We came across Charlie Fowler on Instagram (@tunedcharlie), and was caught by his vast Air Max and TN collection, and a raw look at life through his film photography while growing up in Melbourne. We sat down with Charlie to talk about all things being Aussie, Air Max and TN’s.
Hey Charlie, how are you doing! Tell us a bit about yourself.
What’s up Basement! I’m doing well.
I’m a 19 year old from inner city Melbourne, Australia. I’m an Air Max head and have been collecting and selling for the past 5 years. I mainly sell the Air Max Plus which is better known as the TN, but I am also big on other models such as the 95, 98, 90, 1, Shox, Tailwind IV and Presto.
I made @tunedcharlie in late 2019 with the intention to just show off some kicks and possibly sell a few. Jump nearly 2 years later and I’ve now sold hundreds of pairs, not just within Australia, but internationally too! The page has also provided me with a platform to show some of my other interests like film photography and design. I’ve released limited runs of TN inspired T-shirt designs as well as film prints of my collection and it’s always surreal to see photos of people on the other side of the world repping my designs. But more importantly, I’m grateful to have been able to use this platform to raise money in support of BLM and victims of the 2021 Australian bushfires.
How has growing up in Melbourne influenced your style?
Melbourne has a rich arts culture and many subcultures too. From a young teen I’ve been around the rave and hip hop scene here, graffiti and skating too. You’ll find these subcultures kind of overlap one another, especially the way people dress within them. Air maxes have always had a home throughout these subcultures which has developed my style today.
Mad, I hadn’t realised Melbourne had a good rave and graff scene. How did your childhood impact your vision and creativity?
Growing up I was always drawing which is where I feel my creative side came in and as I got a little older I always wanted to build a brand. I never thought starting my Instagram would open all these doors. It goes to show what creative opportunities present when you start one thing.
Instagram connects us all… sick to be able to get you involved from across the world. What was your introduction to streetwear culture?
My introduction to street wear culture definitely came from who I was listening to. I was and still am big on Skepta. He pushed the tracksuit steeze.
Who are your main influences and inspirations in the scene at the moment?
@Toni_Brugnoli has been a big inspiration behind my film photography. Toni is from Italy and captures the street culture, cars, food and mates on the streets of Milan.
How long have you been collecting and how many pairs do you have?
I have been collecting Air Maxes for 5 years now. Starting with only a few pairs in 2016 due to not having the spare money, but eventually growing over the years. I have a little over 30 personal pairs now. Sometimes I will have more than 60 if we’re including the pairs I’m selling.
Yeah the collection is mad. What is it about Nike Air, and particularly TNs that you love?
I love the unique silhouettes and colour combos Nike has done. Many turn heads with their aggressive and loud designs. The TN has got to be the comfiest Air Max and possibly the comfiest Nike shoe ever made. It will always be a favourite of mine due to them being a notorious Australian shoe with street culture tied to it.
Do you collect to sell, or purely to keep the collection?
I do a bit of both, over time my personal collection has seen new pairs and I have let some go, but gradually it has been growing with new pairs being added and doubling up with some older models. Throughout my time collecting I have let some go to a better home, however certain pairs I definitely plan on holding onto forever.
So, a bit more about your collection…
Favourite pair ever?
I have around 30 personal pairs of Air Maxes. Some do get more love than others of course. My all time favourite pair has got to be the Neon Air Max 95. They’re a staple pair in the scene and just go with everything. I have 4 pairs of them so I should be good for a while. When It comes to TNs, my personal favourite pair would definitely be the 2014 Hyper Blues. The colourway was one of the first ever made in 1998 and they’re without a doubt a must have.
First pair you bought?
I purchased my first ever pair of TNs in 2016. They were a US11 (I’m a US10 so they were far too big lol) set of 2013 Navy Palms/Canas. I scooped them up on ebay for only $60, which looking back on now was an absolute steal because of how much the model has boomed today.
The rarest pair of TN’s I have owned would probably be ‘Mother Lands’ from 2012 which had a killer red, blue and white design, or ‘Portals’ from 2009 which I named myself as not many people had them/ever saw them. They had a purple fish scale mesh design.
Hard. So what’s next for you Charlie?
I hope to continue to grow @TunedCharlie on Instagram by sharing my film photography in and around Melbourne, as well as finding new homes for Air Maxes, producing Air Max inspired tees and selling film prints shot from my collection.
@tunedcharlie on Instagram