Joel and I know each other from art school. We met in 2013 in my sophomore year, and he's an avid sneaker collector. Like myself, he loves shoes. Last Thursday, I had the pleasure to visit him in Indianapolis to interview him about the sneaker culture in Indianapolis, and photograph his collection in his home. Joel isn't a fashion blogger, he's a student and collegue with great taste *thumbs up*. You don't have to be internet famous to enjoy your collection of fabulous things, even in Indianapolis, style lives. We talked about some of his craziest experiences at Got Sole, and his reactions to the Yeezy twos.
When did you start collecting shoes?
Joel: I’ve been collecting for 4 years, since 2011. Before, I’d get my two pairs and make them last the whole semester.
How many pairs of shoes do you have now?
J: (In order of quantity) I have the most Jordan’s, Nikes, Asics then Puma, Reebok, New Balance. I have approximately 60 shoes, about 5 rare.
What was your first rare pair?
J: Not long after I started collecting, I entered this contest by Nike for the Paranorman Foamposites. (AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE PARANORMAN "PARANORMAN") They asked you to post a photo of you as a child acting very weird. And I did that, and you had to put specific hashtags, like #weirdwinsparanormanfoamposites.
Was it on Instagram?
J: It was Twitter! I uploaded it on Instagram but it was hosted on Twitter.
Would you say you’re an avid user of social media?
J: I use Instagram a lot, but twitter not so much anymore.
Have you ever stood in line for a release? What’s the craziest release you’ve been to?
It wasn’t really a release par se, it was more of a raffle. It was a raffle that got sold for the Nike air easy twos. When I went out there, literally the entire sidewalk outside that store was full of people at Got Sole. He came outside and got on top of a podium or something and was screaming out the names of the winners, and told them to come pick them up at a later time.
What’s the sneaker culture like now in Indianapolis?
It's kind of hit a plateau actually. Like, a year or two ago it was really popular. Now it seems like all the brands are flooding the market, so it feels like the demand is dropping.
What makes a shoe iconic in your opinion? Is it design or a famous name?
Both. Because like the Yeezys (twos), Obviously that’s completely due to Kanye right? There are some certain design aspects that like on the Yeezy twos that can be attributed to designers, but for the most part it’s Yeezy hype. But I also believe that making a timeless sneaker (prior to that) completely contributed to the designer. For example, Tinker Hatfield. He is the designer that was resposible for the designs the Air Jordans 3 through 15. He also designed some of the most of the classic Nike silhouettes (Nike air trainer 1, Nike air max 1) that you know to this day today.