It's really incredible how the Nike Air Max range unites and inspires people. This is also the case with these four women from the Netherlands who share a love for the Air Max and who sat down with us for an exclusive Sneakerjagers interview. Each of them has her very own exciting story and of course her special favourite model from the Air Max range. Read more about their personal stories about the legendary Nike Air Max here!
As part of our '10 Days of Air Max 2021', we'll also be presenting you with the greatest models in history and sharing our joy for the iconic silhouettes with competitions on Instagram and in our App.
Chanica is the owner of a sneaker store in Amsterdam. She started her Air Max collection at the age of 16. It all started when she saw a boy at her school wearing the Air Max 1 'Animal'. She really wanted this pair, especially because of the vivid animal prints.
"So I started searching the internet, for shoes and people," Chanica says. On Sole Collector she found people who collected shoes and presented them as if they were on display in a museum. That's when she was hooked, buying one Air Max after another on 'Marktplaats' (something like Ebay Classifieds in the Netherlands) and immersing herself in the sneaker world.
A teacher at school who always wore the Air Max 1 OG in red and white also inspired her Air Max passion. "It was just cool and the Air Units inspired me," says the Amsterdam native.
The Air Max 1 OG 'Animal' is still her favourite. If it weren't for this shoe, her love for sneakers would probably never have been ignited and she wouldn't have become a collector. "You can just wear it with any outfit. It's both comfortable and sturdy, so it's great for everyday wear!" Chanica enthuses.
On Air Max Day four years ago, she created a campaign for the Masters of Air. A person from Nike headquarters gave her a box that you normally only get with a Nike ID. On it was written, "Do you want to meet Tinker?" She was surprised and didn't know what to do with this message, so she called Nike. They told her, "Yes, you will meet Tinker Hatfield!"
As part of this video campaign, they were allowed to choose their two favourite models. They were the 'Albert Heijn' and the 'Animal' Air Max 1. Together with all the 'Masters of Air', they then designed their own shoe. Tinker also signed a 3D pair, which Chanica got to take home.
She also worked at Oqium, a shop that has a kind of museum in the back. Tourists often asked there if they could buy the exhibits. So the idea grew that Amsterdam needed a shop that offered collectibles. Whenever Chanica travelled to America, she looked for new rarities for her collection in consignment stores.
But the start of her own business was anything but smooth - "It was a drama to open a shop in Amsterdam! But I just started and I'm still here, so it worked out. I am so happy that I turned my hobby into my job." She loves being able to talk to her customers about sneakers and wants to inspire and excite young people with her story.
If you're ever in Amsterdam, take a look:
Singel 417, 1012WP Amsterdam
28-year-old Ginney Noa is from Rotterdam. Her love for sneakers developed while working at Gorilla, a store in Rotterdam that sells a lot of shoes. "I started buying one and then more and more. First Jordans, then Air Max and back to Jordans," says the influencer.
Admittedly, she wasn't a big Air Max fan at first, but her youngest brother inspired her. He had almost every Air Max 1 and Air Max 90. She discovered the collection in the attic and realised: "This is what I want!"
According to Ginney, there is actually no one around her who cannot understand her passion. Only her mother sometimes asks why she buys the pair if she already has the colourway. Ginney's answer is always: "It's just a love that you can't break."
Her favourite model is the Air Max 1 BRS, which stands for Blue Ribbon Sports, Nike's original name. Only 144 pairs of this model were made and it was also the first one Ginney wanted and searched for.
For her, this AM really represents her love of sneakers; especially the earth tones, the laces and the different materials are right up her alley, says the Rotterdam native.
But she also liked the model for personal reasons, because she was so happy when she finally held it in her hands. Not many in the Netherlands got this AM 1 back then and even today it is special when people who know the history of the shoe see it on the street.
Bright colours and animal prints, on the other hand, don't appeal to her as much; Ginney prefers calm and natural tones.
Melissa is 37 years old, lives in Amsterdam and has worked in finance for eleven years. Her love of sneakers goes back to her youth and started when she worked in a sneaker store at 16.
A year earlier, however, she started collecting mainly Jordans and Air Maxes. Her love of shoes was influenced by the then modern gabber scene, which her parents didn't approve of! They thought the shoe was way too expensive for a young girl, so Melissa didn't get a pair at first. Nevertheless, she looked at her first Air Max every day and has been raving about every pair released ever since.
Her parents still don't really understand this hobby, which seems too expensive for them. They didn't grow up with it, she says. But since she was surrounded by kicks every day while working at the store, her passion was basically unstoppable.
Melissa's favourite sneaker is the Air Max 1 'Elephant', which first came out in 2007. "The colours are just beautiful and you can combine it both sporty and chic," she says. She continues, "I can even wear them in my job in finance!"
When the sneakers were released the second time, they finally came in her size. She knew then that she wanted this pair. But she didn't actually treat herself to the AM 1 until later, because the price was very high and with two children she couldn't afford the luxury before.
Tamara is from Apeldoorn and works as a story manager for a multi-brand store. The 41-year-old loves to promote smaller accounts on Instagram and uses Instagram mainly to surround herself with sneakers.
Her parents were also into sneakers, and Tamara always bought her kicks through Foot Locker. At first she mainly owned adidas and Converse, but with her first own salary she started her Air Max collection. She also bought her first pair of AMs at Foot Locker.
With the Air Max 90, her love for Nike was finally sealed, as the many different colourways, as well as the Air unit and the Swooshs convinced her. In fact, there are some friends who can't understand Tamara's love for sneakers, which is why she simply doesn't tell them about them.
In addition to her professional account, she also has a private one where she shares content outside of the sneaker scene.
Her partner also collects Air Max, but he focuses more on the older Air Max 1 models. That's why their shared interior is based on their passion: every room and every wall relates to sneakers. They like to look at their collection and feel very happy about what they can call their own.
Tamara's favourite model is the Parra x Patta x Nike Air Max 'Cherrywood', especially because of its extravagance and colourway. She wears it at least once a week and would never sell it or throw it away. One of the things that makes the shoe special for her is how she got it. "Everyone said that if you didn't cop it, you were crazy," she says.
The Nike Air Max 1 x Patta Corduroy Denim is an absolute dream sneaker for Tamara. She doesn't like the new models in the Air Max range as much, especially the modern Air Max 270 because of its super large Air Unit.
We would like to say thank you again to these four special sneaker women! We had a lot of fun during our interview and think it's great to see how sneaker culture connects and what it means to many people.
In our WMNS Club we have more exciting sneaker WMNS content for you and our Air Max collection, you can find here: