"Don’t cave into the hype and what other people are wearing."

For our 11th instalment of the Sneakerhead Talks series, we bring it back to our home, our roots – Brisbane. Ben is a friend of mine, sharing similar interests in sneakers and photography. We met at a sneaker line-up (albeit wasn’t much of a line) and he’d come to our Streetwear, Sneakers & Snags BBQs. He’s primarily a Jordan collector, but he also ventures into other brands. Without further ado, let’s find out a bit more about Benji!

A Little Bit About Benji


“I’m originally from Darwin, NT, but moved to Queensland back in 2007 to continue my studies, and I’ve lived in the ‘Sunshine State’ ever since. I love it here! I’m passionate about photography, basketball and travelling. I enjoy life, and for the most part, it’s when I’m overseas capturing moments in different cities and cultures. It gives me a whole new perspective on life!


Describing His Style


“Can’t say my style has changed much since we last spoke but if I had to describe my style in one word it would be ‘simple’. Nowadays, I like to throw on a plain tee with some jeans or shorts, and I’m good to go!”


Influences to Collecting


“Basketball. Growing up playing ball I was always around the influence of sneakers. I remember begging my folks to buy me the red and white AND-1 joints as they were quite expensive, even for back then. They eventually gave in and bought them for me. Now, before you judge me, I know everyone else had a pair of AND-1s!

I only started collecting back in 2012 — you can call me a late bloomer in some sense. Once I started working full time and could afford to purchase my own sneakers, that’s when it kicked off (no pun intended).


The Favourite Pair


“My most prized pair in my collection would have to be the Air Jordan 3 Black Cements. A timeless, classic that goes with anything you wear not to mention the comfort. My beater pair has been everywhere with me; I take them on all of my overseas trips.

I would love a pair of wearable 2001 joints with the Nike Air on the heel! I’m a huge fan of the Jordan 3 and my desired grail that I am still chasing would have to be the Mocha 3s.”


Type of Sneakerhead: Hypebeast or Enthusiast?


“When it comes to sneakers I try and cop what I like without paying too much attention to ‘what is in or out’. I feel a lot of sneakerheads nowadays are also only in the game to ‘flex’ for likes. There are numerous people nowadays who will cop a shoe, take photos of it and then flip it, all for the ‘Gram’. To me, they are not in the game of collecting passionately.”


The Best Bits of the Sneaker Community


“I have met many genuine people through the sneaker scene, both in QLD and interstate. I like that no matter how different our backgrounds are we can still come together and have a common interest.
I miss the days of being able to camp out at our local Footlocker and stay up for hours talking about anything from sneakers, music and life in general.”


Advice for the New


“Don’t cave into the hype and what other people are wearing. Stick to your lane and only buy what you like. Also, try not to buy shoes for a ridiculous price and be patient when chasing anything. For example, I always wanted a pair of ‘True Blue’ 3s but never found a pair for the right price or condition. I was blessed to get a pair during last weekend’s retro release. Most Jordans will become retro again at some point or another so sometimes it pays off to be patient.

That’s all folks! Next month we round up a year of Sneakerhead Talk features, it brings us great joy at DopeKoto to see how much our series has grown and the people who’ve come through.

Shout out to Benji for giving his time to do this feature and for those who want to see more sneakerheads, check out our previous featured members of the community!