The Infamous Archives: Kicks

Quisp: True Connoisseur

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Joey Deadstock profiles the sneaker collection of Quisp.

Text and Photography by Joey Deadstock

There is no denying that being a “sneaker head” is the cool thing nowadays. Thanks to certain sneaker reps, rappers get their hands on shoes months in advance. Kids camp out in front of stores for Internet-hyped releases, while others (thanks to eBay and other websites) will at times drop double the box price just to get a shoe early.

Then there are the true connoisseurs, like Quisp, whose love for shoes goes as far back as 1985, when he grabbed the original Air Jordan 1s for $65 out of a store in North Philadelphia. They were a size too small, but as he told me, “I didn’t give a shit, as long as I got those Mikes.” Ever since, Quisp has amassed an unprecedented amount of shoes through years of working at some of the best mom-and-pop sneaker shops that Philly has ever had. And, like all true heads, he has been going out on sneaker hunts in and out of his city so as to keep adding to his 400-plus-pair collection.
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FlyKickz: Sole Art

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Driven by a passion for the flyest, FlyKickz customizes sneakers with her art skills.

Interview by Joseph “NeX” Tchume

Photography by Yusuf Muhammad

How’d you get into the sneaker scene?
FlyKickz:
I had a love for kicks ever since I was little and going sneaker shopping with my dad, and I have a love for art in general. When I moved to New York I decided that I was good at designing sneakers, so I worked at it and stuck with it.
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Justin Rizzio: Tradition

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To most people, owning over 150 pairs of sneakers is ridiculous. But to Justin Rizzio, it’s a small, humble collection.

Photography by Dominic DiGiorgio

“Having a kid will instantly alter your spending habits. Less sneakers for me, more for her. I hope I don’t create a monster. (She’s wearing Jordan 8′s with a matching Jordan/AF1 hat.)”

The one thing all sneaker heads have in common is that they’re all totally different. Some buy only Jordans, some buy only Air Max. They all have their own ways of shopping, of how to clean their sneakers. Some wear all of their sneakers, while others keep them on ice. The rich kid that can buy every new release can be just as much a sneaker head as the kid who works and can only afford two or three pairs a year. It’s a subculture that most people will never understand. And if you tried to explain it, they’d think you were crazy. But I guess that adds to the appeal.

Normal people don’t care about release dates. Normal people don’t know colors like University Blue or know what elephant print is. What these people don’t realize is that there aren’t enough runners or basketball players in the world to keep shoe companies making billions. So, whatever reasons you have for buying sneakers, in the end it comes down to one thing… fashion or function.

Where do I fit in to all of this? I’m not a sneaker head. I’m just a guy who likes sneakers.


Sneaker Collecting as an art form. Literally.

The Air Max 90 “Infrared”
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Twenty-one years later and still one of Nike’s most well known sneakers, shown here in it’s most classic colorway. (Acrylic and Krylon on canvas)


Nike Dunk
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Originally released in 1985, the Nike Dunk has proven to be a well respected staple in Nike history. (Acrylic on wood)


Slave
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You’ll notice the word SLAVE on the bottom right corner of the shoe. Most people think I’m making a statement about sweatshop labor. It’s actually a comment about the consumer. (Acrylic and Krylon on canvas)

Hands Off The Classics

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Sake 5MH BTM sounds off on the fetishism and gimmickry of sneaker collecting.

Nowadays you have classic shoes remade in infinite colorways… Patent leather running shoes… Fucking Air Jordans that are bright sliver?? What the fucking fuck?

One time a dude downtown was mouthing off to my friend in front of a club in skinny jeans, a baggy pink t-shirt and bright silver Jordans. The way he was dressed made me madder than the fact that he was fucking with my friend. I grabbed him by his raggedy-ass tee and dragged him across the street, pushed him to the ground, lifted him up by his t-shirt and threw him up and down until it ripped off his body in front of his girlfriend. I told him to never wear those shoes again. Someone has got to stand up for what’s right, ha!
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