q&a | Aphrodite



Michael Hodgson 01

Customer Catch up – Q&A with Michael Hodgson

Its easy for us to sit here and get carried away writing about all of the latest arrivals and stand out pieces, but every now and again we like to really highlight what’s most important to us… you lot.

Our canny customers are what have kept us going since ’94, so we figured we’d catch up with one of our most loyal customers for an insight into who he is, why he shops with us and what he gets up to in his spare time.

Introducing, Mr Michael Hodgson.


While some of you local lads (and lasses) might already know Michael, well give him a little introduction for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him. Other than just being a down-to-earth, nice fella, Michael owns one of the biggest estate agent’s in the north east. He and his company have racked up a ton of awards for their quality service, so if you’re thinking of buying, selling or moving house, then give him a shout.

Due to his work, he tends to kick about the office in a classic suit n tie combo but when it comes to a bit of time for him and his family, he breaks out his expansive and quite frankly impressive collection of garms and kicks. Over the years we’ve sold a ton of quality pieces to Michael with his impeccable taste and keen eye snatching up the chance to buy timeless pieces from us. I mean just look at the fit below, its the definition of clean. Combining a classic Norse Projects Shirt with some trusty denim, not to mention the ever-stylish New Balance 991’s which, if you look closer, are the limited 40th anniversary pair, what a look!



Enough of the waffle, lets get down to some serious chit chat with our quick Q&A:

While we know what you tend to opt for, can you let everybody in on your favourite brand?

Oooh, this is a bit of a tricky one to be honest, Aphrodite have a ton of great brands that I love, if I had to pick id probably narrow it down to AMI Paris or Norse Projects.

What is your all-time favourite item of clothing?
Its not so much clothing but more of an accessory, and a very sentimental one too. My favourite piece would probably be a very old set of cufflinks that my grandfather gave to me.

Who/What influences your style?
Its changed over the years, I read less magazines and look for influence on digital platforms and a quick scroll on Instagram!

What do you get up to on your days off?
At the weekend my wife and I like to head up to Northumberland to find a nice quiet beach or a woodland walk with the dog, we like to eat out, travel and I am a Sunderland season ticket holder.

What are you listening to right now?
Depends where I am, I spend a lot of time in the car so I like chilled out music or something I can sing along too. We’ve just been to see Sam Fender play at the Scarborough Open Theatre so he’s pretty much on repeat at the moment! 

Where is your favourite place to eat out?
It’s a very small restaurant in Newcastle that only seats 8 called Bao Bar, the food is simply incredible.

What’s your drink of choice?
Either an IPA or I’m partial to a fruit based cocktail!!

Where is the best place you’ve travelled to?
We went to India a few years ago which was an amazing experience.

What is something we don’t know about you?
I’m a bit of a sneakerhead, I like collecting trainers, I buy trainers and don’t wear them!

Q&A Session: With Matt Scronce

Racking up an impressive 67,000 followers in less than a year on his Instagram account, Call of Duty Game Designer Matt Scronce’s collection is as vast as his knowledge of sneakers, with his eclectic assemble portrayed through carefully curated images on his Instagram page @mattks.

We had the pleasure of catching up with Matt to find out more about his three big passions, fashion, video games and sneakers!

Matt, can you please tell our readers where you’re from and a little bit about yourself?

Hi! I’m originally from North Carolina, but have been in sunny Los Angeles for the past 7 years. I’m a Game Designer who has been working on the Call of Duty franchise since 2010. Some of my big passions are fashion with a focus in streetwear, video games, and shoes shoes shoes!

What are your favourite sneaker brands?

I don’t really have a certain favorite. If I find a shoe that I really dig, I do what I can to get it. As many others have, I’ve been on a big Adidas kick lately. Once they introduced the Boost a few years back and I saw how comfortable that technology was, I couldn’t get enough.

Aside from Adidas, I’m also a big fan of the work Fear of God has been doing with their shoe silhouettes on the Military Sneaker. One of my recent pick-ups are a pair of Saint Laurent Skate Sneakers, which will be in heavy rotation for the summer season. I still love Asics, and own way too many pairs of Gel Lytes (big fan of the GLV), but I’ve admittedly been neglecting those pairs as of late….I should change that!

So when did your fascination with sneakers start?

Definitely when I was younger, and mainly due to playing basketball. I was never a great ball player, usually shorter and slower than everyone else. Since that was the case, I at least had to have the freshest shoes on the court. The first shoe that I remember saving up my allowance for was the Air Max Penny 1 in the mid-90’s.

When did you start collecting, and how many pairs do you currently own?

