SELECT Collections: Phase2
Folks, you are in for a real treat today! Many of us consider ourselves “collectors” for lack of a better term, but when you see a collection like the one that awaits you, it essentially redefines the word. There are plenty of sneaker enthusiasts out there who own hundreds of pairs with a healthy supply of “heat” mixed in, but there’s a next level of passion and determination that few collectors dare to pursue. If you’re willing to pay the asking price, anybody can scoop up “rare” and “limited” releases on eBay or at Flight Club, but where do you go to get a pair of Air Jordan XI Deion Sanders PEs or 20+ year old wear test samples?
Just ask Jermaine, a.k.a. Phase2, an accomplished sneaker connoisseur who unquestionably goes the extra mile on the regular when it comes to hunting down some of the rarest footwear gems the world has ever seen. When most of us see a vintage pair of game-worn Michael Jordan PEs, we may daydream about how nice they’d look on a shelf in our house before drifting back down to reality, but Phase2 actually goes for it! Dropping a grip for a pair of worn shoes in the wrong size or a ready-to-crumble pair of 1980s OGs is not for everybody, but for a devoted few, it’s the next logical step in climbing deeper into the unearthed nooks and crannies of the sneaker landscape.
In many ways, Jermaine is living the dream for all of us. Through his blog and social media accounts, he gets us as close as most will ever come to some of the most extraordinary relics and buried treasures in sneaker history. Whether it’s an Air Jordan player exclusive worn only once in a 2002 pre-season game or a crazy unreleased sample that never saw the light of day, if it wasn’t for bona fide sneaker archeologists like Phase2, we may have never known that some of these rarities existed.
While some of us have a more practical approach to our sneaker consumption, for others, the hunger runs much deeper. Having something the next guy doesn’t have has long been a cornerstone of the sneaker game, but for collectors like Phase2, that philosophy has basically become an art form. What you’re about to see just might blow your mind, but as difficult as this may be, try to fight the instinctive human urge to feel envy and despair over all these great shoes you’ll never get your hands on. Instead, let’s be grateful that passionate and dedicated individuals like Phase2 are out there to feed our own curiosity and knowledge every time they share photos of their prized acquisitions with the rest of us.
Sneaker News: Approximately how many pairs of sneakers do you own?
Phase2: I haven’t counted in a long time, but I would say around 375-400 pairs.
SN: It appears that you’re doing just fine for yourself, but how hard is it to get your hands on new releases up in Alaska?
Phase2: The fact that I live in Alaska makes it tougher to obtain a lot of released shoes that I want. That’s kind of a blessing in disguise, since I’m able to save up more money for larger shoe purchases.
SN: What’s your favorite model of all time?
Phase2: Design-wise, my absolute favorite shoe ever is the Air Jordan XX3. Tinker Hatfield worked his magic with that game shoe silhouette… so much that the shoe is photogenic at almost every angle. If I could have one shoe to wear forever, it would be endless amounts of Black/Cement Air Jordan III Retros.
Air Jordan III “Black/Cement” – 1988 OG
Air Jordan XX3 – Wear test sample (different diamond stitch on side)
SN: What initially got you into sneakers and was the first shoe you ever fell in love with?
Phase2: I used to be a huge Nike Air Force 1 guy in the early 2000s, but even before that, I really loved Reebok Questions. I’ve been collecting for quite some time now, but I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my 2 brothers: JP and Joenelle. I’ve always considered our collection to be “collective”, so whatever I have also belongs to them and vice versa.
Reebok Question – Gilbert Arenas PE
Nike Air Force 1 Low iD – Multicolor snakeskin
SN: How long have you been seriously collecting sneakers?
Phase2: It’s been about 12 years now since I was buying tons of white AF1s. I bought my first Air Jordan with the White/Cement III about a decade ago.
Air Jordan III – Michael Jordan Wizards PE – White/True Blue/Copper
Air Jordan III – Black/Elephant sample
SN: What’s your favorite genre to collect?
Phase2: I am a huge Nike/Air Jordan fan, so a large portion of my collection revolves around the Swoosh. I collect a lot of different types of shoes, but I mainly like collecting rare and obscure samples/PEs/prototypes.
Air Jordan IV – White/Black/Grey/Red unreleased sample
Air Jordan IX – BJ Armstrong 1994 All-Star PE
SN: How did you make that elusive jump from buying the stuff that anybody can get in a store to the crazy rare samples and PEs of the world?
Phase2: I’ve always been a fan of what other PE collectors were able to get their hands on. Once I got my feet planted career wise, I started to move a lot of my shoes that I didn’t “love” to help fund larger rare shoe purchases. It all snowballed from there, and now I hardly buy any shoes these days. I guess I’m a bit more selective now.
Air Jordan X – Mitch Richmond PE
Air Jordan IV – Sunset Apollos High School PE Cleats
SN: What was the first super rare pair you ever acquired and how did you get them?
Phase2: I really can’t recall what my first super rare purchase was. It might have been some random Jordan Sample from eBay honestly, but it’s been so long.
Air Jordan V – Michael Jordan PE (thick stitch #23)
Air Jordan VII – “Olympic” Sample (#23 on the back instead of his #9. The leather is also different on the silver.)
SN: What’s the craziest thing you ever had to do to get a pair of shoes you wanted?
Phase2: I don’t usually do this, but I camped out for over a day in Seattle with a few friends of mine. It was for the multi-color Sole Collector Air Max 95s only released at their Seattle sneaker competition. It was cold as hell, but it was an experience that I’ll never forget.
Air Jordan V – Mikael Pietrus PE (worn in the 07 Warriors vs. Mavs upset series)
Air Jordan XII – Quentin Richardson PE
SN: What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a pair and what was the shoe?
