Kenny Goh, a fan of PUMA sneakers, has amassed a collection of rare and vintage PUMA shoes since 2005. Read the full story here.
By Daniel Loy
Photos by Andreas Krisanto
How long have you been collecting sneakers?
I started buying sneakers in 2005 but my collection grew exponentially after I joined Instagram in 2013.
How many pairs of sneakers do you own?
A safe estimate would be more than 70 pairs.
Which silhouettes are your favorite?
You can’t beat the classics – Suede, Clyde, States, Basket. But recently, the R698 has caught my eye.
What differentiates PUMA from other sneaker brands in the market?
The quality of materials used to make a PUMA shoe surpasses other sneaker brands. Whether it is a pair of general releases or a collab, PUMA has been consistent with the quality of materials used. These sneakers can stand the test of time. The soles will not crumble even after 20 years in storage. I strongly believe no other brand can pass this test.
On average, how many pairs do you purchase each month?
It depends on what’s being released. I may buy two or three in a month alone, or even nothing at all for up to three straight months.
What’s the most you’ve spent on a single pair so far?
I spent S$506 on a “Made in Italy” PUMA King Black Label pair which I wore only once on my wedding day.
What shoes are you currently looking out for?
PUMA x Mothra (Moth King), PUMA x Staple and “Made in Yugoslavia” pairs. Yugoslavia-made pairs are the grails for any true PUMA Collector. I am hoping to find a good condition, decently priced pair in my size (UK9).
Which collab ranks among the best in your opinion?
PUMA x Staple. Not because of the brand but because it has a touch of pink in the right places. It is also “Made in Japan”‘ which means supreme material and Japanese craftsmanship. Collabs that are well thought out and tell a story are also at the top of my list. They do not necessarily have to look good (e.g. PUMA x Rise, which was made to raise AIDS awareness) in order for you to feel good about yourself.
On the flipside, what’s something you wished PUMA didn’t do?
Back in 2010, PUMA started this eco-friendly campaign with the “Clever Little Bag” shoe box which cuts down on material used by 65%. I applaud their initiative but these boxes don’t stack as well as the old boxes. I keep all my shoes in their box and it is annoying as hell having them stacked looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Another gripe is PUMA not having women sizes for almost every major collab – this one’s for Jenn, my PUMA friend from USA!
What have friends and family said about your collection?
When I was still staying with my parents, I hid my shoes everywhere. In my wardrobe, under my bed, in the study room, every empty corner I could find. After moving everything into my own home in 2013, the total pairs exceeded my own expectations. Friends and relatives who came during my house warming were shocked to see a shelf full of boxed shoes. Many wondered if I was opening a shoe shop. My wife tells me I’m not a centipede and don’t need that many shoes. But I am just happy that she is still supportive of me at the end of the day.
What’s the sneaker scene in Singapore like now, compared to what it was before?
People used to buy what they like. Now they buy what others like just to get the attention. It has become a competition of who has the most heat every time, all the time.
You’ve bought a couple of pairs for your daughter. Are you getting her started on your path?
Currently, Chloe has four pairs of PUMA shoes. I will only purchase new pairs once she has outgrown the current one. My wife doesn’t need two people in the house who have more shoes than toes.
This interview with Kenny Goh has been edited and condensed.
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