SELECT Collections: Franalations
Within the sneaker collecting world, there is a stark dichotomy between new school and the old school. As with any subculture, there is always the tendency for its veterans to scoff at the idea of a younger generation coming along and latching on to their thing. But despite the instinctive reflex to want to protect your personal passions from the outside world, the simple fact is that it’s the younger generation that has always driven the culture and dominated the marketplace. Jaded OGs can gripe all they want about the lost purity of their true love, but they’re not the ones camping outside of stores for days on end to get the shoes they want, so who really loves it more?
The Nike SB Dunk craze of the mid 2000s is a big reason why the collectible sneaker game has exploded into the mainstream juggernaut that it’s become today. With it came a brand new audience and eager consumer base ready to hit the ground running and start snatching up all coveted drops they could get their hands on. For many of these younger collectors first immersing themselves in the wonderful world of sneakers, Dunks were like a gateway drug that eventually pulled them deeper into the life as they branched out to explore all different categories and brands.
Between his long-running YouTube video series and ownership of one of the best SB Dunk arsenals on earth, California collector Franalations has carved out a place for himself as a well-known figure in sneaker circles. Fran is a prime example of the aforementioned Dunk kids who saw something they liked and went hard out the gate. Don’t be mad because he has more shoes than you or that he gets flown around to make appearances at sneaker events or that Nike sends him special packages. Chances are that he’s worked a lot harder than you have to put himself in that position.
Get it straight – regardless of even the financial aspect, it takes a lot of time, dedication and legwork to amass such an impressive sneaker collection and you can’t name too many video reviewers that have been at it longer. Franalations has paid dues to get where he is and it’s tough to knock his hustle. We recently had a chance to check out his jaw-dropping collection in person, so continue on for a detailed look inside his sprawling sneaker rooms (which include much more than just SBs), and as well as a list of his personal top 5s from a variety of different categories.
SN: How many years have you been seriously collecting sneakers?
Fran: 7 years now.
Sneaker News: Approximately how many pairs of sneakers do you own?
Fran: Over 850 pairs.
SN: What was the first shoe you ever fell in love with?
Fran: The Nike SB De La High which dropped in 2005.
SN: What’s your favorite model of all time?
Fran: The Nike SB Dunk Low.
SN: What’s your favorite genre to collect?
Fran: Hands down Nike SB.
SN: What percentage of your collection is worn and how much is deadstock?
Fran: 95% of my collection has been rocked. Only about 5% is DS.
SN: How did you get into doing videos and what kind of doors has that opened for you?
Fran: When I started doing my videos, there was really only one other person doing the same type of thing. His videos were on Jordans and mine were more focused on Nike SB. Over the years, brands and stores have paid for my trips out to events. I’ve also been invited to private Nike events. Most notable though, Nike SB flew me out to Beaverton, Oregon this year!
SN: How did you make that jump from buying shoes that anybody can get in a store to hunting down rare samples and special editions?
Fran: I’ve been very lucky over the years. Nike sometimes sends me product. These can be newer models they want to get buzz around or sometimes shoes I request and they have laying around. Either way, I’m always grateful no matter what they send.
SN: What was the first super rare pair you ever acquired and how did you get them?
Fran: The first crazy rare sneaker I got was the What The Dunk which was soon followed by the NYC Pigeons. When the What The Dunks dropped in LA, it was a hyperstrike with little to no info out on them. Once other places started getting the shoe, like London and NYC, the stores had set release dates, so kids lined up for about a week. In LA, word of mouth was going around the very same day the shoes dropped.
So as soon as I heard via a sneaker forum, me and my friend ran to her car and drove to LA as quick as possible. Once we got to Brooklyn Projects, we stood in a line of only 8 people. About a hour later both of us walked away with our pairs. By the end of the day, they didn’t even sell out. So people camped out over night to get the last few remaining pairs.
SN: What’s the craziest thing you ever had to do to get a pair of shoes you wanted?
Fran: I shipped out LV Jaspers to a friend named Adam in NYC . When he received them, he did a meet up in Soho with the buyer. Once the Paris dunks were in hand, he shipped them to me immediately.
SN: What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a pair and what was the shoe?
