Sneakerheadz – Peter Kendrick
Sneakerheadz – Peter Kendrick
So you’re on Instagram, double tapping your life away and deep creeping on someone you fancy on hoping to jayzis you don’t like that selfie from 42 weeks ago of them on holidays looking unreal and decide ‘pfft, g’luck with these selfies and meek mill memes! I’m a sneakerhead! I’ve a few shoe boxes in the corner! Let’s have a look at what the kids are claiming to be cool these days. Nike Hiroshimas? Is that what they’re called?’
At this point, looking for trainers on Instagram in Dublin; you’re eventually going to wind up on the same handful of accounts ran by dyed in the wool sneaker collectors (@bigadikane ahem!). One person I came across a while ago when trawling through my feed was a man called Peter Kendrick, or @pknie64 on the ‘gram as I’m now not going to refer to it as again. A man with a collection that not only had my jaw on the floor but one that showed character beyond the most hype Jordans or a plethora of huaraches which seems to be the trend since 2013. This collection reflected an identity of a collector who had his favourites and not only an interest but a great eye for styles that I had never shown interest in. There’s history here and you can always catch him in the comments helping people find kicks, putting people together or generally being very sound and funny bloke.
A proper Dub with proper kicks that I was eager to have a chat with about the lifestyle.
What’s the story? What’s your name where are you from?
My name is Peter Kendrick. Born in London, grew up in Dublin. I’m currently residing in Palmerstown with my fiancée Ruth, two kids, and a dog.
Let’s bring it to the start. When did you start collecting trainers?
I’ve always had a thing for runners. Even when I was ten or eleven, back in the 80’s, I’d be pestering the folks for Puma Match, Hi-Tec Lasers, adidas Roms and Nizzas, the older Nike canvas basketball boots. I’d always try and keep them clean and I’d always keep the box and tissue paper. I’ve never not had a few pairs knocking around the house. I carried that love on through my teens and twenties and on in to my thirties and forties. It got a bit mad around 2000. Good Job + No Kids + Internet = Trainer Overload.
Yeah I think that’s in the post for myself soon enough. So, what was the first pair you bought for yourself or the first significant pair you bought?
The first pair I bought with money I earned from working in Superquinn, was a pair of Nike Vandal Supreme, navy nylon material with a Silver swoosh, grey and navy laces in the box, absolute belters! That would have been in 1985. Bought from Marathon Sports, in the Ilac Centre.
The pair that meant the most when I finally got a pair was the Air Max 95 Neon. A mate sent a pair over from New York for me. I’d been after them for ages but just couldn’t find a pair here or in London. They’re my favourite trainer. Ever!!!
How did you start collecting trainers instead of just buying the odd pair to wear out like everyone else?
It’s just something that’s always been part of my life from early on. When I hit my late teens it was a big part of what me and my mates we’re in to. I had friends who went to London and came back with Shelltoes. There were Jordans around. There were pals in to Air Max and pals in to adidas. There were Fila and Pumas knocking around. I’m talking late 89/90 here. There was a group of us in to going to raves and clubs or whatever and clothes and runners was a huge part of all that. Anytime we travelled anywhere you’d be on the hunt for runners. If someone was heading away you’d be giving them money and directions for shops to pick you something up. Pre – internet that’s what you did. I loved that feeling of breaking out a new pair that no one else had. The only thing was they got wrecked quickly due to the conditions at the clubs and of course due to the weather and as you didn’t have a lot of pairs your rotation was smaller. So they got wore and battered! As I got older and had a few more quid I bought a bit more and that’s when I was able to keep pairs offside a bit and not just rave ‘em in to the ground.
Copping in Marathon Sports and giving directions for people to go to shops seems so foreign now. How has the culture changed since you’ve started?
It’s different. It’s a huge, HUGE phenomenon now. Better or worse? I can’t say. There are things about the early days I miss like going away and scouring the place for sports shops or heading to London or New York and hitting the shops you knew had the goods. Or things like my mate finding an old sports shop on Talbot Street under the railway bridge that had loads of mad adidas for sale for nearly nothing or going up to Cripps in Terenure to buy Nike ACG’s that you couldn’t get anywhere else in town. Those type of things happen rarely now and older heads do look back with rose tinted glasses. It’s all there for you now at the touch of a button. Now you know everything that’s coming out and when and where you can get it. I never thought of it as a culture then, still don’t, it’s just runners to me. But it has become this huge thing that is driven by the internet and everything that goes with that. I do love the way the internet allows you to build up a rapport with brands and likeminded people. I love the way you can dig in to a brand or a shoes past and get a handle on the history around it. I love the forums and Instagram, though you do come across he odd dickhead. You can get a real community spirit and people help each other out and that’s brilliant. I love that you can follow and contact guys like Gary Warnett or Chris Law or Gary Apsden. But then you have the “hype” and all that goes with that, you have resellers grabbing the majority of some drops and charging treble on Ebay. I hate that but that’s the way it is now. That’s all part of the culture these days.
