Ever thought what 1000 pairs of vintage kicks looks like? Come with us on an epic journey into German sneaker head AllUCanWearDe's insane collection of shoes that span four decades, from 1950-1990. Catching the buzz after spying a pair of trainers in an old sports store, AUCW's love of all things heritage quickly turned into a ‘disease' as his quest to find only the finest in old school adidas, Puma, Nike and Reebok seeped deep in his veins. With an incredible array of deadstock vintage Andre Agassi tennis apparel to round out this mouth watering collection, we had to hit the good man up with a stack of questions. Limber up and get ready to snap yo' neck as we introduce our biggest vintage sneaker story to date!
Hey mate! Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into collecting such an interesting array of vintage sneakers?
Hi there! I'm a collector of awesome vintage sport items from the ‘50s-‘90s. Around ten years ago I found my first vintage pair of kicks in an old sports store, in the window display to be exact. I needed them! So I asked the owner and made him a very good offer (come to think of it, I think the offer was too good!) A new hobby was born, a hobby that has turned into a disease, haha. I think I can say that not many people will top my collection of more than 1000 pairs of vintage trainers.
Most of the collection revolves around adidas and tennis - not to say you don't have some killer Nike, Puma, Reebok and more. But why adidas, and why tennis?
I like adidas more than the other brands, plain and simple. I think adidas trainers look better and the spirit of vintage is so alive in the brand. No doubt Puma and Nike shoes are very nice too and as you can see in my collection there are some rare pieces but I always come back to the Three Stripes. My holy-grail is an old but absolutely unworn pair of vintage Puma Rekord soccer shoes from 1945 in its original box with all tags. Great pair, priceless. Oh and I've been playing tennis for more than 15 years and Andre Agassi was always one of my favourite tennis players. I like his talent and of course, his awesome style.
For sure! Getting back to your love of adidas - do you think it has something to do with coming from Germany? Seeing as it's the home place of the trefoil?
Maybe, but as you know Puma was produced in Germany as well. To me, it really depends on the year of producing. Sure, there a a lot of retroes on the market and styles are reproduced but there is nothing like the spirit of the original. It is easier to find Adidas and Puma shoes in Germany but in stores you'll find only retro shoes. And most German heads don't really wear vintage trainers. It's always hard to track down and buy vintage because most of them belong to collectors who aren't letting go of them too easily.
What is the scene like over there? Europe seems to be booming when it comes to sneakers and the street scene - you guys have some killer stores and a healthy market...
Yeah true, especially in the UK. Sneaker heads know the worth of vintage. I've also noticed that a lot of people in the United States are interested in vintage as well, especially wrestling shoes, basketball hi tops and tennis clothing.
Where do you source a lot of your goods? No doubt you've got some insane hook ups and secret spots?!!!
Of course! I've found my stuff all over the world because of relationships with other collectors. Normally I trade and buy from other collectors. I really don't know how many collectors exist worldwide, there seems to be stacks with the same disease as me! At the moment I know more than 30 collectors by name. Having said that, it's very difficult to find good vintage stuff these days. Most of these collectors are not ready to sell or trade their items. I'm always ready to sell my items to make other people happy too.
What about that Agassi Tennis gear - where do you find such stock in mint condition?
I've bought it from another collector who has decided to sell some of his stuff. As you can see on my flickr page there are some really nice and very rare items, most of them come absolutely unworn, new condition.
Those catalogues are like a sneaker heads wet dream! Can you tell us more about them, especially the Sport Scheck books...
Those catalogues are a part of my private collection. I've collected them over the years. I'm very proud of the Sport-Scheck ones because you will find more then 500 pages and pictures of vintage sport shoes and clothing (most of these old catalogues have only up to 50 pages). And the pictures and clothing style of some popular tennis profs (like Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl, Bjorn Borg, Steffi Graf ...) are insane!
You're selling most of the vintage goods on eBay right now - why are you selling?
I might have three to five pairs of the same shoe, so I'm more than happy to offload them to a new buyer. Also, my house is getting swamped by my collection, so I've gotta make space some how! Please don't hesitate to email me if you're interested in some of my stuff!
How do you decipher prices on each shoe?
Over the years I've collected not only vintage stuff, I "have collected" experience too. So I think I can say that my prices are correspondent to the worth of each pair.
What's your most prized possession in the bunch?
There's actually two pairs - a pair of vintage Adidas Gazelle Indoor, brand-new in OG box and two brand-new vintage Nike pairs (Air Force Command / Pressure).
Where can people get in touch with you to cop?
At the moment ...
• ... I've got an account on eBay
• ... you can see my full collection on www.flickr.com (more than 2000 visitors per week) :
• ... and in the near future, maybe in a few weeks, I'll create my own homepage where people all over the world can buy my stuff. I'll inform you about this on flickr as soon as I'm "on". So please take a look at my photostream on flickr and my shop on eBay from time to time and save it into your bookmarks! Any additional questions? Please flickr or email me on the eBay website! I will definitely email you back as soon as I can.
So I hope to hear from you soon now!