I caught Mayor while running around in Miami. He had not been in town in over two years so his schedule was crazy. Between meetings with people and of course shopping he made some time to talk to us.
TWIT: Why the nick name MAYOR? M: That’s a childhood name. Growing up I was a bit of a problem solver growing up. I knew a whole lot of people. That’s why I kept the name. I was almost like a mediator. Mediator don’t sound good so I kept “MAYOR”
TWIT: What’s your real name? M: Mark
TWIT: For those who don’t know, what’s #ATF? M: For those who don’t know: ATF stands for ADDICTED TO FRESH. Is a crew that consist of my self, SafeStadick, DJ Clark Kent, Dave Jeff, DJ Greg Street, Shi MCBride, Bun B, Feets Malone, Nai (Strictlyfitteds.com) and ALL DAY.
TWIT: How did the crew get started? Why? M: It’s a bunch of friends who we all know each other. We have a common love for shoes. We’re ADDICTED TO FRESH. It was Clark’s idea to be honest with you…
TWIT: Besides the love for shoes you’re all shoppers, Correct? M: Yes, that’s one thing I don’t want anyone to get confused: We buy shoes! Do I get shoes for free? Yeah, thank God I have certain people that take care of me but at the end of the day I still shop way more than your average person.
TWIT: Do you remember what was your first pair of kicks? M: Growing up I used to buy shoes. I mean, I had a shoe called Mark 5. I don’t even know if you could Google that and it would come up. It’s called: Mark 5. My name is Mark so I thought it was a cool shoe… It was a skippy which people don’t even realize but, hey I mean falling in love with shoes, I’m 38 and I remember being 10 getting my first Air Force Ones. There isn’t a real story. I just fell in love with shoes from my first pair of forces. I was in…
TWIT: When did you realize you were hooked on AF1’s? M: At the time when I was growing up it was just like, you know, you fell in love with the Air Force you fell in love with the classic silhouettes. Then for a while they came back so that made me fall in love with it even more…
Like I said: there is really no story there. It’s a dope shoe. It looks good on my feet. I actually found the older models to be more comfortable. I’m one of the few that really think is comfortable!
TWIT: I think it has to do with the materials… They used better materials back then.
M: Yeah, along with everything else…
TWIT: When did you start picking up other kicks besides Air Force One’s? M: Always, Always. I had the first Jordan in 1985. They were $69.99 if I’m not mistaken. That was the first Air Jordan. I like Air Max’s, Air Force One’s, etc. I’ve always loved sneakers. I’ve always worn sneakers.
TWIT: You’re really a supporter of the whole movement, correct? M: I have 1600 pairs of sneakers out of which 1200 pairs are Air Forces! Maybe a little less than 1200, maybe a little more than 1200… So that’s 400 other of shoes…
I know for a fact I have 130 pairs of Jordan’s. There is another whole thing, I have a wall with 60 or 70 Air Max’s. You might even find some Adidas and some Puma Clyde’s buried in the bottom of the closet. I even have a pair of LOTTO’s with the interchangeable logo…
TWIT: Where you ever heavy in to Jordan’s? M: I like them. I’m not going to say I’m in love with Jordan’s but on any given day my favorites are 4’s and 9’s. On any given day you’ll catch me with 4’s on. You’ll catch me with 2 or a 9 on. You know 11’s every now and then. I came down here in a pair of 11’s.
TWIT: What would be your favorite Jordan of all time? M: My favorite Jordan of all time would have to be: The Jordan 9 and then the Jordan 4.
TWIT: How challenging was it to cop a pair of the UNDFTD 4’s? M: When I had a chance to get a pair of the UNFTD 4’s I jumped on it. I have friends in the industry so the number I paid wasn’t a ridiculous price. I had a couple of things that my dude wanted also so it worked out pretty good…
TWIT: What was the first pair you made at the Nike Studio (Elizabeth Street)? I’m talking before Be-Spoke because I went to Elizabeth Street back in 2005…
M: I still have the shoe. I made a pair, which I called it, the “Bronx Zoo”. I used all the crazy materials they had. It was lizard skins, boa and ostrich. I jumped on that the shoe is Black, Brown and Red.
TWIT: Did they let you make a low top at the time? M: It was a low top, yeah! Oh, we were privileged. I used to go to the Nike ID store when nobody else could go. It was like they opened Wednesday through Sunday. We used to go there on a Monday 1 or 2am in the morning; they would open the door for us.
This isn’t something new. I’ve been doing this for a long time. Elizabeth Street studio when I was privileged to meet them and they treated us the way they did, I mean we used to watch Yankee playoff games in there. Put the TV’s on. Order food and get to work and I was paying for my shoes… No doubt!
TWIT: People seem to think that going to make a shoe is really simple, what have you found about the process? M: It depends; it depends on what people go there for. People always go there with a game plan. Whether it’s a Be-Spoke or an ID. People always have a game plan.
I’m not a believer in that. I have 110 pairs of ID’s so it became easy after a while. Could it be challenging? Yes but even with the Spokes, I tend to go in there I look at the materials then I have a seat, maybe go out to eat. Take Ezzy to lunch and as we’re sitting there joking eating having a good time the mind starts working.
“STRAWBERRY QUICK” BESPOKE
I have 40 Be-Spokes besides the Denim ones that I did I’ve only had a set idea for 2 or 3 pairs. All the rest of them have been from the top of the head. Again, just sitting there soaking up the materials it comes to me. That’s pretty much what it is…
There is a reason why they give you two hours to make a shoe cause it does take some time. When you get use to it, it becomes repetitious.