I think the younger heads need to have look around more and maybe pick up on different brands and models. It can be a bit samey….Huaraches anyone? I think a shoe can get jumped on and then it’s everywhere. Shelltoes and Prestos are heading that way in Dublin at the minute but look it’s all good. Whether you buy a one off custom or a collaboration with a trendy Berlin based boutique or a pair of Hua’s from Footlocker once you can afford them and you’re gonna wear em, buy them and enjoy the crap out of them.
How has the internet changed your collecting?
The internet and Ebay in particular changed everything. It gave me the ability to spend stupid amounts of money while sitting on my arse at home for a start. I was able to grab pairs I never thought I’d own and that’s something I can live with. I built up a good relationship with a guy from Japan called gustodaninja, very well-known seller on Instagram now, in the early 2000’s. Through him I was able to get my hands on some Air Max that I thought I’d never own and at some okay prices. That was the internet community spirit working properly. I was able to connect with people through the Crooked Tongues (RIP!) forum who are still friends today. It made buying and connecting with people very easy. Too easy! You still need to go in to town or where ever for a mooch now and then. You’d be surprised what you can find in Lifestyle or TK Maxx. Size is always worth a look for new stuff that’s coming out.
What has been your favourite and worst trend you’ve seen coming into collecting trainers?
I don’t really follow trends. Buy what you like and you’ll be fine.
On the negative side though; one thing that keeps coming up is shape and quality, old shape versus new shape. Old build quality versus new build quality. I do prefer the shape on some of the older shoes I’ve got but you can’t live in the past. There is a vibe around re-shaping some new Air Max and New Balance by heads on Instagram so you can buy new stuff and try and sort the shape if you like. Is quality worse now than it was years ago? Most of the older heads will say yes for sure. But then you have adidas bringing out ‘Made In Germany’ and ‘Made In France’ stuff which is expensive but of excellent quality so maybe the brands do listen to the rumblings on the internet
The collaboration thing is a funny one. I’m as much a sucker for an adidas bape collab as the next punter but sometimes less is more. I can remember a time when a collab release was a big deal and didn’t happen that often and as Instagram and Facebook hadn’t blown up you could nearly always grab a pair if you wanted as the hype wasn’t as mental. Now it seems there’s a couple of collabs every week. Some brands have stepped back a bit but some are just banging em out. Rebook….I’m looking at you.
Oh and Yeezys? What’s the point?
How big is your collection?
It depends on the situation, if I’m talking to the average person on the street? Way too many, If I’m talking to one of the adidas heads on Instagram? Not nearly enough.
What’s your go to shoe?
adidas Busenitz. It’s a skate shoe so the suede is bombproof. You can wear em out to a club or a pub and they’ll still come out smiling. They have the classic adidas shape and styling. Loads of great CW’s out there and not expensive.
What’s the most you’ve ever dropped on a release?
I won’t divulge the amount but it was a lot on a pair of nearly new Stash BW’s. Only 1000 pairs out they’re made with amazing materials and colourway. A classic!
What’s been your favourite release of the last year?
I loved the adidas bape shelltoes. The Saucony Sneakerfreaker Kushwackers are amazing. I’m buying a lot of Saucony lately actually. Love the Shadow 5000. All the adidas EQT stuff has been great in my opinion.
In your opinion is it harder to be a sneakerhead in Dublin?
Don’t really use the term sneakerhead to be honest. I’ve always lived here so I don’t know any different. Sure you had to make an effort to track stuff down abroad or whatever but that was part of the fun. We didn’t have the shops like London did or Manchester did but you’d always know someone that was going away or living in the States or whatever. Now it’s all internet driven so you can be anywhere and pick up the latest pairs. Dublin is buzzing now. I’ve older mates who are still as in to it as I am. You’ve younger guys like Dubcitysneakz, your good self, the Bloq lads, st.streetsneakers who are all moving things along nicely. You’ve all the young lads on Instagram who are in to it and helping each other out. It’s really healthy and it’s great to see it. I was lucky I was at the age where I had a few quid and the time to build up a collection, did I just say collection? Jesus! So, now to see it catching on here is fantastic.
One thing that was a real pain in Dublin, and older lads will agree, was the dress code in a lot of the pubs and clubs. You had some strict no trainers allowed policies in even the shitest of pubs. Judging someone on their choice of footwear is bollocks, especially when your shoes cost more than the bouncer’s suit. I ended up wearing Timberland Eurohikers through most of the nineties just to get in to places. That seems to have eased up a bit now except for the dumps you’d never go near anyway.
Lastly, the gaff is burning down and you can only run in to grab one pair. What are you bringing out?
The missus and the kids, the dog & then probably my Dave White Air Max Ones.
Who should we interview next?
My mate Darren @dclo__kicks
Nice one! You can follow Peter on Instagram @pknie64
This week Mango will mostly be drunk calling his ex-girlfriend at 2 in the morning in the new Drake OVO Jordans.