your name, and where are you from?
Shantel. I currently reside in Maryland and have been here for about 9 years.
2. How long have you been collecting?
I have been seriously collecting for the last 4 years. I have always picked up pairs here and there throughout the years beginning in high school though.
3. What inspired you to start collecting?
Initially, it was just the love of the different pairs. When I was in school and growing up, there was a variety of footwear to fall in love with. From Js, to Filas, to Reeboks, to Adidas shell toes, to Lotto, Etonic, British Knights, and even chucks. What made me begin collecting on a larger scale related more to growing up and having a career that allows me to do it.
4. What’s your favorite pair of sneakers that you own, and why?
To date, my all time favorite pair in my collection is the OG Air Jordan 13 Low, Navy, Black, and Metallic Silver pair from 1998. They were the first pair of Js that I ever purchased for myself and thus are my all time favorite. A close second is the Black Metallic Jordan 5s because my brother had them when we were growing up.
5. What grail pair don’t you have and would love to add to your collection?
I am on a mission to bag a pair of Jordan Bin 13s. I will have them one day. They used to be a pair that I viewed as unicorns because I’d never seen them in a size 7/7.5. But now they’re around so eventually, I will have them.
6. What are your likes and/or dislikes about sneaker head culture?
The competition aspect of it, because the culture isn’t about competition. It’s about camaraderie and enjoying something with people who enjoy the same thing for whatever their reasons or inspirations are. I dislike the whole notion of sneaker celebrity social media stardom because of the attitudes/opinions people have about themselves and what influences them to engage with others in the community. There are no big ‘I’s, or little ‘You’s’ in this. It’s just collective interest in a hobby. No one is better than the next person and I wish people would do better by one another and stop being so full of themselves. It’s just never that serious. Social has bread many monsters.
7. Is there anything you’d like to see more of in the sneakerhead community?
Respect and appreciation for the female collector, and more support amongst female collectors. We do good at supporting dudes who are well versed in self congratulating back slapping, but we need to do better with lifting one another up as sole sisters. Too much of that catty behavior and cliquishness goes on. We need to do better.
8. All “kicks” aside, what are your interests/passions/hobbies outside of sneakers?
I enjoy traveling and venturing out to try new things. I’m very heavy on learning especially where career growth and prosperity is involved, so I’m always working to improve myself as a professional. I spend a fair amount of my time with my head in books that teach me about self improvement and growth.