TWIT: So, The first time it was a little challenging? M: The first Be-Spoke was no problem, so was the second one. The first I knew it was going to be denim. The second one came it was going to be all 3M. I used every dingle color 3M they had. I was eating a bowl of cereal. It was Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms… I was looking at all the colors and I was like: It came to me. I went over there and knock that one out. That’s a dope pair.
The other ones happened by just sitting there and looking at the materials… But I tell you: it’s like fighting Tyson. Everyone had a game plan going in but when they are in there in front of all them materials things change! Bottom line it always changes…
TWIT: I know exactly what Be-Spoke you’re referring to because every time you put it up for battle in your Ustream chats people go crazy… It did come out dope!
At the beginning of the Nike ID Elizabeth Street low tops were not offered but you were able to get them, correct? M: It was the Mid’s what was being offered but I’m not a fan… I’m a fan of High’s and Low’s but no Mid’s…
Jordan V “TOKYO 23″
TWIT: How was your trip to Beaverton, Oregon (Nike Compound)? M: People always think that this is a given. They think I go to Nike whenever I want. I get free shoes, etc., etc., it doesn’t work like that. I’ve been doing this forever; I had my first trip to Beaverton, Oregon. I sat down with Nike ID, Nike Sports Wear and Nike Basketball to see something’s and enjoy the campus. It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in my life! I was extremely overwhelmed..
I was so grateful to have the opportunity to visit campus. I was like a kid in a candy store. Again I’m 38 this is part of a dream. The other dream is to have a shoe go to retail and finally walk away from this game with a Smile on my face but if that never happens I could live with it… I got to actually go to Beaverton, Oregon and experience Campus to see how they work. To get to see first hand how intricate minds work!
I got to visit the Kitchen. No body gets to do that. I got a full tour of the Kitchen and see what it was. I got to see Bruce Killgore’s desk. He’s my hero cause he design the Air Force One! I got to see Tinker Hatfield’s desk. I mean those things are priceless!
TWIT: It was obviously way better than you ever expected. Did you see anything that truly inspired you? M: The work ethic at Nike was crazy. Being able to see things that are coming out in the future. They’re 6 years ahead of the game! I saw stuff with a production date of 2015-2016 so to see that stuff. To see the work ethic it inspires you… They actually work there… Hahaha. It’s not a joke that place! The campus is not a privilege, is an experience and those people are putting in work! That’s why they are on top of their game!
TWIT: What made you start doing Videos? M: I have a following. My demographic it’s crazy. Maybe 10 year olds to 50 year olds. I know 50-year-old sneaker heads that have stopped me on the streets. I have 12-year-old kids that send me emails. I’ve had their parents walk up to me and be like Yo can you do your show earlier? My son doesn’t want to go to bed at night till after your show!
I mean people do videos and it’s more about them than the shoe. I feel like show the shoe, talk about the shoe you understand? My videos are 2 minutes long. Some times I don’t talk enough. No matter what it’s all about the shoes. It was basically something for the kids and the following that I’ve got.
TWIT: Have you ever been heavy in to technology? Have you resisted Change? M: Well, everyone always asks what I do for a living? I used to be in the car stereo business for about 10 or 11 years. It was a place called Audio Designs. It was in Fort Lee, New Jersey. We used to “Pimp rides.” Designing was always a part of me…
It’s not like a sat there and got my hands dirty molding fiver glass and blah, blah, blah, but is like I used to re-mix it at the end and walk out the door! You know what I mean?…
It comes down you see things… I was a customer first and I always put my self as a customer. So if I see something I wouldn’t buy, I wouldn’t give it to my customer. My work ethic with my employees was crazy! I was the boss they loved to hate… but I was also a great guy… I listen. I’m open to change. I was open to learn. I didn’t have the right answers all the time but I had a good ear and a pretty decent eye…
TWIT: Have you been resistant to change? M: Nah, change is good. Change is good. The definition of change is that you like different aspects. That you like the fact that Jordan retro all those shoes. If you ask me change on that aspect I say absolutely! I want every kid to be able to experience what I experience growing up! Why not have a 14 year old 15 year old that likes older shoes, Why not have him cop a pair of retro 9’s or a pair of retro 5’s that coming out or 4’s. Why not? Let them experience what I experienced…
If it depreciates your shoe, so what! You shouldn’t have a shoe that old! You shouldn’t have a shoe sit for 20 years. You should wear it!
You know what I mean… If you have a shoe wear it. I have shoes that I have there that I haven’t worn. I haven’t had a chance to… You know, thank God I’m fortunate and I have an abundance of shoes… Every time I get a chance I try to wear something I haven’t worn every day. Some times twice a day, why not?
TWIT: Now since you embrace change and know that change is great I see you’re on TUMBLR, how do you like it? M: Again I’m always willing to try something new. I’m not no young guy. My blog is just things that I like. I hate the word FAN or FOLLOWER. I have a core base of Shoe-PER STARS like my self that like shoes and I’m glad I’m able to offer them something through my eyes.
I love the blogs. Nice Kicks is amazing very good friends of mine. Shoe Game amazing very good friends of mine. Sneaker News is a amazing very good friends of mine. Your site also, I support all of that and push people to it also but at the end it’s my safe heaven to share my passion and this is my passion… And I like to share it with people who like to learn a little about me. I’m not the most liked guy out there, I don’t know why? People have their own thoughts. I can’t stop people from liking me or not… What I can say is that when they stop talking about me is when I’m doing something wrong.
TWIT: With that said I appreciate your time but it’s time for me to go! Mayor: Thank you for interviewing me it was pleasure and an honor.
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