If one was to peep a collection belonging to some true sneaker pimps, say, Jeremy Howlett, Charlie Perrin, Adam Levinson or any other notable collector from around the globe, it’s a guarantee that you may come across some repetition [Damon Dash owning 60 pairs of the same re-issues he’s just blagged does not maketh a collection], but not a stockpile of this size or volume of duplication on this scale.
The first time I stepped back into the basement of ‘Sports and Things’ was very recently. I felt like I was being ordained into some secret priesthood, it was an intimate experience that to be honest, set my soul on edge. The main basement floor is an old cold storage room that still has a biting chill about it. The ceilings are high and the boxes loftily stacked within wooden shelving, one on top of each other as well as being racked three deep in places.
There is very little order to the layout of the boxes, although a random pick will more than likely expose jewels at each turn. A few brands hold court in their own nooks and crannies, Adidas, quite a few Reebok [Omni Zone 4 in White, Black and Mulberry being a highlight] and Puma struggle for space and there’s even a women’s shoe rack full of pastel colours, aerobics inlay cards and cute sizes.
A second repository uncovers a room full of neglected but unforgotten brands: Avia, Brooks, LA Gear, Kangaroos and British Knights line the shelves. Japanese issues of Reebok Fury ‘Jackie Chan’ editions take up a whole section, Ewing Concept His, 33s and Guards are just sitting around waiting to be worn. All the Ewing’s boxes still contain the plastic lace guards, stickers, product info tags and the famous basketball keyring. [Was it just me or as kids, did we all get slightly over-excited about the stickers?]. Some K-Swiss Classics in White and Burgundy from before the marketing ‘brandwagon’ rolled out a year or so ago, and the odd pair of Saucony for the running connoisseur are also to be found.
Check out our next feature: SOLEBOX x NB x TOOTHPASTE