I (joaniebean) first met Keyon at a line for the Lebron Corks at the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino. At first glance, he appears to be a kid without a care in the world, as he walks around with his eyes lit up and his lips smirked, like he knows something you don’t. The kid doesn’t sweat anything. Literally. That line for the Corks was in the middle of February, where we waited on a bridge outside of the building. Some nights hit the low 20’s. Since then, we’ve come across him multiple times, as the cold months turned into warmer ones, and most recently, some camps we’re out in are in triple digit temps. I stared at him a few moments in that heat with beads of sweat dripping down my own neck, thinking How is he not sweating like the rest of us? And WHY is he still smirking?
Keyon is one of the more laid-back of the people we come across. He invited us over one Tuesday night (July 16th) to peek at some of his shoe collection, and to talk more about his love of sneakers. We walked into his apartment and it had to be about 90 degrees in there. We were sweating as he effortlessly moved a load of shoes into his living room for display. Keyon never broke a sweat.
Here is some of what we talked about…
How long have you been collecting sneakers?
Since I came out the womb!
No, but seriously, how long have you been serious about kicks?
I was 15.
What got you into sneakers?
Mom Dukes, man. Her collection was crazy. She didn’t even collect, but seeing the stuff she used to rock turned me on to ‘em.
What is it about the sneaker culture that you enjoy the most?
I’ll be out there in these lines and waiting crazy hours for these shows, but outside of the shoe, I like meeting new people. Some of the people out there are regulars. We call it “retail game” with the folks I mess with; it turns into looking out for them, and them looking out for you.
What was your first cop?
It was a pair of uptowns. Matter of fact, I got them in the room right now! Black and white mint tops from Shiekh when they first opened at the Boulevard. That was from the 10th grade! [Keyon is now 23 years old]
What size do you wear? Do you find it easy to find the sneakers you want, in your size?
Certain shoes 9.5 to 10. Trainers? 10.5 Airmax I can do 10 or 10.5 everything 9.5 Do I find it hard? Hell yeah I find it hard. It’s the most common shoe sizes! What you mean?!? (laughs)
Do you rock ‘em or do you stock ‘em?
I do both. Since I started working this grave[yard shift], I get around to ‘em when I can.
How many pairs do you own right now?
Probably about 335.
Which shoe in your collection is your favorite
My foams. Mainly the coppers.
What’s the craziest thing you have done for a shoe?
I camped 3 days for the galaxy foams and I didn’t even get them. I was number 1 there and they moved the line. (shakes his head)
Hardest shoe to grab?
The Corks. I left CRSVR, I won’t name names, but they kept regulating the line. We ain’t gonna get into to that. Plan B Keys, had to grab them somewhere else.
Easiest shoe to grab?
Kamikazes. They were just sitting there; people was sleepin’ on them. (smirks)
What sneaker release are you most looking forward to?
They haven’t released the line up yet. I don’t know. But right now, I’m wanting those [Lebron] mints.
What do you foresee happening with the shoe game?
Certain brands like Jordan…. is going to get worse. It’s like water to me. He’s bringing out stuff from like 20 years ago. They’re running out of ideas. How many times the Bred XI’s restock? Man…
Keyon continues to talk to us about other things that are important to him. With some of his earliest memories that involve sneakers being alongside his mother, family is obviously something he holds close to his heart. He tells us about the galaxies being a shoe he is still looking to own. He says, “They’re my holy grails! If I got those galaxies, I wouldn’t stop with the shoes though. I gotta get Yeezys. HAVE to get them back. Only shoe I regret getting rid of.” He reminisces about going to the store with his mother as a toddler, trying to steal shoes and putting them in the car. He’d get into trouble of course, but it’s how he explains he was meant to be sneakerhead.
Like many others out there, he invests a great deal of time and money into the shoes he absolutely loves, and has to have. His mother is now a lady into heels and sandals, but he has taken over the legacy as his family’s sneakerhead. He really does know something a lot of people don’t. But it’s keeping that info a mystery to the rest of them that helps him avoid the Hype that has changed this game so much in recent years. He keeps his cool, all while obtaining some of the freshest kicks out there. Thank you Keyon, for your time and for the chance to see your dope collection. And thank you for turning the AC up before I melted. 🙂