In the ever constant changing landscape of the shoe game, rare are those who decide to standby their wares despite the trends. Commendable are those who choose to stand for what they really love despite the temptation to branch out, there are those who choose to keep it consistent and streamlined. Meet Mr. Jacques Acuña, the man behind Air Max Nation...
How did Airmax Nation start? Was it a spontaneous effort to make it as big as it is now?
Well, ever since way back 90's I have this thing for sneakers. 1st time I saw my dad wore the AM90 Infrareds I told him I really wanted one. But then it was too expensive. When the time came that I can already buy my own, I was searching for a pair of AM90 Infrareds everywhere. I always go to Nike stores, or anywhere I hear they sell sneakers. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find one. Because of my eagerness to buy it I began searching the net. Found a seller in sulit.com who sells AM90 Infrareds!
The seller said stocks will be coming from China. I then told my friends about it! I told them to buy one too but they were not sure about the seller. They said it looks fake! I told them to consider it as an investment because I have plans of selling it online. If it’s a fake then sorry, but if it’s original, we’ll earn a lot. I was so excited to receive my pair. Took 2 weeks waiting for it. Then it came, when I opened the box, I knew then that I made a bad investment. Paid 100$ for a pair of knock offs! Was so disappointed that I got a fake. I didn't get my money back anymore and just continued searching for sellers. I then found a US website that sells AM90s! I got so excited! Never thought that they had that much colorways! And so I tried purchasing online for the 1st time! Was on the process of buying when it said that they only ship to US addresses! Another problem for me is on how I’ll have it shipped to my house here in the PI! Again searched online on what’s the best way to have it shipped, saw Johnny Air. Immediately contacted them and asked how it goes. After so many questions since it’s my first time I finally got it and continued buying the shoes. I bought 2 pairs of 90s for myself just to test it. And so I got a confirmation email from the store. Was so excited to tell everyone that I was starting my business! :)
Sept 2013 - I resigned from my day job. Called up my highschool friend Antonio Aguirre (Soleslam Manila) and told him "Bro I resigned from my job because I want to sell Air Max, and I want to make it big." He told me to just tell him when I'm ready and if I have it all planned out already. So I said let’s do it. He then gave me a shout out in his instagram! To my surprise my followers from 56 became 900 overnight and my messages kept coming, the phone kept ringing! At first I didn't know what to do with all the inquiries. I'm not even aware that there we're diff names for them Air Maxes! I wasn't really into the sneaker world that time that I didn't know sneaker terms that much, I kept asking Antonio what they meant. He just said that I'll learn about it along the way. So I researched and made sure to know them so I wouldn’t look or sound that I don't know what I was talking about. Thanks to Antonio for giving me pointers. And so that was my jump start! On my 1st week I had like 20 orders! Orders kept coming in and this time all my friends bought a pair to support me. Everybody was excited about their shoes. When the 1st 5 pairs arrived I had to get it from the Johnny Air office in Makati. When the cashier gave me the invoice, it says I had to pay PHP 10,000 for the shipping fee! That moment I thought to myself, I'm done! I can't pay 10k for 5 pairs just for shipping! Just to get my pairs, I paid the price. And I was worried about the other pairs that haven’t arrived yet. Out of nowhere, my uncle from US called me and said he’s coming home in a week’s time. I told him about the remaining shoes that I bought and haven’t been shipped yet. Good thing he was able to get it and bring it home. Another problem for me again. But that didn't stop me.
There were a lot of obstacles but I always tell myself that there’s no way it’s not going to work since I love it too much.. Eventually, I figured it all out and went on.
Now I have 113k followers and 45k members in my Facebook group Air Max Nation PH. Still, I continue to do what I love to do. That’s why I keep thinking of things that would still make other people like what I'm representing. :)
Why Air Max? What is it with the model that got you stuck with them?
I got stuck with the Air Max 90 infrareds, that’s why I have a collection of it and used the shoe for my logo. :)
Usually, sellers get more and more brands as they become more well-known to keep interest. You prefer to stick with the line you started with. Why?
Well, I also put up @Rosherun_Nation @Asics_Nation @3Stripes_Nation. I let my friends handle the other accounts since it will be hard for me to know other shoes and their different styles. Although through the years, I also learned about them.
Sharing his passion for selling runners, Air Max Nation is also friends with Asics Nation, who specializes in limited edition Asics runners and collabs. Check him out on ig: @Asics_Nation
Give us your top 5 Air Max models and colorways and why?
AM90 Infrareds – It’s the icon :)
AM1 BHM - Looks like J11 :)
AM1 Yeezy - The freshness :)
AM1 Breds - Looks like J1 :)
AM1 Obsidian – A classic look :)
As a seller, how do you see the current sneaker scene? Do give us your observations.
Well, when I started, I know I was the first exclusive Air Max online store. Now, I'm happy to see that I was able to influence a lot with what I represent. That’s why I made my group Air Max Nation PH. I wanted to support other sellers.
Everyone keeps asking me why I put up a group for buying and selling Air Max, where other sellers can sell and be known thus lessening my customers. I tell them it’s not about the sales but the people who will have an interest with Air Max. And I thought to myself, sooner or later there will be a group for Air Max enthusiasts, it might as well be mine. :)
The Air Max models crumble in time, do you keep your old pairs for nostalgia or you just move on and get the same colorways since they get reissues?
Honestly, I only have 1 pair that crumbled. And that was my 1st Air Max. I'm done with buying shoes. I think I already have what I need.. Unless there’s a new one that would really interest me. :)
What is the best shoe that represents Air Max Nation? Give us either an existing one or share with us your ideal colorway.
The Air Max 90 OG Infrareds :)
What are the pros and cons of being a seller of shoes? Can you share with us?
Pros - is that you get to do what you love, because I believe that people don't buy what I sell. They buy why I sell it :)
Cons - is it’s not a 8-5 job. It’s a 24/7 hustle! From the time you wake up ‘til the time you sleep, you’re working. I'm not saying it’s bad but to tell you honestly, you’ll be needing that much needed sleep too. :)
Shoutouts? Anything you'd like to promote?
Thanks for the opportunity Shoephoric!