Antony “The Fat Bandit” Jackson
Anybody can get online and make a name for themselves these days, but typically when one hides behind a screen they hardly ever show up in-person as well. Not Antony Jackson though, one of the UK’s most well known terrace classic trainer collectors. Online he goes by the maddening moniker of “The Fat Bandit”, amassing followers like it’s no problem on both of his Instagram and Twitter accounts, and grabbing the attention of higher profile entities such as England’s own Size? sneaker chain and even adidas Originals themselves.
And thanks to his quite large physical presence (no pun intended Antony!) we had the pleasure of bumping into him (again, it’s just a turn of phrase!) at the adidas Spezial Exhibition in Shoreditch. After showing us his art and telling us about his business ventures we realized what a well-rounded fellow he us (ok, we admit it, there’s a wee jab there!), so we did what any sensible sneaker publication would do: we knocked him out, tied him up, and captured him back to our Berlin-based headquarters for an interrogation session to determine where he’s hiding all the stolen trainers.
Once he awoke we immediately demanded to know who he was working for but he wouldn’t break easily, so we decided to play it nice and see if we could make an ally out of him after all…
Hey Antony, who are you and what’s your background?
Hiya! As you know my name is Antony, I live in Manchester, I’m forty seven years old, and I believe I’ve been a casual since the ’80s. And, of course, I’m a huge adidas Originals trainer fan and collector.
Of course, of course. So take us back: how did you first get into trainers? Do you remember your first pair of adidas?
I first started wearing adidas and being a football casual and getting into the scene around the age of fifteen which is when I got my very first ever pair of adidas. They were the adidas Kick, which my uncle Terry got me.
Damn, wish we had some uncle Terrys too! Was adidas the only brand you wore? Where did you get all your early goods from?
While growing up and after leaving school my mates and I wore adidas, Fila, BJ, Sergio, Ellesse, etc, and we had a local sports shop so it was easy for us to purchase these brands, but we also went into Manchester to the then-iconic Hurleys sports shop which was like the best thing ever if you purchased anything from there back then.
And what about your current collection?
Actually, this is my second adidas collection… I won’t go into details of what happened to my first collection but lets just say I’m not married any longer!
So this is a sort of new collection I started about seven years ago. Since then I’ve got a bit more serious (about three year ago) and I’m now picking up a few pairs of OG trainers plus many of the latest releases so my collection is around hundred plus pairs at the moment and still growing.
What would you say is your ultimate favorite and also ultimate rarest pairs?
My ultimate favourite trainer of all time has to be the adidas Jeans MKII because they say everything to me about the ’80s, about the casual scene, and the terraces themselves. Nothing smarter than a pair of Lois jeans, a Lacoste polo, and the adidas Jeans on your feet! As for rarest pair, I think my Koln and Berlin OGs would be the rarest I own at the moment.
Alright, flip the coin: what is your most embarrassing pair?
Not long ago I purchased my first ever pair of high tops (adidas Basket Profi) and oh my god I tried them on and then said “what a fucking idiot, why have you punished yourself in this way!”
The consequence was I gave them away and lost seventy nicker. Oh well…
Hey, well, it happens to the best of us! Speaking of buying shoes not so long ago can you tell us what you think of the latest adidas releases? Got any favs you can recommend?
Yes, some nice ones in there. What would you say is the biggest grail for you currently?
My biggest grail has to be the before mentioned adidas Jeans MKII. Unreal.
Dreams aside, when it comes to the sneaker scene, how would you describe your involvement, in the UK, and worldwide?
I seem to have fallen into a cult trainer scene by accident due to Instagram. I posted my first ever picture on there a year ago and now I have a following of over five thousand. There are a few of us on Instagram who’re looked upon as quite iconic especially with the younger casuals which is brilliant as advice costs nothing and I’m always willing to give any knowledge I have on trainers, release dates, styles, and more. I’ve also ventured onto Twitter this last couple of months and have a following of nearly one thousand already – remarkable – due to this Instagram profile and pictures. I do a bit of promotional work with Size? and recently Junx Clothing and Scottsmenswear, along with some stuff I’m told is in the pipeline with adidas themselves!
Wow, we’re eager to see how that unfolds. So how’d you end up with the name ‘The Fat Bandit’?
The origin of the name “The Fat Bandit” will remain a secret for now!
Fair enough (we’ll simply torture it out of you later by making you try on some the latest, high top Lebron releases), so tell us Antony, what could’ve possibly made you miss the opportunity to secure your winning trip to NY when you were picked as the best crate on Sneakerpedia? Actually, more interestingly, how did you feel when you won? Was it a surprise?
I was delighted to win the Sneakerpedia Crate of the Year competition, especially with the prize being a trip to New York no less! It came as a big surprise to me as I thought with it being a US based competition that people displaying their Nike would more than likely win. Once I won though, I’d already been personally invited from Size? and adidas to the Spezial event in London at the same time so for me there wasn’t a choice as New York will always be there but the adidas Spezial Exhibition won’t and not only that it gave people like Ian Brown, Darryl from Run D.M.C., and many other people from Size? and adidas to meet “The Fat Bandit” in-person!
[Antony bursts out laughing]
You’re like an underground superhero known for his ability to amass tasty adidas goods! Now you’ve mentioned a lot about your trainer obsessions but you haven’t said much about the other interesting aspects of your life…
That’s right! I’ve just recently started my own clothing label called “Fat Bandit Clothing”. The first T-shirt release was titled “sneaker thief” and has sold very well. I’ve also just released a polo shirt and some bucket hats. Finally, the next T-shirt titled “talk dirty” is in its early stages of design.
Killer, kudos to you for staying so busy! Now with you being so elusive and secretive with all this trainer espionage business how can people get in touch to make a purchase?
For any details regarding Fat Bandit Clothing products you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you out there who are low on funds, have no fear, you’ll have a chance right here on eatmoreshoes to earn your own piece of Fat Bandit clothing for free in an upcoming contest we’re running with Mr. Jackson himself, so stay tuned (and keep your eyes on our Instagram)! And as for you, our prisoner, Antony, it’s been great to get to know you better and we appreciate your stay here at the eatmoreshoes vintage trainer dungeon. Do you have any parting words you’d like to leave with your massively captivated audience before we put you back into the eternal chamber of orthopedic sandals?
written by Dylan Cromwell