Eddie Huang may not be a domiciliary name, but that apparently won't be accurate for long. Any attack to pin bottomward his activity is an exercise in futility: He’s a bar-certified lawyer, chef, acknowledged author, restauranteur (NYC's Baohaus), streetwear alum and the brilliant of his own VICE agenda alternation Fresh off the Boat (not to be abashed with his book of the aforementioned name). And he’s a constant lover and aerial of sneakers. Eddie came up in a time in bliss afore cheep RSVPs and afore campouts, what some active would altercate was the aureate age in sneakers. A time aback award could be greased, access could be plucked and a adolescent man could pay his hire while accessory law academy off the business of kicks. Currently in the average of a columnist advance for his New York Times acknowledged account Fresh off the Boat, Eddie took some time to allocution bliss with us in his East Village accommodation - which is abounding attic to beam with sneakers.
So what was the aboriginal brace of sneakers that got you started?
The Air Jordan V, the Fire Red Jordan V with the 3M. It’s in the book, there’s absolutely a accomplished affiliate about it, I bethink seeing the 3M and cerebration man this is crazy. Some kid in academy had them and I had to accept them.
Were you amidst by sneaker ability growing up?
My parents lived in Fairfax County, but we confused to Orlando aback I was like 9. I bethink aback the Shaqnosis came out, bodies were absolutely big on the Shaq Reeboks, but I wasn’t. I anticipation they were animal shoes. I aloof consistently admired sneakers, I assumption kids aloof like Jordans everywhere but there wasn’t a huge sneaker ability in Orlando – I bethink aback Dunks started to get accepted there would be absolutely blockhead pairs of SB dunks aloof sitting on racks in the aperture malls. Bodies from New York would absolutely alarm bottomward to get bodies from Orlando to cop them and again accelerate them aback up.
Is that aback you started flipping shoes on eBay?
Yeah aback I lived in New York and would go aback home to Orlando, I was like yo, cipher is acrimonious up these sneakers and you could aces them up and cast them. I bethink they re-released the Pennys and Foams and bodies weren’t absolutely copping them like that.
Was there and end ambition for flipping kicks?
In New York I was accomplishing that because I bare a way to pay my hire aback I was in law school. It was boxy to accept a abstracted job and go to law academy at the aforementioned time so that’s aback I did a lot of the sneaker streetwear bits – and it paid my bills. I would alarm aliment off the Nike website. I’d be like look, you’re in the average of nowhere, bodies don’t apperceive what’s acceptable with the SBs, you alarm aliment in Vermont, Iowa, you alarm aliment in baby towns and they were like yeah bodies aren’t lining up for SBs and we’d aloof get them to address us boxes. I bethink the aboriginal one was the Mork and Mindy
You attending like a accoutrement as a developed man cat-and-mouse in band for sneakers.
Dunks. I had a case of them afore the bead date and that’s aback bodies were like yo, we charge to cop from this kid, he’s consistently got sneakers. I bethink the Dinosaur Jrs too, I had 60 pairs of Dino Jrs the day they alone and I had bodies lined up alfresco my accommodation accessible to cop. Bodies would alpha to aloof band up on Saturdays because they knew I had whatever was advancing out.
How did you get that rep?
From Craigslist and my boy Steve would put it up on ISS. A lot of kids from Queens too, a lot of kids would appear bottomward from Queens and cop at my place.
So what’s your booty on resellers now – is that article you still do?
I aloof buy now, I never advertise sneakers now. Alike bits bodies accelerate me that I don’t like I won’t sell. I additionally aloof never delay in band for shit. Like aback I was a kid I wouldn’t delay in line, I’d amount out some arrangement to get them after waiting. I ahead that’s the fun allotment of it. Additionally you attending like a accoutrement as a developed man cat-and-mouse in line.
So the Kanye West band “You gon’ see attorneys in Jordans,” how abundant does that bell with you?
Man, I bethink we had this aggregation airing and they were like 'it’s cool, dress casual, you can abrasion a polo shirt, covering shoes and khakis, it’s whatever.' So I formed up in a atramentous velour polo shirt and the all atramentous Jordan IVs, the suede joints and I came out and they were like 'Eddie, what are you wearing?' And I was like 'Yo, I followed the dress code, covering shoes and the shirt is a polo' and they were like 'it’s velour and suede!' And I was like 'well then, you charge to put on the dress cipher no velour and no suede and we’ll be all set, but until you abutting that artifice I’m gonna bedrock velour and suede to your events.'
Don’t get it askance though, I don’t like bodies cutting sneakers and suits. You’ll see bodies cutting 59/50s and sneakers with their apparel and I consistently anticipation that was actual Russell Simmons, and I’m not tryina attending like Russell.
What’s your booty on chefs in crocs?
No lie, if I apperceive I’m aloof bustin' ass and I’m in the kitchen and there’s no advanced of the abode assignment to be done I’ll abrasion Crocs because that bits is comfortable. If Ghostface rocked Crocs in the kitchen he’d be like Crocs adequate amber frosting.
Do you see chefs actuality positioned as tastemakers above aliment into style?
No, I ahead it’s like there are some chefs that accept swag — I don’t alike like that word, I don’t apperceive why I said it. I ahead some of the blogs appetite to accomplish chefs into that, like now they’re aggravating a little too hard. For me it was different, I’ve aloof appear up that way, it wasn’t like I had my administrator whispering in my ear like, 'yo sneakers are cool,' it’s aloof article that I’ve consistently done. Like there will be annual spreads and they try to brace you with a stylist and I aloof don’t assignment that way.
Do you anytime ahead a time aback you’re not cutting sneakers?
No, hell no. Like no lie, I adulation sneakers and I’ll never stop cutting sneakers. Luckily I don’t accept a job that requires hard-bottomed shoes.
How has the coursing afflicted as you’ve acquired notoriety?
Yeah, bodies accelerate me bits but I alone bedrock what I like. Like I’m beholden of the chargeless accessory but if I don’t like it, I’m not gonna bedrock it. The coursing has afflicted because like now I’m like I’m gonna be out of boondocks I charge this brace and they can authority me down. The bodies at Nike apperceive I’m a big LeBron fan so I get the LeBrons, Adidas consistently hits me with shit. The FILA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I was like yo I charge to accept those and they were nice abundant to accelerate a pair.
So what’s next?
I’m goin' to San Fran again Seattle again Portland again L.A. again Houston, again I’m back, again I’m aback out to LBC again I’m back, again I’m aback out to Austin. In the abutting two months I’m home for 10 canicule total, like I looked at my agenda I fly out to San Fran at 8 am do my accident again I’m out that night…it’s crazy. I’ll let you apperceive if it was account it aback I get back.