For Janz, it is all about quality over quantity. The number of shoes he owns doesn’t run into the hundreds, but he has some of the most exclusive pairs that sneakerheads can only dream of owning.
How many pairs of sneakers do you own?
About 30 to 40 pairs.
How long have you been collecting sneakers and how did it all start?
I got hooked on to sneakers around 2009 to 2010, when the first Yeezy came out. My friend got lucky in getting a pair of Yeezy 1 and he was kind enough to hook me up with it. Back in 2004, rappers like Fat Joe and 50 Cent always had dope shoes, like the Air Force 1s, and that had a huge influence on me as well.
We know that you have a crazy collection of Nike SBs. Have you always been into them?
I started off with Jordans actually, due to the influence of hip-hop that I mentioned earlier. Seeing Jordan retros crumble after some time and SBs from 2006 still holding up well led me to think “why not invest in more shoes that are more durable?”
Do you still own any Jordans?
Yes I do, actually. I only have three pairs left, which are the Air Jordan 1 “Bred” OG 1985, Air Jordan 6 “Varsity Red” and Air Jordan 7 “Raptors”.
What do you think differentiates Nike SB from other sneakers?
I think it’s the history behind the shoe. For Jordans, you keep seeing them being re-issued which makes them lose their meaning in a way. I also find that SBs are easier to wear as compared to Air Jordans.
Given that some of your SBs are worth S$5,000 to S$10,000, do you try to keep the number of wears to a minimum?
I will wear all my shoes, especially if I purchased them worn. If they’re still deadstock, I’ll choose a special occasion to wear them.
What’s the story behind the acquisition of your Nike SB Pigeon, which were signed by Jeff Staple himself, and the Paris?
I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw this guy in Europe who had some crazy heat (we have been following each other for awhile). I contacted him and asked if he still had the Pigeons. He listed a price which I was not quite comfortable with paying so I offered him a trade instead, which consisted of four pairs of kicks. I was a bit hesitant because he insisted that I ship first before he followed suit, so there was a high risk there, but I just couldn’t pass up on the deal. The Paris was from the same guy. I was really lucky because he refused to sell to other people that had asked him. Because of the high value of the shoes and the percentage going to PayPal, he preferred a trade instead and we managed to work something out. I was really lucky.
Are you looking to complete the Nike SB City Pack?
Perhaps one day, but not right now. I’m quite content with the Paris and Pigeons right now. I do have a friend selling the Tokyo and Londons at a good price so I might get them at the end of the year.
Does your family know the worth of your collection and if so, what do they say about it?
Yeah, they do. My dad thought I was crazy to spend that much money on shoes but after explaining about the whole resale market, it made more sense to him.
Which is your favorite pair right now?
It has got to be the SB Pigeons. I think I am the only one right now in Singapore that owns a pair that is signed (both the box and the shoe). Even some of the bigger sneakerheads don’t have a signed pair, so this pair makes me feel a little special.
Do you still purchase new releases?
Yes, sometimes. I recently picked up the Nike SB Beijings and De La Soul. When it comes to recent releases I focus more on the quality of the shoe. I don’t really support Nike bringing back shoes in an alternate cut (high to low, and vice versa) but I’m impressed with what Nike did with the De La Souls.
What’s next on your list?
I’m trying to get a pair of Floms Family and Friends edition but they are currently going for US$12-15,000 which is pretty insane. I’m also trying to get a lasered pair of Pigeons or just double up on a normal pair.
What do you think has been the most significant release of the year?
I think it’s the Air Jordan 1 “Chicago”, especially since Singapore didn’t release them, which caused an outrage.
What do you enjoy most about collecting sneakers?
I think it is the friends I have met along the way and through meeting them I’ve also learned some new things, such as photography.
Check out more of Janz’s sneaker collection on Instagram (@janzabdj).