Air Ruddy - The Jordan Collector
To most sneakerheads, finding that one OG pair of Jordans is the ultimate holy grail. If it's an original Metallic Blue Jordan I you're after... well, you can pretty much forget it! Enter our boy Ruddy, aka Sunshining7, who has amassed every OG Jordan I variation in existence, including every Metallic colourway you never even knew about! Step into his house and you'd be excused for thinking you just jumped back to '85, because he's got the lot looking like they were just unboxed. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, believe it or not... Sky Jordans, OG Baby models, KOs, not to mention every signature Air Jordan in OG status... completely bonkers! We caught up with the flying Frenchman to learn his tricks to the trade and to catch a glimpse at his mindboggling collection. Cover up your keyboard - there will be drool!
Hey Ruddy! Tell us a bit about how you got into the shoe game...
Clearly Michael Jordan played the biggest part in my addiction, as well as my friend Edymalawi. Watching the Bulls vs the Lakers in '91 was the beginning for me. Those VIs he was wearing were just magic!
So what made you limit yourself to Air Jordans only? There must be other shoes that you like?
Of course I do like a lot of other shoes, such as Converse, Asics and more casual ones too. But in terms of collecting, Jordan is my only interest because it means something to me. Each model reminds me of a period of my life, a moment, my youth... You have to know that back in the 90s in France it was hard to get those shoes because only a few limited shops had them and their prices were crazy! Basically if you were wearing Js at the time, you were special...
How big is your collection?
It used to be much bigger than now, because I sold a lot of shoes in 2010 to just keep my grails and make some space at home. I used to have more than 170 pairs of Jordans, but now it's down to around 85 pairs. I'd say that right now my collection is big in terms of quality and rarity, not its quantity.
That's what counts! So what are your most prized pieces? What are the rarest gems you’re sitting on?
I have 3-4 pairs that I consider rare gems because of the fact that money isn't a factor to get them… there's just none out there, especially in this condition! So you can be Bill Gates and not be able to get your hands on these! Here they are:
AJ I 1985 Metallic Purple
AJ I 1985 Metallic Red DS with Box
AJ I 1985 Black/Gray DS with Box
AJ I 1985 Metallic Burgundy DS
Ridics! Which ones do you like rocking the most?
I love to wear the Vs and the VIs, sometimes the Is but unfortunately I can't wear them at work, so they're mainly sitting in a room waiting for me to come home.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to get a pair?
Definitely going to Japan for a hunt!
What are the best places you’ve found to get OG Jordans? Any secrets you can share?
The best place was and probably still is eBay because you can deal with people around the world and be protected when you buy. Then when you start joining dedicated forums, such as niketalk, you can really build connections with other sneakerheads and sometimes get the opportunity to trade or deal. Apart from that, it's not easy if you're not in the States, as most of the collectors are there.
Are you still hunting or have you found everything you want? Is there a holy grail out there waiting for you?
I'm not as active as I used to be, but I'm still checking around sometimes. I would say that I have 99% of what I was looking for when I started, but then you always have a few new things popping up as well. If I could get my hands on a legit AJ 1 Black/Gold from 1985, then I think my hunt would truly be over!
What do you think of Jordan Brand’s recent developments? Do you like any of their new releases, or do you get annoyed by all the retros being so available?
If you are a collector of original Jordans, you can only be annoyed by all those releases, firstly because it depreciates your collection and secondly because it takes the myth and mystery out of the rarity of certain shoes. But on the other hand, when they released the VI Infrared earlier this year, I was pretty happy to wear them again since it's impossible to wear the originals. As for the new silhouettes or the Fusions that Jordan has been developing lately, I really have no interest in them.
Do any of the present day signature kicks do it for you? Can we see you rocking some LeBrons or Kobes some day soon?
Don't get me wrong, I like many of the new Nikes out there… the new Kobes would definitely do it for me if I was playing basketball today. But Jordan is Jordan and I'm sticking with it for the rest of my life...
Amen! Thanks so much for this great interview, Ruddy!