I never really meant to be a “collector” and still don’t really consider myself that. I see a collector as someone who has their shoes in glass cases on display. I buy all of my shoes with the intention of wearing them. I do have a collection though, so I guess that makes me a collector. I’d guess I have around 100 pairs of sneakers at the moment, ranging from what I call “beaters” to some of my more prized pairs like the original Yeezy Boost 750.

What is the missing piece from your ‘collection?’

Ya know, I’ve been wanting a pair of Hender Scheme sneakers, specifically the ones modelled after the Jordan 4. I love the idea that a shoe can change with you as you wear them. That’s another reason for my love of Maison Margiela’s work with his painted Converse, where the paint will wear away with time, revealing more of the base color underneath the paint. That’s a really neat concept, and leaves you with a sneaker that really is your own and unlike any other pair.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to secure a pair of sneakers?

I try not to get too crazy. I guess staying up all night with multiple monitors, laptops, and mobile phones at the ready waiting on a Yeezy drop would be the craziest. I’m not a big fan of lining up for releases, as I’ve had some bad experiences with sneaker shops that I’m sure many of your readers have heard of.

What is the rarest pair of sneakers you own?

Hmm, I’d probably guess the OG Yeezy 750. I don’t see those too often, at least not authentic pairs. I have a few pairs of fairly rare Asics that I just can’t let go of, but I’m not sure of the number of pairs released compared to the Yeezy’s.

What made you start posting your photographs to Instagram?

Seeing the VP of Global Entertainment and Influencer Marketing post a link to an @outfitgrid on Twitter. It was the first time I had seen that concept of an outfit arranged in a grid/flatlay style, and thought it was a really neat way to showcase an outfit. I signed up for Instagram on that day, and just started posting away.

Did you anticipate the amount of followers that you now have when you first joined Instagram?

Not at all! Heck, I’ve been on Twitter since 2009 and have around 15k, so I definitely didn’t expect to hit over 60K in less than a year on Instagram. That said, I’m super grateful for the community on Instagram always showing support, and I’ve had the chance to meet some really great people over there. It may be just another small slice of the internet tucked away in another social media app, but it’s a small slice that I really appreciate and support.

What sneakers are you hoping to get your hands on this season?

I’ve seen some shots of an Adidas Ultra Boost ATR Mid in a burgundy colorway that I really like! I’m hoping those drop soon! And of course, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to what Kanye will be dropping throughout the year. How about a 750 v2?!

Do you have any personal projects that you are currently working on?

Nothing that I can really talk about. My life is centered around my job, and we’re currently working on our next project. I love what I do, and am thankful every day for that.

Finally, can you give us the top three in your collection and what it is about them that you like so much?

1) Turtle Dove Yeezy Boost 350

It’s the shoe that really set it off for Adidas with regards to Kanye. It’s also a bit more of a rare shoe compared to all of the v2s that are dropping, and rarity is always something that adds a little bit to how I feel about a sneaker.

2) Fear of God Gumsole

I mean, technically it’s a sneaker boot, but it’s a pair that I’ve been wanting for a long time. I saved up my lunch money and just recently found them for a good deal from a super nice dude in Singapore. The quality on those shoes are insane!

3) Adidas Stan Smith (Raf Simons)

No, the Stan Smith isn’t super rare. It’s not super expensive. It’s none of the things you’d expect from a “collector”. The Stan Smith is a super clean and simple shoe that can be worn well with so many outfits, and it’s a must-have for anybody out there looking to get into the shoe game!

Want to see more of Matt’s collection? You can get regular updates on his Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mattks/

Q&A Session: Fat Bandit (Antony Jackson)

For a lot of social media users in the sneaker world, it’s enough to take a well-placed snap of the latest hyped model with a pair of joggers and just let the likes roll in.  Not so for Antony Jackson – better known online for his alter ego “The Fat Bandit” – who has generated quite a following with his unbelievably vast and diverse adidas collection. The genuine passion and breadth of knowledge he has for the 3 Stripes is impressive, to say the least, and it’s refreshing to see a trainer collector with his level of dedication.

We have had the pleasure of meeting him in the past and talking to him about his passion for all things adidas, and have once again caught up with him for the readers of our blog.

Antony, can you please tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

I’m a lad living in Manchester and a big adidas Originals fan.  Always try to dress what I consider smart but not to impress anybody.  I like to think that I am genuine and will always try to answer people’s questions on social media.  I am a fan of adidas but not consider myself an expert on the history of the brand although I do know a little bit from experiences of buying the brand over the years and speaking with other collectors etc.