Phase2: I’m sure it was my nubuck Deion Sanders Air Jordan XI PEs… I’d rather not say how much!
Air Jordan IX – Michael Jordan game-worn #45 MCS-cleated PE
Air Jordan IX – Gary Sheffield PE Cleats
SN: What’s the crown jewel of your collection – the one centerpiece that you hold above all the rest?
Phase2: That would have to be my Ray Allen XX3 Home PE. Ray is my favorite player, and the XX3 is my favorite sneaker. I have quite a few pairs of shoes that are more rare, but the Ray XX3 is easily my number 1 pair in my eyes. I’m one of the fortunate collectors who can say that I do actually own my Holy Grail.
Air Jordan XX3 – Ray Allen PE
Air Jordan III “True Blue” – 1988 OG
SN: What’s your ultimate grail that’s missing from your collection – the one shoe at the top of your wish list if you could get your hands on it?
Phase2: Air Jordan IX PE’s made for Kobe Bryant in white/purple patent. I’m no Laker fan, but I have a lot of respect for Kobe Bryant. I love the Air Jordan IX so much in PE form, that I need to eventually snag this PE one way or another.
Air Jordan IX – Darius Miles PE
Air Jordan IX Low – Warren Sapp
SN: With all those rare PEs and samples, what percentage of your collection is actually worn and how much is deadstock or not your size?
Phase2: That’s a tough question to answer. I’d say it’s about 50/50. A lot of my PEs I obviously can’t wear. I also own a lot of vintage pieces that can’t be worn either. Put it this way, if it’s in my size in my collection, I’ve probably worn them at least once already.
Air Jordan 1 – OG 1985 prototype with “NIKE” on the Wings logo
SN: Have you ever had buyer’s remorse on a major purchase – where you put in a ton of work or money for a shoe and later ended up with a dusty box now wondering what you were thinking?
Phase2: Yeah, I’ve had buyers remorse before. I’ve even overpaid for some shoes in the past. I believe that it all works out in the end, especially considering how many steals and deals I’ve been fortunate enough to land.
Air Jordan XIII – White Toe/Maroon unreleased OG sample
Air Jordan XI Low IE – White/Navy wear test sample
SN: What’s the most recent pair you’ve picked up?
Phase2: I’m pretty sure it was a LeBron X Elite. Those things are comfortable!
Nike Air Foamposite One – OG wear test sample
Nike Air Force STS – White/Green OG
SN: What’s a sleeper shoe you love – something that might not be the most popular or well known model, but is one of your personal favorites?
Phase2: I can’t rave enough about the Nike Zoom LeBron II. Newer “LeBron Collectors” these days tend to think that the LeBron line started with the LeBron VII. The LeBron II just fits perfectly to my foot type. I love the responsiveness and the cushioning, as well as the perfect collar height.
Air Jordan XVI – Reggie Miller PE
Air Jordan XIV – Reggie Miller PE
SN: What are a few shoes that are heavy in your current rotation?
Phase2: I’ve been wearing the Nike Flyknits, LeBron IIs, Kobe 6s, Kobe 8s, and KD IVs a lot lately. I’ve also been cycling through many different Nike Roshe Runs as well.
Air Jordan XII Low – White/Red wear test sample
Nike Air Max Astound/Air Jordan X sole – hybrid sample
SN: What are some upcoming releases that are on your radar?
Phase2: I can’t wait to beat up on a new Nike KD VI. The design is a bit abstract, and the tongue flaps are definitely different compared to the conventional basketball shoe. But with that said, they are slowly growing on me and I can’t wait to try them out on the court!
A huge thanks to Jermaine for giving us all a look at his indescribably impressive collection! Check out more Phase2 treasures on the following pages and keep up with his latest sneaker conquests on his Instagram and blog. Stay tuned to Sneaker News Select for more jaw-dropping collections coming soon!
Nike KD IV “Yeezy” iD
Nike KD IV “What the KD” iD
Air Jordan 1 – “Max Orange” Retro sample with blue lining
Air Jordan 1 “Metallic Green” – 1985 OG
Air Jordan 1 “Metallic Blue” – 1985 OG
Converse Pro Leather – unreleased “Michael Jordan” Defining Moments Pack sample
Nike Air Jordan Sky High OG
Air Jordan III “Oregon Pit Crew”
Air Jordan III – Michael Vick Pro-Bowl PE Cleats
Air Jordan IV “Eminem”
Air Jordan XV – Michael Finley PE
Air Jordan XVII+ – Jeffrey Jordan PE
Air Jordan XIX SE – Rudy Gay PE (Jordan Brand All-American Classic)
SLAM Magazine x Air Jordan XX1 PE Promo
Air Jordan XX2 – Black/Grey unreleased sample
Air Jordan XX2 – Josh Howard PE
Air Jordan 2009 – Black/White/Red unreleased sample
Undertow x Air Jordan 2010 Charity Promo
Twitter x Air Jordan 2011 Q-Flight “Follow 23” Promo
Jordan TGIM – Ray Allen PE (exact game-worn shoe from ’08 Finals “biggest comeback” game in LA)
Nike Zoom Kobe 1 – actual 81pt Kobe Bryant PE (deadstock), NOT the special release pair
Stash x Kobe Zoom Kobe 1 Promo
Nike Zoom Kobe VI – early stage prototype sample (no external heel counter)
Nike Hyperdunk – wear test sample (no side swoosh)
Nike Shox Stunner – Baron Davis PE
Sole Collector x HondaFIT x Reebok Question Promo
Nike SB Dunk Low “Paris”
Nike Dunk Low Pro B “Alphanumeric”