A tribe of Vans fans that also happens to be family? That’s the Kadir Warriors. The close-knit cousins show us their collection.
By Daniel Loy
Photos by Andreas Krisanto
Bloodline aside, the Kadir Warriors, a close-knit group of cousins, also share a love for Vans. In addition to their impressive collection of hundreds of Vans sneakers, the cousins has also commissioned SBTG to create two custom designs unique to their crew. We caught up with Faisal, eldest of the group, to find out more about his Warrior tribe.
How did the Kadir Warriors come about?
Kadir is our late grandfather’s name. We look to him as our idol. He was a fine gentleman who looked a little like Hulk Hogan. In fact, he also resembles the hero from one of my favorite action movies, The Warriors. Since all of us wanted to be like our grandfather, we decided to combine his name with the movie title. So that’s how Kadir Warriors came about. The name also represents the bond we share, having come a long way since we grew up together.
Who started the ball rolling and decided to get all the cousins involved?
That would be me and my younger bro, Fariz. We initiated the Kadir Warriors and we all consider ourselves our grandfather’s little warriors.
Besides the blood ties, what really makes the group such a cohesive one?
Having the same interests, style and taste really brought us together. Our parents taught us to respect each other, to be humble and to always help one another. We are a close-knit family that understands each other.
What you guys showed us was only a fraction of your entire Vans collection. How many pairs do you have in total?
If you include beaters, general releases and the special shoes that we have, it’s about 300 pairs in total.
That’s amazing. Based on the stash that you have here, each of you definitely have your own favorite models and colorways.
We are unique, even though we have the same style. Each of us is enticed by certain models and colors, which makes us different yet similar in some ways.
What do other family members have to say about this unique bond between the cousins?
They are very supportive of what we do. You can say they are our family pillars. We have a motto – “the family that plays together, stays together’.
Do the Kadir Warriors gather together often?
Yup, we do. Family first, no matter what, right? We have big family gatherings every month and when we all gather, we will talk about sneakers. We also hold yearly themed retreats, where we dress up accordingly. We are such a cohesive group that we even have a WhatsApp group chat to chit chat when we are apart.
You guys commissioned Mr. Sabotage (Mark Ong) of SBTG to create a custom Kadir Warriors Vans sneaker. How did you first meet Mark?
I’ve known Mark since the late 90s. We first met at our friend’s shop, Vintage Closet, over at Far East Plaza. Mark was already painting his own sneakers back then, and we reconnected a few years ago. We decided to create a project that involved customized sneakers for the Kadir Warriors.
Why was Vans chosen as the unifying shoe brand when you met up with him?
We have mini collections that consist of other brands, but Vans came up prominently in our discussions, especially the Authentic and Era models. Those are timeless classics that go well with our daily style.
The first part of the project was a mix of Vans silhouettes, each worn by a member of the Kadir Warriors. What about the second part?
The second part was named “Feline Fury” and it was a “family and friends” edition, that was also made available to people outside our circle. Mark used the Sk8-Hi and Old Skool for that collection.
There’s talk that a third part is in the works. Could you shed light on what’s going to happen?
We entrusted Mark with all our earlier projects and the collaboration came together very easily as he knows our style and liking. Our third project is in the pipeline but we can’t reveal much as it is still in progress. All I can say is that it will definitely be worth the wait. Stay tuned!
Follow the Kadir Warriors on Instagram to see the new additions to their sneaker collection!
This interview has been edited and condensed.