What’s most interesting about the sneakerheads we meet everyday is the story behind the shoes. Sure, we all love sneakers. But the life outside of kicks and how it ties in to this passion is what gets us excited about the business. It’s our kind of “hype.”
Meet Ryan Corpuz: a 30 year old Matre D’ / Sound Engineer / Videographer / Sneakerhead. He does it all! Whether or not he is aware of it, he is a legend of sorts in the sneaker community here in Vegas. He’s known for the customs that he rocks. You can peruse the posts on Vegas Sneaker Heads, and on some days, it may seem you’re looking at the same shoe over and over again. If you know shoes well enough, you’ve seen that new post somewhere before. But once in awhile, you’ll see that picture that makes your eyes light up and gets the cogs in your brain spinning because it’s different, and it’s fresh, and you want it too! Ryan loves sneakers like you do. He really does. He is coveting a lot of the same kicks you’re drooling over on the internet and in social media everyday, and has decided on a way for him to stand out… he is all about CUSTOMS. Oh what… you haven’t seen his KD Corks? His Iron Man Zoom Rookies? His Lebron X Superman? If not, trust that they’re different, they’re fresh, and you’ll probably want them too. See for yourself what Ryan has in his arsenal:
Custom Cork KD’s
Custom Iron Man Zoom Rookies
Custom Lebron X Supermans
Custom Miami Nights Lebron Lows
What you must know about Ryan, that makes his sneaker collecting unique, is that he is from a small town. And a small town on an island at that. From Lahaina, Hawaii (on the island of Maui), he grew up where being fresh wasn’t necessarily about who had the best sneakers on the first day of school. Being fresh was about showing up with the fanciest flip-flops (or slippahs as the locals would call it). Island life was far from “’bout that life,” and he is proof that the sneakerhead community is comprised of people from ALL walks of life.
Here we share some of our conversation with him…
How long have you been collecting sneakers?
Since the 90s. I was still a kid and it took a lot of pleading with my parents to get what I wanted. But I got serious about sneakers last year (2012). Now I can afford to buy them myself.
What got you into sneakers?
The interest stemmed from watching MJ in the playoffs. And it was a family thing; we sat in the living room together watching him drop 60+ points on the regular. It was what he was wearing at the time. Those shoes were bananas! I wanted them. There was no “sneakerhead” community back home. So my interest was what I saw on TV.
And then there was the 97 Ken Griffeys in this sick colorway (green, black and white); I was floored when I saw them. I would collect here and there. Jordans when I could afford them. But… seldom could I collect Jordans because of their price. I’d have to convince my parents to buy me shoes and 90% of the time, the answer was no. The pair I REALLY REALLY wanted was the Bred XIIs. Even still to this day, I don’t own them. I could get them now, but there’s so much stuff out there now. And Baby’s coming soon, and my priorities have changed.
What about the sneaker culture do you enjoy the most?
To me it’s meeting different types of people that share this passion. From businessmen to regular Joes. People could be wearing a suit in the day and back home they got this crazy collection. My coworkers even trip out. It’s a conversation starter. It’s something that was underground and has become mainstream. A culture, a movement…
What was your first pickup?
The shoe that got me collecting seriously were the Playoff XIIs. I was at UNDFTD, and last in line. I got the last pair and it was a size 12 and they weren’t even my size. I picked them up and Sieny (his wife) was like “Mannnnnn….” She knew the obsession had just begun.
What size do you wear? Do you find it easy to find the sneakers you want, in your size?
I’m a true 10. But with Lebrons I do a half size up because it’s narrow at the top and I have wide feet. It’s not hard to get the sneakers I want; my size is very common. So it’s even easier for me to sell shoes that I own because so many people wear the same size.
Do you rock ‘em or do you stock ‘em?
I rock ‘em definitely. When I was a kid, I wanted to stock them. My dad would let me have only 3 pairs of shoes at one time. So I couldn’t just stock shoes. We would clean our house every Saturday. And he would ask me when was the last time I wore a pair of shoes that were just sitting. He would tell me to trash them or he’d trash them himself. But I’m now financially able to get 2 pairs if I need to. So I’ll wear ‘em knowing I still have another pair sitting at home in the closet.
How many pairs do you own right now?
Currently, about 30 to 40 pairs.
Hardest shoe to grab?
The Lebron Corks. ‘Cause I don’t have them! [Sieny got him a pair of custom cork KDs] I’m still looking for the Ray Allen PEs. Sieny was tryng to get me a pair of those instead of the custom KDs .
Easiest shoe to grab?
Any of my Air Maxes. Air Maxes are usually easy to get. Unless It’ s something ike the camos.
What’s the craziest thing you have done for a shoe?
I don’t think I’ve ever had to do anything crazy. I feel like I have the means. I stood in line over a day once. The Lebron corks: I put in 8 tickets for raffles and tried to get the online release. I paid people 10 bucks to put in a ticket for me. If I get them, I get them. If not, oh well. Someone is gonna “need them gone ASAP” and I’ll be ready to make a deal and take them off their hands!
What sneaker release are you looking forward to?
If the red Yeezys are coming out this year… for sure those. I check all the sneaker websites everyday when I wake up.
What do you foresee happening with the shoe game?
I think the “hype” will eventually implode. This sneaker thing is not cheap. When the prices get way too ridiculous and the quality is trash, people are going to stop buying them. When the dust settles, the real sneakerheads will still be around. Jordan is releasing at a crazy rate now, and it used to be 7 years before they did a retro between each release. We’re seeing Nike mass produce the same shoe sometimes 3 times in a year.
A picture from Ryan’s wedding in Maui, Hawaii.
It was a Sunday morning when we talked shoes and life with Ryan. We snuck in a little bit of time before he spent the day with Sieny, who is expecting their first baby (a girl!) His success is a result of his day to day grind. His passion has everything to do with the fact that he is a family man, and one who is willing to do what it takes not only get out of life what he wants, but to provide a life of wealth (in every aspect) for his growing family. He wears a variety of custom shoes both literally and figuratively, and has shown that a diverse array of interests have pieced together to make for an awesome life that doesn’t just look good on paper. Whatever he is doing is working.
How do you stand out?