Where are you from? Born, raised, and currently still residing in Bronx, NY
How old are you? 24 years old
What do you do? Nike employee, Sneaker Writer for IKONS Magazine, & Sneaker Blogger.
• When did you start loving sneakers?
I've always had a huge "like" for them since grade school, but when I got to high school I went in the sneaker game a bit deeper.
• What do you think got you into sneakers?
Honestly, at the time it was just the drive for having everything new. When I started out, I was just buying for style. I couldn't tell you anything about the make-up of the shoe or anything. But hey, everyone starts somewhere right.
• When did you realize you loved sneakers?
I realized I loved it deeply about 6 or 7 years ago. Especially when I would plan my year out based on me knowing future releases ahead of time.
• Can you remember the first pair you were crazy about?
In my senior year in high school, I was crazy about the French Blue XII's. I knew they were being released in January 2004 so I told my mom I didn't want anything for Christmas because what I desperately wanted was dropping a couple of weeks later.
• What do family and friends think about you being a sneaker fiend?
My family doesn't really understand why I indulge in the sneaker lifestyle at all. My mom is probably the only one who disagrees, but supports all the endeavors I set forth based around sneakers. My friends admire me and respect me for who I am and what I do.
• How did where you grew up impact your sneaker style?
In my neighborhood, the latest sneakers were on everyone's feet. Did that have an impact on me? No, not at all because I'm such an individual and I dress myself from head-to-toe with no problem. If I allowed my neighborhood to impact me, I would be in jail following behind them.
• Describe your sneaker collection.
One word to describe my collection is "recovering". I recently went through a situation that caused me to lose 95% of my collection. I was angered at one point because my sneakers have been with me for years and so much money has went into it. Then I realized that it's all just material, my life means so much more than that. Plus, losing kicks is nothing because no one can ever take away the passion that I have for sneakers.
• What do you do if a good sneaker has something bad happen to it?
Lol, I will cry on the inside. But, if it's a true disaster I just leave them in the box.
• What’s your favorite sneaker hunting story or success? do you hunt with anyone?
Okay so back in 2004, I was going to be a freshman at SUNY Old Westbury and the Olympic VII's had dropped that August along with the white/green IV's. Everyone said the olympics are ugly, but I thought they were hot (hence why I say no one influences me). Long story short, somehow in the dorm someone stole the left foot for my Olympic VII's. That experience made me withdraw out of school. I then searched around but couldn't find the shoe in my size anymore. So I turned to Ebay, and found a guy that didn't live too far from me. I caught a come-up for $65 on brand new Olympic VII's. Very much a successful hunt. For the most part, I usually go sneaker hunting with my best friend.
• What do your sneakers say about you? what do you want them to say? to who? who’s your audience?
My sneakers say that I'm versatile due to the fact that I'm not all about Jordan or all about Air Max, etc. If my sneakers could talk I would want them to say, "Hey Charmaine, thank you for not over-working us 'til we are beat and rundown" lol. My audience are the people who see me in the streets, the people who make the effort to read my blog, and the sneaker heads who faithfully follow me on Twitter.
• Who had the greatest impact on you being a sneaker fiend?
In the beginning no one, but now that I'm coming in contact with many different sneaker heads from all over. I would say other female collectors have an impact on me. It's like a sorority and we're all working together to gain respect in this community.
• Do you have a favorite pair of all time?
Yes, outside of a couple of Jordan series, I absolutely love my OG Air Max Tn Plus. Just because it's the only pair of kicks in my possession that has stayed with me since the 8th grade. They are still in a great wearable condition after all this time that has passed.
• Are there challenges to being a FSF?
You know how when it comes to race, we have minorities. Well females tend to be looked at as minorities in this sneaker culture. To me personally, I feel like it's a struggle because in many cases some females go a lot harder than men. I've seen plenty of FSF's with a better collection than men. Some men don't really respect female collectors. The challenge is just to prove that women can "eat, sleep, and breathe" sneakers just like a man, if not better.
• Do you have role models—other FSF’s or athletes who wore your favorite kicks?
In my personal life, not really. And as far as the media goes, we don't see too many women glorifying the sneaker nation. But, I would like to give a shout-out to Vashtie Kola for being the first woman to design a Jordan shoe. The Vashtie II's are dope and I hope that we continue to birth innovative FSF's.
• How do you recognize a FSF?
You recognize an FSF by seeing her sneaker choices and the up-keep on them. Most times, you have to see her more than once just to see how she switches up on a daily basis.
• What do you want to do with your sneaker passion in the future?
I'm working on my future right now. Just started writing for this newly published magazine called IKONS Magazine which will help me gain a bigger fan base. Also working on a book with a partner of mine based on the sneaker culture. There's plenty of endeavors that I have and I'm going to leave my mark on this community one way or another.
Follow her and check out her blog, you will not be disappointed!