Fran: The most I’ve ever spent was $2,700. I’ve done that twice though. First time was the Air Mags, and the second was for the Nike SB “Iron Maiden” Dunk High.
SN: What’s the crown jewel of your collection – the one centerpiece that you hold above all the rest?
Fran: To be perfectly honest, it would have to be my first Bespoke Air Force 1s that were Pickachu-inspired.
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?
Fran: Tokyo Dunk Lows. They have been on my list for a good 5 years now. Not only have I hardly seen the shoes in any size, I have never seen it in sizes 6 through 7. So if any of you find it, be sure to hit me up via twitter or IG!
SN: What are a few shoes that are heavy in your current rotation?
Fran: LeBron 10s, BP Dunk Lows, and Yeezy 2s
SN: What’s the most recent pair you’ve picked up?
Fran: Three pairs came in today. Those being the Bred 11 inspired Jordan 1s, the Shadow 1s, and the KD Lifestyle 6s in navy/brown/red.
FRANALATIONS’ TOP 5 AIR JORDANS
Air Jordan 1 Mid “Red Patent”
The very first Jordan I picked up! Got them in NYC at the NBA store 10 years ago for around $60 bucks. That day I remember asking for a pair of black cement 3s but they didn’t have my size. That shoe later became and still is my favorite Jordan of all time.
Air Jordan 6 “DTP” Laser Customs
dTb is a t-shirt line I started with my friends years ago. Back in 2010, Jordan held an event in Texas for All Star weekend. It was at that event I got my 6s done.
Air Jordan 3 Black/Cement Nubuck Sample
When pics of these hit the net everyone had a hissy fit. “Why cant they keep em looking like the OGs?” I was the only person excited for the switch up. I already owned 5 pairs with the leather upper, and wanted a new variation. This sample was never released to the public. However I came across a pair on eBay and had to grab em. My size or not, I wanted to own each and every version of the best Jordan shoe ever made.
Air Jordan 4 White/Cement OG
Clean! Shoutout @the_perfect_pair on IG.
Air Jordan 3 “Oregon Pit Crew”
When I saw this sneaker online, I thought I’d never have the chance to own them in my size. In less then 3 months time they popped up online in a size 7 and without any hesitation, I copped. Arguably the best variant of the black/cement 3. The green stitching on the upper is fire!
FRANALATIONS’ TOP 5 NIKE BASKETBALL SHOES
Nike KD 6 NSW “Birthday”
The internet hates these. Which is great for me because they are on my top 10 list for sneakers that dropped this year.
Nike Zoom Kobe 4
I lined up with a friend who wanted these, and walked out with a pair for myself. They were my first Kobes I ever picked up.
Nike LeBron 9 “Cannon”
Before these dropped, I hated on them so hard. Even said the LeBron 9 may be the worst LeBron of all time. About a week after these dropped, a Twitter follower told me they had these in a mens size 7 at box price. I gave em a try to see how they were in person. Instantly fell in love. I ended up getting pretty much every 9 that dropped. Never judge a shoe by its blog pics people. Wait till you have the kicks in hand.
Nike LeBron X iD “Pikachu”
These things turn so many heads its unreal.
Nike LeBron 8 “South Beach”
FRANALATIONS’ TOP 5 FOAMPOSITES
I call these my space boots. They didn’t sell well which works out great for me. I grabbed two pairs both marked way down from box price.
So clean on feet and very slept on if you ask me.
These may be the best colorway to every hit the Foamposite.
This is another sneaker the internet loves to hate. I started getting kicks for cool mixes of color or materials. This shoe’s upper boasts a color combination of teal, white, red, green, and volt. Can’t get much cooler of a color combo then that!
This shoe kills the Galaxies in my opinion, and the proceeds went to a good cause.
FRANALATIONS’ TOP 5 MISCELLANEOUS NIKES
Nike Air Yeezy 2
S/O to NSW for blessing me with a pair of these at random 3 months after they came out! Can’t thank you enough.
My first Dunk Low
Got these back in 2002 or 2003.
DJ AM Dunk Mids
When I saw these on the DJ AM’s charity eBay listings, I had to cop. I wanted to grab his De La Highs seeing as they were my first SB. But this wasn’t a bad second place choice seeing as it was my first Dunk Mid I ever owned.
