Mark Farese aka "Mayor"

Mark "Mayor" Farese, having dominated the game for 3 decades, is seen as one of the OGs of the sneakerhead community. Mayor boasts a massive collection of 4000 thousand pairs worth more than a million dollars. Although he owns and pilots a marketing brand called Stadium Status Group, he also holds the role of brand ambassador at Nike and Sneaker Con. For Mayor collecting sneakers is like collecting art and betting on stocks at the same time. 

Growing up in the Bronx, Mayor came from a rather humble background and yet being born so close to the birthplace of hip-hop, sneakers inevitably became a huge part of who he is. As his supervillain backstory goes, he claims that as a child his mother bought him a knockoff sneaker with his name on the side. Although he found them rather cool, when he went out to play his friends made fun of what he wore. Heartbroken he decided that day that he’d never be trolled for his kicks. Ever since he’s worked minimum wage jobs, borrowed money and even stolen from his grandfather to make sure he’s seen in only the freshest footwear.

 

About 5 years ago Mayor became a viral sensation when a YouTube video of his surfaced where he is seen bending and creasing the toebox of Jordan Brand’s first ever collaboration, a Jordan x UNDFTD Jordan IV. The iconic shoe with only 72 pairs worldwide, resales for nearly 25,000 $ so naturally for any other collector they would sit in a box or decorate the mantlepiece. But Mayor’s pair has seen its fair share of bruising. But with some of the greatest plugs in the business supplying Mayor’s collection he ended up paying just 2000 $ for them. And in his own words, if he paid 2000 $ for them he’ll wear them like a 2000 $ shoe!

 

Mayor runs his collection with a code of conduct most resellers wouldn’t care for. He acknowledges that he’d never camp out for a shoe or install a bot to purchase a shoe for him online. With ties all over the place he just makes the right phone calls and hopes his plugs pull through. 

Mayor is not one to chase the hype of sneaker-wear, he appreciates those who understand what they’re looking for and the history made over all this rubber and leather. He’s sold and trades shoes with some of the greats such as Quavo and Lil Yachty and is a great friend of Fat Joe another rapper cum sneakerhead. 

The mere size of his collection makes him more than just a collector, it makes him a connoisseur. From player exclusives to friends and family pairs Mayor has owned and worn some of the rarest sneakers known.

 

Exactly how rare are we talking? Out of his 1000 pairs of Air Force 1s one particular shoe stands out, a 1 of 1 pair of Entourage Air Force 1s customized by DJ Clark Kent for his birthday with Mayor written across the front. So rare is this shoe that it’s quite impossible to put a price tag on it but suffice to say, a sneaker so close to Mayor’s heart won’t ever be sold. A recent gift, The Royal Blue "Derek Jeter" Player Exclusive Air Jordan 11s, on the other hand do come with a lavish price tag of a hundred thousand dollars. Somewhere in his New Jersey home’s basement lie a plethora of sneakers so rare you could consider them urban legends.  

Understandably he hates being called a sneaker collector preferring to be known as a “sneaker wearer”. For him every sneaker brings a unique anecdote to mind. What most sneaker collectors would consider a grail Mayor treats like his beater pair. 

 

325-pound Mayor and 200-pound Mayor tragically do not share a shoe size. A whopping 200 pairs from his collection were recently sold to Urban Necessities’ Jaysse Lopez aka Twojskicks because in his weight loss he lost 1.5 shoe sizes too. On his IG he shared that he’ll be using the money to invest in some investment properties to get his real estate business off the ground. And while it was hard for the man to let go of his legacy and a monument to his love for the game, the sneaker world is better off for it!

Directions by Harkrishan Alag

Written by Aditya Chopra