If you’re looking for a good conversation about Nike SB Dunks then Marcelo Sassa is who you wanna talk to, he’s had over 160 pairs in his collection.
He started skateboarding in Fortaleza when he came by the model and fell completely in love. Our conversation was about the What The Dunks he had on his feet, a mashup of many other iconic SB Dunks.
“My name is Marcelo and I’m from Fortaleza, and I’ve been living in São Paulo since I was 17 years old, I’ve always liked skateboarding even though I just ride a little bit when I can these days. And also one of those guys that are crazy about sneakers, in this patient is mostly for skateboarding shoes.”
When did you start skateboarding?
marceloYeah, I used to skate there, I started skating when I was around 16 years old. I’ve never been without a skateboard, I can go a long time without writing but I need to have my skateboard, I’d rather give away my favorite pair of sneakers then giving away my skateboard. Nowadays A lot of people see skateboarding as a sport, but to me, it’s a lifestyle.
There was this guy that used to date this girl from my street, and he will always be hanging out there with his skateboard, and I started hanging out with them so I could get a closer contact with skateboarding. I was way younger back then I was around 13 and my dad wouldn’t let me go to places that were too far away, I lived around 30 minutes from Beira Mar in Fortaleza which had this huge sidewalk where everybody would skate. we would ride from the center all the way around to Jurema, which is one of the last beaches. So we would ride down some hills and some spots that were not allowed, I had some crazy Adventures. So basically my dad would forbid me to do all that, and when I was 16 I started taking skateboarding more seriously. It was also at the same time I started working so I was able to buy a better board just the way I wanted.
Everyone who skateboards has some kind of attachment to sneakers. I always had my skate shoes and the shoes I would go out with. so that one pair became two pairs, then three pairs – I always had at least four pairs. I would buy the sneaker just to go out and when they got old I would wear them to go skating, and Wendy got torn up I would get another one, and I would just go through them and recycling them.
“The scene here is different, you can find anything. When a new sneaker released abroad, it might delay a few months, but eventually, it would get here. When I first came here, I went crazy the first time I saw Galeria do Rock, they had all the dopest skate shoes at affordable prices.”
When you got to São Paulo, what was the biggest difference you noticed in the sneakers scene between here and Fortaleza?
marceloThe Plano Real era was it really good for Fortaleza, we got some pretty cool stuff over there. I had some sneakers back then that I would pay a lot of money so I could have them today; I had Rick Howard’s DC, Colin Mckay, Danny Way and Rudy Johnson’s. I also had Tom Penny’s éS, Chad Muska’s, the first Kostons, I had all these back when I lived in Fortaleza.
The scene here is different, you can find anything. When a new sneaker released abroad, it might delay a few months, but eventually, it would get here. When I first came here, I went crazy the first time I saw Galeria do Rock, they had all the dopest skate shoes at affordable prices. At the time I would pay like 100 bucks for Actions. This was a time when it was so worth it to pay 100 bucks on a shoe just for skating; and today who’s going to pay like 600 bucks on a sneaker just so you can trash them skating?
Do you remember the first sneaker you really had to work for?
MarceloThe sneaker that was the hardest to get, that I really had to work for, was the Tom Pennys. He’s an athlete that always inspired me, I’ve always liked how he rode…he was a great skater. It was Pedro from Sigilo’s brother that got me these shoes, I ended up having two of them, one for skating and one I just kept away. But since they had Eva soles, with time they hydrolyzed. But the real reason I loved is shoe so much was because it was from an athlete that I really admired.
But like an actual sneaker, what’s another one. I didn’t really like Nikes at first, and I would make faces when somebody would show up with Nikes on because they were not a Skate brand. I always said that if I was going to spend my money I was going to spend it helping skate brands like DC, éS, Etnies and so on. But one day a friend of mine from Santa Catarina past on to me some Nike SB Dunk Highs made in Brazil, and I skated with them and I really liked it, so then I got another, and another and so it went. Till one day I caught myself with 10 pairs.
And why does your sneaker collection rely mostly on Nike Dunks SBs?
marceloThere was a time when I bought a bit of everything, but I just couldn’t handle it I needed to pay rent, College etc. I got to the conclusion that I needed to focus on one model only, so I made the dumb decision to pick the Dunk SB that has like a million colorways! (laughs) But the thing I like the most about Dunks is that most of them have stories, whether it’s a collab or a color wave that looks like something else and people just create a story around it. Like the Heinekens for example. Or even the WTDs, where they put together all the dunks that have stories to make one special Dunk.
That’s one of the things that made me really like the Dunk SB because it has so much story and it has that appeal to it. At the time everything that dropped I was buying, but today way more selected. I separated around 40 pairs that I liked, sold a few, put some for sale at Pineapple. Now I’m focusing on getting sneakers that dropped until 2010, which are the blue boxes. I want to get more sneakers that have a connection to the What The Dunk. From the first SB series, I only have one, a High Top that dropped in 2002. I had the opportunity of getting others, but they were just too expensive.
What’s the story behind this Nike SB Dunk What The Dunk?
marceloI was flirting with them for over a year. And Cris, who is now a supervisor over at YourID, posted a photo of them on Instagram, and I left a comment saying that I thought they were dope. He said that they were not his size and that they were a size 12 which is my size. For an entire year I would annoy him every day asking about the shoes; until one day he just stopped by the shop, I worked at Galeria at the time And brought me the shoes inside of a bag. I didn’t even look inside the bag, I just pulled it behind the counter and said: you know you’re not getting these back, they’re mine now! (laughs) Then I ask how much he wanted for them, can we worked out a price and I got them. He said he only sold me them because I was really into Dunks.
Why out of all your collection did you pick this Nike WTD to do a Kickstory?
marceloBecause it’s a sneaker like many others that I thought I would never have. Because look what were the chances – a dude posted a picture on Instagram and it all worked out, and I have it now. Besides all that I picked them because of the story, just with this pair, it can tell a lot of stories from different Dunks. I have like 30 stories with just one pair.
“Besides all that I picked them because of the story, just with this pair, it can tell a lot of stories from different Dunks. I have like 30 stories with just one pair.”
“But later on I really started to appreciate and collect them, and on it went. My friend always uses this phrase ‘I have more than I need, but I have less than what I would like to have’.”
You said there was a time when you had 10 sneakers, from 10 to 160, how did that happen?
marceloThere was a time when I would buy multiple pairs so I could sell them. But then I felt bad and couldn’t sell this one, then that one – first and foremost there was times when I bought 10 and sold only 2 you know? (laughs). But later on I really started to appreciate and collect them, and on it went. My friend always uses this phrase “I have more than I need, but I have less than what I would like to have.”