How does the Dubai sneaker scene compare to the one in Los Angeles?
The quality of the product is the same. The difference is that the demand is higher in LA because there are more sneaker collectors over there and therefore there’s a bigger quantity of sneakers going out to LA.
Dubai is getting crazier though, things are selling out here quickly now. But here you can’t wait in line outside the store like you do in LA – malls don’t let people do that.
Do you have favourite brands that you collect?
I collect them all – Nike, Adidas, Balenciaga, Louboutin, Gucci – the lot.
So not just sports brands?
I actually started collecting designer sneakers first and then moved into streetwear when I noticed Jordans and Adidas had a higher value than my designer sneakers. That got me thinking, maybe I should switch and buy more sportswear brands.
What do you look for in a pair of sneakers?
I like exclusivity. I go after sneakers that are limited, which not everyone can rock. They’re tough to get. In the resale market they go up in price like crazy, say from $200 dollars to $1,000 or £2,000.
Is there an elusive pair of sneakers you’re currently hunting?
Eminem released a sneaker in 2007 called the Encore. They only made 25 pairs and they weren’t available to the public – Eminem only gave them to friends and family.
They go for about $25,000 and are really hard to find. I know someone who knows Eminem so I think my chances of getting a pair are good but probably not in my exact size.
I always try to get a size 10.5 US but for that sneaker I would not get my size just so I can have them.
How did your love affair with sneakers begin?
I’ve been into sneakers ever since I was a kid at school. We had to wear a very strict uniform but we were allowed to wear whatever shoe we wanted so I used to go crazy with sneakers. From there I built up a passion. I was known as the guy with the crazy sneakers. I’m still known as that guy today.
What’s the most expensive pair in your collection?
I paid around $30,000 for a pair of sneakers once. I had to outbid a rapper to get them. They’re one of the first collaborations Jordan did with Undefeated. The Jordan brand never did a collaboration before and then in 2005 they released 75 pairs that sold out instantly.
How did you find them?
I got lucky and found a reseller who had a pair, so I told him I’d pay him the money and also buy him a plane ticket to Dubai so he could hand deliver them.
I didn’t want to trust Fed Ex with them in case they got lost.
Do you still love hem?
Oh yeah, I keep them in my living room and I look at them every day.