Who are you and what do you do?
John Brotherhood, manager - size? Birmingham
How did you develop such an interest in sneakers?
I've been interested in sneakers for a while, trying to get hold of pairs which no one else has or which are hard to find, and working in size? Has fuelled my enthusiasm for it.
What was your first pair?
The first pair which really got me into collecting were 'Nike Pocket Knife' which I managed to hunt down in New York in 2001, they'd sold out of my size, but I had to have them so I got a size? Too small and still worn them into the ground. I've since managed to acquire a fresh pair in the correct size!
What are your three favourite pairs and why?
It’s difficult as there are so many!
1. My favourite pair would have to be my 'Air Max 1(87) URAWA DRAGONS - J League', super limited
2. 'Stussy Blazers' one of the holy grail in sneaker terms.
3. 'Vans Authentic' classic shoe comfy too
but there are so many more, Huarache, Footscape, Clyde, Forest Hills, Pegasus, Structure, 180, Vortex, Vengeance, Max Light, Dunk, Era.... the list goes on
What do you feel is the most famous sneaker of all time and why?
It has to be the Jordan 1, simply because of the amount of money and development which has gone in to the Jordan range since its original release. The Jordan brand is a religion for some!
Name some up & coming brands and why you’re feeling them?
I'd say pointer are a pretty good brand at the minute, British too which can't be a bad thing. I like the way they do things, they're diverse and creative with their products. Clae are another interesting brand fusing sneakers and formal footwear together with some impressive results.
The sneaker scene seems to have expanded greatly over the past few years, what factors do your think have contributed to this?
I think the main factor is hype, people want what they can't get. Getting hold of that ultra limited shoe is the ultimate goal.
Even with the current situation on the high street, are people still spending money on sneakers? If yes do you think there are any particular reasons for this?
Yes, it’s bigger than ever! The sheer number of new sneakers being produced a present is phenomenal, the brands keep churning them out, people keep buying them. I think because there is such a huge variety of styles available these days it gives people greater choice and allows individuality.
What is good about the current sneaker scene?
Even with the huge abundance of brands, styles, & colours, we're still treated to the occasionally quality & rare one off release, and I think brands are being forced to delve deeper into their sample cupboards & back catalogues to see which illusive model can be rereleased.
What about girls and sneakers? Is there a market?
It's certainly not as big as the men’s market but there is a market there, however the brands don't seem to have got it quite right just yet. Most women don't want pink sneakers, they want men’s styles in small sizes and the brands don't seem to cater for this.
What do you feel Size? Has to offer customers that other stores don’t?
Quote - "put simply they are the most complete sneaker store in the world. I know it is high praise but I can't think of a single store that comes close to matching the impressive breadth of their product mix. They have more styles, more colours, more choice, more, more, more, more of everything!" Sneaker Freaker 05, I think that just about sums us up, and since then we've gone from strength to strength.
What does Size? Have coming in that we can look forward too?
That would be telling... you can look forward to more exclusives, more collaborations and lots, lots more sneakers!
You have designed sneakers for New Balance, what were they and how did that come about?
Yes, over the last few years size? And new balance have collaborated together to produce some exclusive colour variations of the new balance 577's, with some interesting results! I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the last couple of releases. The first was part of a pack of 6, some more limited than others, most of which sold out within a couple of hours. The second and more recent, we're a couple of 577's inspired by Size? Birmingham itself, well almost... the inspiration came from the colourful Fruit Machines and characters which used to adorn the walls of the famous temple bar which once stood where size? Is today
Do you have any plans for the future to design more sneakers?
I'd love to continue working on collaborations whatever they maybe...watch this space
Any shouts or dedications?
Yeah, Blap! Blap! (Inside joke) to all of Size? Crew Brum! old and new... you know who you are, obviously to the brands, where would we be without them, Sneaker Freaker - the sneaker collectors bible!, and anyone else who knows me.
Some of John's current favourites in store now: