We have bought back the Collector Series, where we talk to and highlight the most important people and their collections in our local scene. Shelflife has seen a lot of serious collectors pass through our doors throughout the 13 years of business. So it's only fitting we shed some light on these enthusiasts. And what's better than picking the brain of some of the best in SA's scene right now?
We got the chance to ask collector and Air Max fanatic Tyron some questions about his kicks. He's been featured on Nike's Master of Air Series and we are proud to give him the coverage he deserves on our blog. Check it out below and reach out to us if you feel like your collection of something deserves a feature too!
Tell us a little a bit about the man behind the collection, who are you and what do you do?
I’m Tyron Hofman. I guess you could say I’m an entrepreneur, have a few things which keep me busy during the day. Accounting, business consulting, co-owner of Rumble & Hum tattoo studio in Johannesburg (we are the only studio with an award winning reality show), as well as commoditiy trading. Basically just any grind and hustle. Hobbies are gym, sneaker collecting of course and collector of ink, massive Chelsea FC supporter (so much so my daughters name had to be Chelsea.)
When did you first start collecting sneakers? Do you remember what age it was?
I started collecting when I was around 12, so 24 years ago. Shit, I would do any chore possible, sell whatever I could and save just to buy a pair.
How did Nike become your favourite sneaker brand? Do you wear any other footwear brands?
When I was younger I wore a lot of different brands but the Air Max 1 was complete love at first sight. So it’s always been my go to, followed closed by the Air Max 90. So basically now I don’t wear anything else other than Nike. I can appreciate what some of the other brands are doing but only Nike bless these feet.
Which sneaker or style do you think is overhyped at the moment?
By far the Yeezy or anything with Boost. I mean yes it’s comfortable but god damn they ugly AF - haha!
Which sneaker from your collection could you never part with?
Does all of them count? No, in all honesty probably my Air Max 90 Duck Hunter Camo.
An Air Max style you think is slept on in the culture?
The majority of them are slept on hard, with the exception of the overly hyped pairs e.g. Off- White, Patta, Atmos, Parra etc.
How many pairs are in your sneaker collection?
Around 500 at the moment. They range from rare to general release. I try clean up my collection once a year and give the ones that aren’t getting any love to various charity organisations.
If you had to pick one pair from your collection to wear for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Tough question, it’d be 1 of my Air Max 1’s or possibly a pair of my 97’s.
How does the sneaker culture and scene differ locally to overseas in your opinion?
Well the sneaker scene in this country is very new in comparison to overseas. Overseas it’s been a lifestyle for ages. But the nice thing is, it’s growing locally, and we now finally have access to more and more which has always been an issue. Also, our allocation has gone up which also helps and allows the scene to grow.
What's the most intense experience you went through to get a sought-after pair?
Intense I’m not sure, but nerve wrecking and almost soul crushing yes. My Air Max 90 Duck Hunter Camos, they were always my grails. I missed out when they dropped so started hunting them hard. Bought a pair off eBay sent them to a buddy in the states, they were fake. Never got my cash back. Found another pair they got lost in the mail and then finally on the third attempt they arrived, they were legit and they actually made it to me.
Any favourite memories from your past buying days?
All my big cops would fit into this category. Very few things compare with the adrenaline and excitement when you cart a pair you desperately need and want. Of late though, I won one of the Shelf raffles which made me feel like a kid again.
What other Nike models do you rock besides Air Maxes?
At the moment I’m loving the React Element 87 and 55, so super comfortable. Always loved the Pegasus and the Jordan 3, 4 and 7.
Your oldest pair of kicks?
So like I said I try donate as often as possible to give back to the community. So I don’t have anything that’s very old. I’d say the oldest would be a few pairs of Air Max 90’s from 2012.
Was there anything from the past few years that you passed on that you would kill to have or have back?
Oh hell yeah, totally. I do it almost every drop I pass on. Then find myself running around to try find them at a half decent price. Currently the Air Max 1 Susan are on that list.
What’s the most you’ve ever paid for a pair of sneakers? What was it?
Hmmm I think around R6000 – R7000. The one was for a pair of Jordan Retro 7 Raptors and then my Off-White Air Max 90’s.
What are some of the worst mistakes people make when buying vintage or retro sneakers?
Often guys forget to verify the legitimacy of the kicks and the sellers. But other then that could you ever go wrong buying vintage sneakers? If it makes the soul happy then do it. Just don’t wear them if you gonna beat them to death or they gonna crumpled into nothing. Especially a vintage pair of Air Max, that poor air unit has a shelf life.
Any advice to fans trying to cop their next grail?
When you get them just enjoy them, rock them don’t stock them. Show them off, shoot some pics in them, take the honey out in them. Just look after them, keep them clean, appreciate them and remember the work that went into getting them. Bottom line just do you, don’t follow the hype, cop what you like and love what you cop.
Be sure to follow Tyron @kick_slinger
Be sure to follow Tyron @kick_slinger