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Nike Collector @snkrdiva on Air Max Love and Supportive S-O-L-E Sisters | Nordstrom x Nike

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Images via @snkrdiva

Air Max Month is wrapping, but our permanent Nordstrom x Nike boutique is refreshed for spring and summer. For an excuse to chat about sneakers, we got in touch with friends and serious collectors Angela Shaw and Maria Elena Puschmann, who both loaned sneakers from their collections to our store displays for Air Max Month in Seattle and Chicago.

Here’s Puschmann—better known as @snkrdiva—talking about her collection and making Nike a permanent part of her life.

What does your sneaker collection look like and where do you keep it?

I’ve been collecting sneakers since 2007, but I’ve always been into shoes. I couldn’t buy them as a kid—I had to rely on my parents—but in 2007 I was well into my 20s and could afford it and keep as many as I wanted. I don’t have a huge collection, about 170 pairs. I keep them in my room, in my closet, in my pantry, at the foot of my bed, some in my living room. I have shoes everywhere in my house. There’s no place that hasn’t been taken up by sneakers. I love Air Maxes and have 60 pairs, which isn’t a lot compared to the Air Max queens overseas, who have hundreds on hundreds on hundreds. I like what I like and don’t care about anyone’s opinion on what’s the new shoe to buy. I do love Air Max 1s. And 97s.

Is the Air Max 1 the shoe that started it for you?

Actually, I used to love Jordans a lot. But the shoe that started it for me wasn’t a Jordan, it was a Scottie Pippen Uptempo. I got the black pair and the white pair back in ’97.

What was it about that sneaker that flipped your mind around?

I went to Catholic school as a kid, so sneakers were the only thing you could wear that was of your own uniqueness. That shoe, with the A-I-R on the side and the air bubble, looked amazing. I had never seen a shoe with such a big word on the side. I fell in love with that shoe.

You’re active on Instagram. What are you up to on there, related to sneakers?

Yeah, I’ve been doing it for five years. I do #7Daysofamlove around every Air Max Day. And all through March, myself and this girl @kicks0l0gy have been doing #31daysofbabesinairs. So every day this month we showcase a different girl and her collection, running a little Q&A on our pages.

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Is Instagram for you purely about community or are you making money on there?

Purely passion. I don’t get paid off Instagram. I post my life, and if people like it, they like it. I have a small following, but it’s just food pics, my sneakers, my family, things that make me me.

I talked to another collector involved with Nordstrom x Nike recently, and she said growing up, sneakers were viewed as a guy thing.

Are you talking about Ella?

Yes.

Yeah, I know her. She and I are part of a sneaker crew called Female Sneaker Fiends. That’s my sole sister right there, S-O-L-E. It started quite some time ago, a movement started by Lori Lobenstine, because like Ella said, sneakers were affiliated with guys, basketball, tomboy attire. But at the same time there were hella girls who would wear them with skirts or dresses, or just wear them period. So she started a community. And that’s how I met Ella. She’s the Female Sneaker Fiend from where she’s from [in Las Vegas, now Seattle] and I’m the rep from Chicago.

Is that how you felt when you were younger, that sneakers were off-limits to you?

Yeah, I mean I was definitely a tomboy growing up. I had to wear a skirt to school because of the uniform, but I wore sneakers, so automatically I was a tomboy. You didn’t wear your cute little flats? You didn’t wear your shoes with bows on them? I was never that girl. Still not that girl. I feel more like me when I wear sneakers. And now I can chase my child around better when I’m wearing sneakers. Back in the day, if a girl wore sneakers, people would automatically call you a lesbian or a tomboy. Now it’s different, and there are so many different styles that you can dress up or dress down. You can be as feminine as you want to be.

How many days out of the year do you wear sneakers?

Every day.

SHOP: Nordstrom x Nike