Dave Ortiz

Photo: Brad Paris

Your store is a mecca for skaters and sneakerheads.
Yeah, the Hideout/Nike Air Woven Footscape is the hottest sneaker right now, and this weekend the Nike Dunk High hit. It’s based on the “nanu-nanu” guy from Mork & Mindy: a red dunk high with silver, like his spaceship. Nike’s skateboarding brand, SB, does collector shoes that people go gaga over. Kids camp out in front of my store, and it’s not the safest block.

How do you keep ahead of the curve?
I check out hypebeast.com and slamxhype.com. And I’m a skateboarder myself.

What do you wear?
Whatever. When they’re used up, I take them across the street to the shelter. The kids hate it, because I’ll give away crazy limited-edition shoes, and they’re like, “I just saw this homeless guy wearing these Jordans I can’t believe!”

I hear you’re hosting DC Shoes’ boroughwide skateboarding competition.
Yeah, my friend’s an event coordinator, and I’m the host. The kids meet at dope skate spots and compete. It’s to keep our culture alive, keep the ball rolling.

What’s new in the skater world?
The track bike—fixed gears, no brakes—is the new skateboard. We’re making six, basing them on the eighties; they’ll be out for February. The Williamsburg kids rock these with rolled-up pants, Vans. Messenger chic. You can do wheelies and skids and be in another borough in twenty minutes, and that’s whassup.

Dave Ortiz