Sneaker collector, Laurensius Ipam, who’s based in Bandung, Indonesia, has such a massive collection, the entire first floor of his home is dedicated to storing his sneakers.
How many pairs of sneakers do you own?
As of today I own 421 pairs.
How long have you been in the sneaker game, and what made you want to collect sneakers?I have been collecting sneakers since 1990 which was the Jordan, LA Gear, Reebok Pump era. I have always loved sneakers since young and wearing sneakers has helped me differentiate myself. While others are scared or ashamed of wearing striking colored sneakers, I search and wear them daily. I only buy and wear what I like, it doesn’t matter if people say they are ugly. When I was in primary school all my friends were wearing them ugly all-black warrior sneakers to school, so my dad gave me the Air Jordan 6 black Infrared to wear. I became the coolest kid. Since then, I always asked him to buy every Jordan that released here in Bandung. Back then buying Jordans was not such a challenge as there was not much hype so the OG colors were pretty much available in store all the time.
If you could keep only one pair of sneakers, which would it be and why?
This is a really difficult question. I’d like to say Yeezy 2 but I don’t have them – I hope I can persuade someone in Singapore to sell his pair before my birthday this year! Right now I would choose the Jordan 11 Bred. They’re just beautiful.
2015 has been a pretty eventful year for sneakers so far. Which release are you eagerly anticipating?
I’m looking forward to the Nike Air Mag, the Asics 25th Anniversary Gel Lyte 3 x KITH and the Jordan 11 low Bred.
It’s not often that we see sneakerheads displaying their kicks openly in a room. But beyond the obvious space factor, why did you choose to store your sneakers this way over keeping them intact in boxes?
I collect sneakers because I see beauty in them so every morning when I go to work the view of my sneaker room motivates me. The second reason is because I am quite lazy and don’t have enough time to wear, clean and put them back in boxes again. Anyway, every pair has a lifespan so you need to rock them before they die.
Since your sneakers are in plain view. What do visitors to your home say when they see your collection?
“Insane” is probably the word that has been used to refer to my collection the most. Many of my friends who live out of town call me up randomly and ask to visit my house just to take a picture in my sneaker room.
It is pretty insane! So how much time and money did you put into setting up this space?
Money is kind of an issue because I have a family – my wife and two kids. I used to have a smaller sneaker space just inside my garage. But my collection was growing, so my wife told me to either buy the land next to our old house or get out of the sneaker game because there was just no more space. I made a promise to her three years ago that I’d buy the land and build a 3-storey house as long as I could use the entire first floor for my sneakers. My obsession with collecting sneakers made me invest in property, which has turned out to be a very good thing.
How do you care for your sneakers, seeing as they are out in the open and subject to dust and humidity?
To care for your sneakers is to wear them. What is the point of collecting if you leave your shoes in the box? I created the hashtag #365kicksrotation on Instagram to document the rotation of all my pairs of shoes. Two of my friends are actually doing the same thing, which is good because they need to rotate their collection too. As for the dust you need to have an exhaust vent operating 24/7 to suck out all the dust in the room. For fellow sneakerheads who intend to convert a room into a sneaker storage space you need to invest in a heavy duty humidifier. It is a machine that every sneaker collector needs because it makes your room dry and kills all the germs with the UV light while improving the air with the ions. This machine sucks out all the moisture and turns it into water. I use a timer everyday for the machine before I go to work and after I get home every night. 12 hours with this machine can suck up 24 litres of water! Imagine if I didn’t have this machine… the lifespan of my sneakers would be much shorter.
Where do you plan to store your collection once you run out of space in this room?
I’ve used a quarter of the first floor of my home so I still have three quarters of space left. I think that should be enough for another five years. I am cutting down anyway, or at least that’s what I tell myself everyday even though I’m buying more and more shoes.
We’ve noticed that you have plenty of red sneakers. What’s the story behind this?
Early last year I began the quest of hunting for red sneakers because it was just so 2014 but I unfortunately missed out on the Yeezy 2 Red October. This year I plan to focus on pink colored sneakers.
We also saw the “EVIL” sign block in your sneaker room. What does it represent?
Here in Bandung I have a fashion brand called Evil or some might say Evil Army. The block is a reminder of where I got all the money to buy my sneakers.
How does the sneaker scene in Singapore compare to that of your hometown in Bandung?
The sneaker scene in Bandung is growing. Huge shoutout to IST Bandung for organizing meet-ups. As I have a family and job here in Bandung it’s hard to find time to join local sneaker events and meet-ups. If I want to go to Singapore I will use business trips as an excuse so I can meet up with the guys there at least once every two months. I got most of my stuff from the Singapore groups as a hookup favor, that’s why I love the Singapore sneaker scene.
You can find Ipam on Instagram @ipamevil