We don’t always spotlight female sneakerheads, but when we do, it’ll be the likes of Luan Ordas who owns about 120 pairs.
By Tira Lee
Photos by Gabe Tan
Tell us how you first got into sneakers.
I started about 6 years ago when I bought my first pair of Air Jordan. Honestly, I wasn’t very interested in sneakers at that time and to be honest I couldn’t understand why people were willing to put so much effort into shoes. I was curious, so I tried learning about sneakers and did some research. It amazed me how much history there is behind sneaker culture. In time I realized that having the pair you like is just a small part of the entire experience – it was more the stories that came along with your mission to get what you want that made it all worth it. That’s where the “high” comes from, and I wanted that for myself too.
How many pairs of sneakers do you have in total, and which is the most valuable pair to you?
I’m sure it’s a little over 120 pairs. As for my most treasured pair, it’s my Adidas Ultra Boost Burgundy/Gold not because I am a Cavs or Redskins fan, but because it is a rare colorway, which was not widely released. The cherry on top of the cake is that I got it as a present!
It seems like ASICS makes up a bulk of your collection. Why’s that?
When ASICS were hot in 2014, I joined the bandwagon and got my first pair of Gel-Lyte IIIs – the Nippon Blue. But yes, currently, more than half of my collection is ASICS because of its comfort, quality and design. I actually regret not getting into ASICS way earlier because I missed out on a lot of the older releases. My top loves are the Koi, Flamingo, Squad, Da Vinci and Dried Rose.
What other sneakers have you gotten into other than Air Jordans and ASICS?
I don’t collect only a single brand or a single model. I collect sneakers based on what I like at a given point of time. In 2015, I started buying more Diadora and Adidas shoes.
What are your thoughts on the sneaker scene in Singapore and the Philippines, where you’re originally from?
I think Asia is slowly catching up to the rest of the world. We’re getting more releases compared to what we used to get in previous years, and while some Asian countries are still way behind compared to others, it’s good to see that we have more access now. Personally, I get my kicks online 95% of the time because of the lack of sizes in Asia.
Your thoughts on resellers?
The sneaker business has become so lucrative that people buy sneakers in order to resell at a higher price. It is no longer about the passion, but about the profit. And while I empathize with the genuine collectors who more often than not miss out because of resellers, the reality is that it will always be the case because there is always someone buying at a resell price. Sad to say, we see many people who throw their values out the window for the sake of shoes.
Where’s the furthest country you’ve ventured to for a pair of sneakers?
I met up with a guy in Paris in October 2015 so I could trade of my extra pair of Overkill x ASICS GEL-Sight for his Footpatrol x ASICS GEL-LYTE III anniversary pair. We did the swap at Champs-Élysées, chatted for a bit and then I went to the Eiffel Tower to take on-feet photos of my new kicks.
That’s some dedication. You also enjoy taking all your shoes out and admiring them sometimes? Tell us more about that.
I call it playtime. Some weekends I carry my shoes out to the living room, take them out of their boxes one by one, and arrange them according to brand and model. My housemates enjoy it because they can look at my collection too. Sometimes they ask me questions and take pictures or videos – apart from the occasional hinting that I can pass them some of my pairs to make more space for new ones! I just enjoy looking at all my shoes every now and then – it’s like therapy. When I’m done, I’d put them all back into my walk-in closet. I get a good workout out of it!
What about the next sneaker you wish to cop?
I would love to get my feet on a pair of the Atmos Air Max 1 if I get lucky. I’m also hoping to cop the Kith x Naked NMD City Sock and maybe get one of the upcoming Yeezys. I am a realist though. I know the AM1s and Yeezys will be extra tough to get so I won’t be too emotionally invested on them. There will always be another pair to go after.
Keep up with Luan’s growing collection by following her on Instagram.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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