Yannik Schubéus (AKA @swoosh_fever) Talks All Things Air Max
Yannik Schubéus (AKA @swooshfever on Instagram) is a prolific Nike Air Max collector from Germany. With a collection spanning over many years, silhouettes and colourways. For Yannik, it’s more than the hype. It’s the story behind the sneakers and the thrill of the hunt that drive’s him forward and motivates him to expand his collection.
Yannik, tell us a little more about yourself.
My name is Yannik, I am 27 years old and I live in Northern Germany. I work as a shift leader for a Sneaker store company and have a huge passion for the Swoosh.
When did you start collecting sneakers?
I have been collecting for around six to seven years. In the beginning, I was more of an Asics guy but I realised that only the Swoosh makes me happy and represents me the best.
How many sneakers are in your collection currently?
Around +/- 100 but as I always say, it’s about quality, not quantity.
You mentioned in a previous post on Instagram that Gabber music and rappers such as Eminem inspired you to expand your Air Max collection. What influences you today?
Nowadays, I am influenced by older pictures of the early 2000s. But most of the time I wear what I like and not what someone says is cool. You always have to find your own style and be yourself.
What's your favourite Air Max silhouette and why?
My favourite silhouette is the Air Max 90. The Air Max 1 is a nice one but the 90 looks much more aggressive and you always find another colourway from back then you have not seen before.
What’s the oldest sneaker in your collection?
The oldest pair in my collection is the OG Air Max Light (Air Max II) from 1989.
In cities such as Berlin, the Air Max 1 was a massive status symbol when it was first released. Does this legacy still run true for you?
Because I am living more in Hamburg I can’t say too much about the current situation in Berlin. But I know a lot of people who look forward to the 35th anniversary next year and I believe it will definitely be a good one.
Air Max 1s are expected to make a huge comeback in 2022 much like what Nike has done with the Dunk this year. What do you think is in store and what are your thoughts about the incoming wave?
Nike will release the classic OG colourways for sure like on each anniversary and will definitely work with some shops or brands. They made good pairs in 2017 for the 30th anniversary. I don’t actually own many of the new releases due to the crease you get in the external toe box area. I hope they improve this for next year's anniversary.
Your love for all things Air Max seems to have taken you far and wide. Where does the thrill of the hunt come into play and do you have any crazy stories when searching for a certain pair to add to the collection?
The thrill is that there are so many different silhouettes with hundreds of different colourways you can hunt, especially the older pairs which are sometimes forgotten about and have the best stories.
Over the years I looked out for many pairs but I think one of my favourite stories is the hunt for the Women Air Burst Navigation. The Navigation Pack (designed by Jeff Staple and Staple Design) was released in 2004 and features two Air Max 90’s, two Air Burst’s and two Shox NZ’s with a women’s and men’s colourway each.
Over past years I collected most of them (the women Shox NZ is still missing) in my size but the hardest to hunt down was the women’s Burst because both Air Burst were released only at atmos and Chapter back in 2004. But after so many years I found one in my size on eBay for €20 and two weeks later a friend of mine in France found another one with the original box in a local consignment store. Now I have them both.
What could we expect to see from a Swoosh Fever sneaker collaboration?
If Nike asked me if I would like to collaborate with them, I would choose an Air Max 90 or an Air Max Classic BW in a White/Blue/Red colourway with a matching apparel collection including a tracksuit, 6 panel and a shoulder or waist bag.
What’s your favourite sneaker in your collection?
That’s a really tough question. But I would choose my 1 of 1 Air Max 90 Sample from 2002. Since I saw the pair online from a small store near the Nike HQ I had to get it. The whole combination of the blueish shimmering material, grey leather and orange details make them so beautiful and that it’s a Sample makes it much more special to me.
Are there any grail level sneakers that you’re still searching for?
Currently, I am collecting the real OGs and my favourite silhouette is the Air Max 90 so I would love to own a brand new, in the box, pair of Infrared’s from 1990 without crumbling soles. I own the OG Eggplant from 1991 but the Infrared is still on the list. So if anyone out there is reading this and has one, I’m your man.
What’s your opinion on the retro releases of OG Air Max silhouettes such as the AM 90 and the recent BW?
I am very happy with the Air Max 90 and the BW retro. At first, I still preferred the shape Nike used from 2001 to 2019 on the 90 because I was raised with it. But to bring back the original shape from 1990/91 was a good move.
There are still some flaws with the Spruce Lime and the wrong Air Unit colour on the Hot Coral but overall, the design team did a really good job. The same goes for the Air Max BW. As a huge fan of the BW, I was not so happy with the 2016 pair. They are not the most uncomfortable, especially compared to older releases. So it was about time to retro them.
The power of community within sneaker culture is important to you. Do you feel that social media has had a positive impact on the industry?
For sure, through social media, the sneaker industry has gotten bigger and bigger. But without the people who joined the whole thing, it would not be the same as it is today.
How do you feel about the current state of sneaker culture?
You can split the current sneaker community into two sections. One is really into the shoes, have the knowledge and feel the passion and the other section is about the money and Instagram flex to get some likes.
People just jump too fast on hype just because one person on IG or whatever say’s it’s cool and that’s not real. Like for example, Virgil made a Jordan 2, a silhouette that was not a huge fan favourite. And now most of those hype kids will buy them because Virgil made them but even though they’ve never worn any Jordan 2’s before.
Do you have any methods of trying to keep the older sneakers in your collection from crumbling/ clouding?
Luckily, I am living in Europe where the humidity and temperature are good for the old pairs and help to prevent crumbling. But you can not really find a good method to stop the bubbles from getting foggy. It’s like the soles, someday they will age and look more yellow.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to network more within the sneaker community?
Be true to yourself, don’t act like someone else and just because there is hype, you don’t have to jump on it to be cool.
What, in your opinion, is the future of Air Max?
Currently, Nike is bringing back many silhouettes, like for example the Tuned Max from the Alpha project or the Air Max 96 II, which got no retros till now. I just hope Nike continues this. But Nike will definitely develop the Air Max series in future as they did in the past 34 years to continue to be one of the pioneers in the shoe technology and industry.