I like my music and enjoy going to gigs from local bands such as The Offset and Stolen Haven, to The Stone Roses, The Courteeners, Kasabian and the recent Happy Mondays gig. I also like a bit of dance music: funky house, a bit of Niche beat from DJ’s Andy Spoff and Jamie Duggan, etc.

Fat Bandit - Antony Jackson

Living in Manchester leads us to the obligatory football question – Are you red or blue?

I’m a Red of course, I try and get to the match as much as I can with a couple of lads from Instagram, Darren Lang and Matt the Red, which is always a good catch up and a good laugh.

Can you remember buying / wearing your first pair of adidas?

I think like most people of my generation, my first pair of adidas were [the] Kick, which my Uncle Terry bought me when I was 14 years old. From this first pair I think I was hooked.

What was it about adidas that captured your heart and what age were you when you began to collect seriously?

Apart from it being smart and great footwear, there was a bit of availability to purchase it from local sports shops.  For me you don’t start off to become a collector, it just seems to happen; you buy frequently and before you know it you have a collection.  Plus now there is plenty of choice because of the frequency of releases, so it seems to be difficult not to have a collection, but I’m not complaining.

How many pairs do you have in your collection?

300-plus, but not as many as other collectors out there, although I’ve had more pairs than this in my collection at one time, but that’s another story.

adidas Boxes

So many adidas boxes that he’s using them as a bedside table

What is the missing piece from your collection that you’ve always wanted to add and why?

I would like a pair of adidas Jeans MKII from the 80’s, they were my favourite trainer from leaving school and have always remained that way. I wish I had looked after the ones I had from back then rather than playing football in them and getting chased over muddy fields by the police!

Where did the inspiration for the Sneaker Thief illustration come from that you use on your profile?

Gary Carter did the first design for me, which started as a bit of fun and ended up being on a few t-shirts.  As for the inspiration it came from the name the Fat Bandit, playing around with different ideas.  All good fun, not to be taken seriously.

Fat Bandit Sneaker Thief

How long do you think you’ll continue collecting?

Not something I have thought about, I don’t think there is a time limit on collecting adidas as I love the brand.

Aside from adidas, what other brands are you regularly seen wearing?

I wear a lot of Stone Island with Edwin Jeans, two of my favourite labels and always go well with a smart pair of Adidas.

Stone Island Fat Bandit

There’s a lot of people on social media showing off their trainer collections nowadays. Do the adidas collectors that you come into contact with seem to get along with one another?

The ones that I have come into contact with in the queues and at launch events always seem to get along really well, and it is always a good laugh.  I’ve met some top men and women collectors over the years and it is always been a pleasure to meet up with them.  There are some great collections out there; it’s good to see.

I have a good laugh in the queues with some of the people from Instagram and my mates Doug Merron and Lee Daniels.  You need a sense of humour especially when its minus seven overnight in the middle of Manchester City Centre.

What made you start posting your photographs to Instagram? How do you find it differs to Twitter for your audience?

Someone mentioned to me that Instagram was a good place to find out about trainer releases etc.,  so around 4 years ago I decided to start loading pictures of my collection up which was my first experience of social media as I have never done Facebook (never will).  Twitter to me has a totally different feel and audience to Instagram but still a good place to post pictures and find out release dates.

Did you anticipate the amount of followers that you now have when you first joined Instagram?

I never gave the amount of followers a thought, I didn’t go on Instagram for that reason.  But obviously it has escalated to where it is now, but it is still not about gaining followers for me.  I just enjoy posting pictures and speaking to like-minded people.

Fat Bandit Instagram

Do you have any personal projects that you are currently working on?

Without giving too much away, working on something with a good friend of mine from Instagram and also working on a new clothing label but I am in no rush to do either.

Finally can you give us the top five in your collection and what it is about them that you like so much?
  1. Manchester 2010 version – Another great trainer released as part of Size? ten-year anniversary
  2. LA Trainer OG – Great trainer from the 80’s, and a recent great re-issue
  3. Palermo OG – Great leisure shoe from the 80’s, and being a big leisure shoe fan I am happy to own an original pair
  4. Ardwick – Great issue from the first season Spezial release from curator Gary Aspden
  5. Dublin 2008 – Another great trainer release, I am lucky to own a pair of these much sought-after trainers
…in terms of the Manchester 2010 that you rank at Number 1, what would it take to consider selling it?

 I would only sell if it wasn’t for personal gain.

adidas Manchester

Hopefully our chat helps give an insight into the world of collecting trainers and Antony himself, who we would like to thank for his time and sharing his experiences. As always, you can get regular updates from his Fat Bandit related profiles on any of the below links: