The 29-year-old Wair, who’s been skating professionally for a decade (he was Thrasher magazine’s Skater of the Year in 2013, the first Black skater to claim the honor), picked up his 1986 Porsche 911 G-body Carrera a few years ago. He says the calculus was simple: “I was like, ‘I want a Porsche. I think Porsches are sick. I’d rather get one now than when I’m older. You never know how life is going to go. Fuck it. I’m just going to get this thing.’ So I found it on eBay and pulled the trigger.”
At first glance, they might seem like an odd duo: Walker with his wizard beard and elder statesman mien, fresh-faced Wair with all the energy and shine one would expect of a very successful millennial. But in addition to 911s, they share another interest. Both are steeped in sneaker culture and were put in touch by executives at Nike Skateboarding, who happened to be Porsche fanatics, with the idea that the duo might be able to design a shoe together. Wair, who is sponsored by Nike, has always been highly invested in the creative process for the shoes that bear his name. When it came time to design his latest model, the folks at Nike—who had taken their own tour of Walker’s garage in L.A.’s Arts District—thought the two 911 obsessives would make a dynamic creative team.
The novel pairing is testament to the growing overlap between the worlds of streetwear and vintage cars. Puma has released a line of shoes inspired by the 911 Turbo, and Aimé Leon Dore, the Queens-based streetwear label, has created a Porsche-themed lines of tees, pullovers, and jackets, and customized a pair of striking 911 Carreras, one of which was shown at Jeffrey Deitch gallery in New York.
Is it any surprise, really, that these brands would see a kinship in sneakerheads and car collectors? They’re twin creatures, focused on style and design, searching for rare and surprising finds, savvily scrolling Instagram and online auction houses. Indeed, web forums for Porsche hunters have transformed an always active vintage market into one that’s now red-hot. “Vintage Porsches have never been sitting around on used car lots,” says Terry Shea, the head of Hemmings Auctions, “but 10 years ago the market really took off. Cars that were $10,000 became $30,000 cars, and $30,000 cars became $60,000. Values have gone up, and they’re holding their value.” Bring a Trailer, the online auction house launched in 2014, has sold more Porsches than any other make of car, over half of them 911s. “The marque has long been a favorite among our community,” says Howard Swig, the site’s head of auctions, “and it’s no surprise the collector Porsche market is booming again.”