Air Force 1 High Foamposite “Kobe”
Also a gift from Nike the night I got the Kobe All Stars and Destroyer jacket.
Air Force 1 Low Laser from Footaction
Footaction sent 25 brand influencers custom AF1s with our names on the lace locks and their logo on the side of the shoe.
FRANALATIONS’ TOP 5 SB DUNK HIGHS
“De La Soul”
The first sneaker that really caught my eye, and had me searching online for info. I was on the hunt for these things in my size at a good price for 2 whole months. I ended up finding them on a UK site for $200. At the time I thought the price was so crazy seeing as box price was around $100. Nowadays, the shoe is impossible to find in my size, especially in DS condition. Expect prices to be in the $500 to $600 range for a mint pair of these joints.
The very best quality I have ever seen on a SB. So buttery its unbelievable.
The best shoe that never happened.
On feet, there is really nothing like this shoe. I’ve always thought of shoes as art you can wear and this shoe is the perfect example of that statement.
“Reign in Blood”
The mix of materials on the shoe is on point. Its the type of shoe that can be rocked everyday no problem. Dom always kills it!
FRANALATIONS’ TOP 5 SB DUNK LOWS
Love these shoes! Best SB of the year hands down! Dom did his thing as always. He actually showed me the photoshop pics of these about a year ago. At the time I want to say they were dunk highs though.
As far as bringing a concept to life, this may be the best representation in SB’s catalog. I so wish these would have hit stores so more people could have Nike perfection in their collection.
Simple, clean, and great for everyday use. Keep in mind these dropped in 2005 whereas the Janoski’s dropped in 2009.
“What The Dunk”
I remember my thoughts when getting the shoes back in 2007… Now I don’t need any other shoe from SB, I have them all in one.
This release was the turning point. At this time I decided to collect new SBs as they dropped. Funny thing is, years later the person who flew me out to Nike was the individual who designed this shoe. He also designed the very first sneaker I did a review on. Pretty crazy stuff if you ask me.
FRANALATIONS’ TOP 5 SB DUNK MIDS
These shoes were love at furst sight!
If there was a formula to creating sneakers, these guys didn’t use it. As random and unconventional as this product is, it’s also that much more unforgettable.
This was the first SB I got on release date. I picked these up from Union LA. At the time of purchase, I opted out of grabbing the Dunk Lows which I later regretted. Got em now though, so its all good.
The samples on these were crazy!! This shoe was also part of the Gentlemen’s pack, and they released alongside the Old Spice Dunk Lows mentioned earlier.
Same thing here, the samples were crazy!! However I was disappointed by the switch up of materials, so I passed on them. Years later I grabbed em on eBay to complete my Goofy Boy packs. My views on the sneaker have since changed.
FRANALATIONS’ TOP 5 MISCELLANEOUS NIKE SB’S
Supreme x SB Blazer – Red
Michael Lau x SB Janoski
Clean overall shoe. The detail on the upper is unlike anything we have seen before or since on this model.
Kobe x Koston
Only 24 of the Hyperstrike version was sold and all were raffled at the Nike Vault in LA. I was able to grab 3 of the 24 sold to the public. And later on, I was able to grab a sample size 6. Keep in mind the smallest released size was 8!
SB Trainer 2 “J-Pack”
I have almost as much love for these as I do for its Dunk Low counterpart. I snagged these online for just $30 DS! Come up!
Supreme x SB Bruin – Black
When Supreme does sneakers they almost always start with size 8 and up. This sneaker however was made in size 6 through 7, but those pairs were only sold in Japan. My pair is size 6 by the way.
FRANALATIONS’ TOP 5 BESPOKES
I did all of my Bespokes based off of video games I’ve played over the years. The first three were all Pokemon-inspired. The inspirations were made as followed, first Pikachu, then Squirtle followed by Bulbasaur. My fourth creation moved from the Pokemon theme to WOW World of Warcraft. This shoe was based of my main character which is a Shaman. Lastly, this year Nike opened the
Bespoke program up for one week in LA. I had to take part in this event seeing as if no one supports it, how can we expect to get this service in our area. For this project, I went back to Pokemon, but first turned to IG and asked my followers which creature to take inspiration from. Final decision came to Mew and it turned out perfect.