"I had a store called Bobbito's Footwork on 9th Street between 1st and 2nd on the Lower East Side from 1996 to 2000. It was '98, Gene Smith was my sales rep from Nike, and it took me two years to get an account. That would never happen now with a boutique of someone with my status in the sneaker world. But back then it was very difficult to open a new account. So he comes in and shows me the catalogue for the upcoming season, and I see the Dunks and i'm like, 'Yo, those are crazy, I'm so happy you're bringing back the Dunks.'
I told him, 'I'll take every color in a full-size run.'
It was a tiny store. Bobbito's Footwork was a tiny store, it was literally smaller than the size of the bathroom in Complex. So for us to take a full-size run in all of the colors that were being offered, I was definitely pushing it.
Gene told me, 'Bob, don't order with your heart, you're getting emotional, you need to be smart. These sneakers haven't been out in a very long time.'
I told him, 'I'm not getting nostalgic about the Dunks when they came out in the '80s, I'm of that generation to see them being worn by Syracuse and hip-hop heads, and really believe that these sneakers will do well.'
He was just trying to be protective, most of the sneaker stores that he sold to in New York at that point, they weren't 'heads.' You had Udi at Training Camp, but very few of us came from that generation that experienced hip-hop and basketball.
I took the full-size run, and the truest heads, they knew, they copped them, they bought multiple colors. But they stood on the shelves. Outside of the core, core die-hard cats, people were not up on Dunks when they came back out in '99. They caught dust on my shelves. We had to put them on sale.
Now, I see kids who are like, 'Oh my god, the Dunks, the Dunks,'
And for awhile, the Dunks seemed to have a little more heat than the Air Force 1s. And i'm like, 'You're all late to it, you're all late to the game.'
It took a while for the lifestyle cats, streetwear cats, and the skateboard cats to pick back up on the Dunks."