Internationally renowned sneaker collector and founder of his eponymous sneaker care brand, END. visits Jason Markk at The Line Hotel in Koreatown, LA to lift the lid on his flight case and see the sneakers he can't travel without.
An OG pioneer of the sneaker care movement, Jason Markk's quest to develop a range of products to let collectors get the very most out of their sneakers was borne from his own personal desire to keep his kicks looking fresh.
Building an internationally acclaimed business is no mean feat, but Markk's success came from a simple desire to solve a set of problems he had experienced first hand. Offering an antidote to the age-old issues which have plagued sneakerheads the world over, Markk set out to deliver a series of solutions to two key questions. How do I clean my sneakers without tearing them to shreds? How do I protect them from getting beat up to begin with?
Laying claim to an incredible sneaker archive of his own - all well-loved and maintained with a rigorous sneaker care programme to keep everything in peak condition - Markk's personal collection transcends any single brand, style, or timeframe and is a true reflection of Jason's life as a dedicated collector of popular, classic, and niche silhouettes.
Catching up in LA, END. asked Jason Markk the ultimate question: what sneakers are in your flight case?
Visvim Type G Wallaby | Black | 2007
Renowned for taking classic silhouettes from Japanese and American workwear and then blending them together to produce something new, VISVIM's Hiroki Nakamura's 2007 Wallaby G release was the perfect collision of classic silhouettes iterated with fresh textiles and details.
"I love the various textures on this shoe. Quilted black nylon, subtle use of buttery black suede, premium white leather and white mesh netting," Jason says. "I also quite like that this is a VISVIM model that people aren’t used to seeing."
Nike Air Jordan 1 x Fragment | Black/Blue | 2014
Another stalwart of Japanese design, there's little Hiroshi Fujiwara touches that doesn't turn to gold. Offered the ultimate compliment in sneaker collaboration, Hiroshi's brand Fragment was asked to apply its inimitable DNA to the classic Air Jordan 1 in 2014 and immediately became an essential cop for international sneaker collectors.
"It was love at first sight," Jason says. "Premium leather, perfect colourway. AJ1 plus Fragment, - enough said
VANS VAULT x Blends 'Bones' Old Skool ComfyCush LX | Marshmallow/White | 2019
Reissued with new ComfyCush tooling for 2019. VANS and Blends came together once again for a textured exploration of a skate-shoe icon.
"The tonal hairy suede on these is butter. I like that I could dress these up or down and that they pretty much go with anything," Jason explains. "They’re also really comfortable thanks to the new ComfyCush sole."
Nike x Cactus Plant Flea Market Air VaporMax | Multi | 2019
Debuted on Air Max Day 219, the Nike x Cactus Plant Flea Market VaporMax 2019 combined the future-facing flavour of VaporMax with CPFM's irreverent and daring aesthetic. Undoubtedly one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the year, the Nike x CPFM Air VaporMax was a firm favourite among the global style elite and has maintained grail-level status ever since its release.
"These are my favourite shoes that dropped this year," Jason confirms. "Amazing execution of material, colour, and texture. Basically, wearable art. Easy to slip on and off when going through security too."