Style Counsel: Lindy Darrell


Occupation: Vintage Nike reseller

His Style: Track meet on the street

Photograph by Annette Navarro

How did you start collecting Nike apparel? I had a few pairs of running flats sitting in my closet, but I started seeing buyers from Asia picking up all kinds of early era Nike stuff. So I jumped into it. Now I’ve been buying and reselling Nike for 30 years.

What makes early Nike stuff special? In the 1970s, Nike was making the best running shoes in the world. Real suede, real pigskin. You’ll never find sneakers made like those were.

How big is your collection? At my peak, I had over 300 pairs of sneakers and a closet full of apparel. Ninety nine percent of my stuff is running or track and field related, but I’ve started getting rid of a lot of it.

Who buys this stuff? I ship stuff everywhere. There’s a big market in Malaysia for T-shirts from specific races or events. I see younger and younger people interested in this vintage Nike stuff. I just know what they want and I’m always on the hunt.

What’s your favorite piece? I have a pair of the first waffle trainers that were handmade by Bill Bowerman, the founder of Nike. He made them on his wife’s waffle iron. I also have the handmade Athletics West [a running team founded by Nike owners] uniforms from 1977. They almost feel like lingerie. The nylon is so thin, and the way it was sewn, they’re incredible. Every single piece was handmade.

Do you wear a lot of Nike? I used to. I’m 62 now so I don’t really.

Is Nike stuff different now? Honestly, I think they make junk now. I used to say for the longest time, you could take a turd and put a swoosh on it and it would sell.

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