James Platt a.k.a @TheSneakerSavant is a vet in sneaker culture. He’s been in the game for almost 30 years buying, selling and authenticating shoes just because it’s what he loves to do. Check out this interview below where James talks about his love for the DQM x Air Max 90s and how the sneaker community has changed from the early 90s.
Another Lane: How would you describe your collection to somebody who’s never met you, but wanted to ask about it?
James Platt: I would say my collection is really varied. I would say that most, “sneakerheads” really wouldn’t care too much about what I have. There’s nothing really all that hyped, but I have a lot of shoes that I just like. I mean, some of my favorite shoes are like $30 Nike waffles, which I wear to the park and go hiking and whatnot, like every day. I got some super beat up Boosts, I’m looking right now at a pair of Kobe PEs that I recently acquired, his All Star kicks from 2005. I got my favorite shoe of all time, the DQM nineties that are just crumbling. I got, $500 Le Coq Sportifs that were handmade by Foot Patrol…but there’s a lot of stuff. I mean, like if you showed this to a sneaker influencer, he probably would not give a ****.
AL: What’s your favorite thing about the sneaker community today?
JP: The thing about the sneaker community I really started getting into sneakers around 1996 and coming from a small town in Northern California. Like nobody, everyone thought I was fucking weird, that’s the guy with the foot finish that’s the guy with the shoe fetish. And I mean, I got I hate feet, but it was like, yeah, I just like shoes, man. And I went away to college. I met a couple people who kind of liked shoes, but then when I moved to New York and I discovered Nike talk and I found that there was like a quarter of a million people on Nike talk. It was like, wow, I guess I’m not that weird. And I started meeting people on Niketalk like, this guy, Dan, he passed away a couple of years ago.
He’s the first guy off Niketalk to ever to meet up with me in lower Manhattan and show me around. And I met Puneet Soul Supreme, I met you know, a handful of these guys who are just like really, really big in the sneaker community now. But the best thing is just like really being able to relate to somebody who you don’t have all that much else in common with. And just being able to have like a conversation with them and like real conversations with them. I never really found anything else that could kind of cross those lines.
AL: What’s your least favorite thing about the sneaker community today?
JP: Well right now I think it’s just, everything is just monetized and I mean, I realized that I have a part in that we all kind of had a hand in that, but I really kind of, I hate that those who have the loudest voice and the most influence are really those with the most money. And if I wanted to, I could spend all my money on shoes too, you know, but I just think it’s stupid and I think it’s ridiculous, but like, I just hate how those that are the ones who have the loudest voices are the ones who have the most money, because I mean it’s like anything, right? I think that that’s what happens in almost any culture is it starts from the ground up. It’s really like a grassroots kind of thing. And then moneyed interests take a lot of real estate and they end up just kind of pushing out the original people who made it in the first place. I mean, I don’t want to be the old guy sitting on the corner saying, Oh, this sucks, this sucks but yeah. I mean, it does kind of suck.
The Sneaker Savant
AL: What’s a favorite pair or pairs that you just would never let go of?
JP: Honestly, like I’d let go of any of my shoes. There are enough pairs out there that I love and would love to wear that I know that I could just get something else that would give me just as much joy, you know? So, I mean it’s funny, my favorite pairs, in the world are DQM 90s, Jordan Infrared 6s, Penny 2 Black/Atlantics. And I don’t, I mean, I’ve worn my DQM 90s once I don’t even own Infrared 6s, and I don’t even own Penny 2 Atlantics. I’ve owned so many pairs of them throughout the years that I don’t even feel the need to wear them anymore. You know, they’re just part of my personal history like, if you asked me what my favorite shoes are, it’s like a Tupac record, but like certain Tupac records I haven’t heard in years, they’re the most influential in my life.
AL: What’s your favorite memory attached to a pair of kicks?
JP: That’s such a hard one to try and pinpoint, like, I would have love to give you like a great answer, but the one off of the top of my head is just the DQM 90s and I don’t even have the pair anymore, the ones that I got from Dave at his shop. And it was like a breath of fresh air when I went to Dave’s store because he was always super nice. And he was always talking about, shoes, the thing he used to always say to me, was like, dude, they’re just shoes, you know? And at this point in my life, yeah, they’re just shoes you know, but he dropped his nineties and I really wanted a pair. I didn’t, I didn’t get a chance to go to a shop when they dropped. So I went there the following weekend and I asked him if he had any pairs left, he said, well, I got one and I said what size and he says a size 9 and I said, dude, that’s my size. And you know, he brought him out for me. He signed the box and I held onto those for like 10 years and I never wore them. And then I’m sitting there and I’m looking at them in my closet, and I’m just like, these are just sitting in my closet. I really want to wear these, but I’m not going to, what should I do? And, I thought I might as well just list them on eBay for an absurd amount. Because I really didn’t want to be the last in the world to undead stock, a dead stock pair of DMQ 90s. So I sold them. I sold them for like $600 the time, which was unheard of in 2011, and I immediately went and bought a worn pair for $200. And I kept the $400 for other sneakers. I kinda wish I still had the autographed box, but I’ve linked up with Dave a number of times on Instagram since then that like. I’m good.
AL: Why did you choose to join Another Lane and put your pairs up here?
JP: Uh, to be honest, I was thinking of a similar idea and like I said, I didn’t really have the means or the time or really just like the bandwidth to go ahead and push it through. Like, I’ve been trying to get people to, my Discord, cause I actually got kicked off Instagram a couple of weeks ago, I think some kids reported me, I still don’t understand what happened, but I was like, dude, if Instagram goes down, my whole life goes down. I started going around with Discord. I wanted to build it into like a marketplace, basically just a community run marketplace with no, you know, third-party authenticators. None of that. It was all just like the community is going to be the authenticator. The community is going to be the grader. The community is going to be the judge and jury. It’s going to have nothing to do with me or my feelings on things it’s going to community. And once I talked to Chad, we just seem to be in sync with quite a few different things. I just want to support this and I want to be a part of it.