The Size 9 Sample Sneaker Collector!
A late bloomer onto the sneaker scene, Elvis_Killed_Kennedy has been soaking up Nike SB samples for the last few years, copping some undisputed sample sneakers that are bound to get you rolled! Living smack-bang in the middle of Nike's biggest manufacturing plant doesn't hurt either, but you'll be surprised to find out where he pulls his heat from. Read on to find out more about the King of Sample Kicks.
Hi Elvis, for those heads that don’t know, tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into collecting sample sneakers...
I’m 28 years old, I own my own marketing communication business and I also work as the Creative Director in the graphic house division. I’ve only been on the sneaker scene for three years so I’m pretty new here!
What was it about samples that got you hooked?
The reason I first became interested in samples was because of the challenge in finding and acquiring these hard to find gems. Now I’m just pretty much obsessed!
With Indonesia being one of the biggest Nike producers worldwide, do you have an inside hook up?
No – and I don’t really have any interest in buying product from the ‘inside’. Besides, that goes against their work policy, so I’m not about to tread on any toes there. Then again, the company management doesn’t really care about the culture and the story behind ‘sneakers’ – they’re just after the sales.
So where do you source the majority of your sample treasure?
Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and Zimbabwe.
We weren't expecting that! How many pairs do you own presently?
I have around 37 pairs of samples, all to match my 37 pairs of underwear!,
What are some of the rarest samples you have in your collection right now?
The Katsuya Terada Dunk, Distressed Dunk SB, Rollerdunk SB and the LORD QUAS (Stonesthrow) Looksee sample.
The Rollerdunk SBs are sick!! What's the story behind them?
I think most SB heads know about them, but they dropped in 2004. The funny thing is, the first time I saw an image of them on my brother-in-law’s computer I didn’t even look twice at them – this was way before I caught the sneaker bug. But as soon as I started collecting I was offered a pair to buy and I thought it was too good an offer to give up. Plus I wanted to try and roller-skate in them!
So did you?
No, haha! I don’t wear any of my samples because unfortunately I’m a size eight.
Bummer! Have you noticed the value on samples dwindling over the years with the scene becoming bombarded with so many silhouettes?
The game, right now, has turned into a massive marketing gimmick. There seems to be a void in developing unique sneakers with a purpose that would, in turn, contribute to this culture. This is evident from the concept behind each sneaker and the finished design and materials used – I know we are in a global crisis right now, but this culture still needs the consistency of quality concepts and purpose – it’s not all about the money.
How do you see that ever changing?
I think it all depends on the economy of each country. If one country can successfully achieve selling an alternative quality product with massive promotion then things can only get better. In 2005 when I first started collecting, the quantity equalled the quality. But since 2008 it’s becoming much harder to find the gold in amongst the bronze.
Is there competition within the sample collecting circles? Do you know of anyone else that freaks size nines as much as you do?
From my point of view, I don’t approach collecting as a competition. I’m more about personal preferences - being in the right place at the right time, getting the best deal possible and building connections. The luck factor also keeps me inspired. I used to know another sample collector who was massively on the hunt, but he’s hung up his kicks now. So it’s just me!
How is the sneaker scene in Indonesia these days?
There are way more kids taking an interest in the scene and thriving for the information. But unfortunately, the number of heads that were fully into it a few years back has dwindled. They no longer contribute, so in turn there is a generation of sneaker lovers who aren’t getting the knowledge they need or want.
That’s a big shame – how do you educate these kids against fakes, considering that Indonesia is a Mecca for these knock offs?!
There are plenty of ’good quality fakes’ out right now – they are in the market everywhere. The fake sellers have had to trade in public now because the government took strict action with piracy and fake product on online websites. It will never die.
How did you feel when you heard that Nike were to release the Nike SB Dunk Hi Gucci, considering you have a pair of the OG 2005s?
I can’t say I was shocked. It just seems typical of a brand running out of ideas. I’ve seen the new sample of the Dunk Hi Gucci and unfortunately the denim is not frayed like the ’05 samples. Lucky I have the original sample then!
Enough about Nike for a minute – are you feeling any other brand right now or are you a brand evangelist for the Swoosh?
I’ve just bought my first pair of non-Swoosh shoes! I copped the Visvim FBT Mastermind Japan (gold version). Apart from Visvim I’m definitely feeling New Balance, and I hope to own a pair of Michael Jackson’s LA Gears one day. Shamon!
We noticed you're selling some of your collections...
I just need some extra cash to expand my business!
Fair nuff! Thanks Elvis
Contributor - Gempa Tri Muryono