Sneakerheads of Instagram: @sneakerjunkienz
In this volume of SOI, I caught up with my brother from across the Tasman Sea Nick Person A.K.A. @sneakerjunkienz from the ‘gram.
I’ve gotta say, there’s not many nicer people than the Kiwi’s.
Nick has overcome drug addiction and faced serious prison time for related offences to come out the other side a new man – with a new take on life, a new wife, two kids and a genuine love for life. The only thing he’s addicted to now is those damn Air Jordan 4’s – a collection for all of us to envy!
Check out the full interview and some of my favorite snaps from his IG below.
And don’t forget to give him a follow, too!
You get ONE life! You can’t turn back time… and as you grow older and wiser you realise time is precious! Don’t wait till it’s to late. Make the most of it and enjoy it! Surround yourself with positive people.
HOH: Firstly, congrats on getting engaged my man, I saw the custom Air Max (pictured below) you got done up for your lady – they are spectacular. Were sneakers a common interest for you both in the beginning?
NP: Thanks you, was very hard keeping them a secret so long.
Originally No I mean I always had a few dunks id rotate around but nothing special. As I developed a interest in sneakers my fiancé slowly followed.
HOH: What got you into sneakers?
NP: Well id have to say I started buying more and more pairs around 6 years ago when I started working at a local sneaker store which I now handle advertising and marketing for -FridgeFreezerIcebox
HOH: What was your first ever pair and where did you cop from?
NP: I cant even remember to be honest, but id have to say it was MF Doom dunks that made me start developing a interest in sneakers. I believe I brought them of e-bay. I am a huge underground hip-hop head so MF Doom x Nike was a must have.
HOH: How big is the sneaker scene in NZ?
NP: At first I thought it wasn’t big at all I mean you don’t really know how big it is until you are deep in it yourself but I’d say given the size of NZ is pretty strong. I know a few people with extremely impressive collections.
HOH: It’s no secret you love the Air JORDAN 4. In fact, I think you have the biggest collection of 4’s out of anyone I know. What draws you to that model?
NP: Yes I do!!! It is my favourite silhouette of all time! After I brought my first pair in 2014, I made it my mission to get all the colorways… I didn’t really realize what I had got myself into.
HOH: Now you’re into photography, too – where did you find the passion for that?
NP: Sneaker collecting got me into photography 100%
I started up my Instagram to showcase my latest pickups as it became so regular and noticed Instagram was where all the like-minded people where at.
I purely wanted to showcase the shoes in the same light to others as the same way I viewed them myself.
This was a very hard task to execute as I had no photography skills and sneakers where held so highly in my eyes, so achieving this took allot of time and dedication.
HOH: Clothing is another big project for you too. Tell us about your label “Loophole”
NP: Yes LoopHole clothing was established in 2011 after I had gone through a long complicated court case over drug possession/supply.
LoopHole! meaning – A legal means of escape.
In a way it was my escape, while serving a sentence for my history of drug convictions I started brainstorming ideas around the launch of the brand which I had huge support for from family and friends. Having a diploma in graphic design made the process a little easier.
I have been keeping it local supplying to 5 stores in NZ only.
After being so busy with the brand and breaking out of my drug use cycle I never looked back. I’m now focused on my job, my label, photography and of course my family.
HOH: Tell us about those times and what changed your perspective and ultimately your entire life.
NP: LoopHole means – a legal means of escape.
I have a very addictive personality, if I show interest in something I persue it to the fullest… unfortunately there was a time in my life where it was drugs and LoopHole was my means to break that chain and move forward to more appropriate projects eg. My label , sneakers and photography.
HOH: What advice do you have for any of the kids out there that are heading down the same path?
NP: You get ONE life! You can’t turn back time… and as you grow older and wiser you realise time is precious! Don’t wait till it’s to late. Make the most of it and enjoy it! Surround yourself with positive people.
One thing I found after I had got out of the scene was I lost al lot of friends to the point I could count the true friends left on 1 hand. It was a huge wakeup call.
Me getting caught and taking responsibility for my actions was truly a blessing in disguise.
HOH: Your little dude is a big sneakerhead too, which I’m sure he’s known nothing else – did your own collecting take a backseat so he could cop too?
NP: He definitely loves his kicks and loves picking them out to suit what he’s wearing… This is without a doubt my fault. From the tender age of 1 years old he has seen countless amounts of sneakers show up, be un-packaged, watched me taking photos etc. he has a very good understanding that sneakers hold a dare place in my heart. Haha!
HOH: I’m about to have a baby boy later this year, what advice have you got for me, and other expecting sneakerhead dads out there?
NP: For me my only advice is let your kids be kids… let them find there own path, let them excel in what they like, and let them learn and understand things in there own way.
But most of all discipline is a must but always let them know your there for them, your not just there parent, You’re there friend to. I believe this stops secrecy as they grow older… I know personally I never want my kids to be scared to tell me something.
HOH: What things can you take away from collecting that has impacted your life in ways you could never imagine?
NP: To be real a lot! Heaps of new life long friendships have been made through collecting, it has turned into ongoing work and a career path for me. I’m part of 3 groups on Instagram that are made up of extremely talented individuals, these groups are some of the most elite on foot photographers in the world IMO, I’m truly blessed to be approached and welcomed into these groups, not only do they keep my creativity flowing but we all bounce ideas and gain inspiration from each other.
Shout out to my teams:
As of recent I have managed to fall into a Ambassador roll for Puma NZ this was a huge achievement for me as my ultimate goal with my photography was to work closely with a sneaker brand one day rather than just my personal collection.
I’m looking forward to working with new product and pushing my photography and shooting styles to new heights.
HOH: One last thing, I’ve got this old photo here of your 4’s, but I know you have more now – So how many pairs of 4’s do you actually have haha?
NP: I haven’t gone through them for a while now but I’d say I’m sitting at around 40 odd pairs.