October 16, 2013 BY Aaron Kr. / 7
World-renowned Hong Kong brand, CLOT, has covered some serious ground since its inception back in 2003, branching out well beyond their streetwear roots to work with a variety of heavyweight corporate giants across the globe on all sorts of creative endeavors. Longtime friends and business partners Edison Chen and Kevin Poon got their start selling CLOT apparel and goods before launching their JUICE retail locations a year later, featuring not only their own gear, but an assortment of like-minded cutting edge Asian fashion brands. Before long, their fashion and retail success led to all sorts of consulting and design opportunities and the chance to work with the likes of Disney and Kanye West to name a few, not to mention their numerous collaborative efforts in the sneaker world.
CLOT has done a wide range of sneaker projects with adidas, Converse, Vans, and most notably Nike, with whom they’ve whipped up some legendary designs like their infamous clear-toebox Air Max 1 or the silky red Air Force 1 they contributed to Nike’s 1World collection back in early 2009. While they might not be in the shoe business as a primary focus, there’s no question that the CLOT crew is deeply rooted in the sneaker game. Aside from the handful of collab shoes that they help bring to market each year, their passion for sneakers is a daily way of life and translates over into many of their other projects as well.
If you needed any proof of how immersed Edison Chen and the CLOT team are in sneakers, a visit to their office will tell you all you need to know. Dubbed by them as “the sneaker graveyard”, their Hong Kong headquarters contains piles upon piles of an insane array of sneakers spanning a few decades and representing a broad cross-section of brands and categories. The massive shoe walls and stacks are a completely random smattering, and if you start combing through, there’s no telling what kind of gems may get unearthed. These shoe piles are regularly used for reference and inspiration, but more than anything, they just look cool lining an office!
Sneaker News was fortunate enough to have the chance to go exploring through the graveyard, and we’ve brought back all of our sneaker discoveries to share with our loyal readers. We also caught up with the owner of a large majority of its contents, actor/musician/designer/entrepreneur extraordinaire, Edison Chen, himself for a 1-on-1 interview detailing the finer points of the graveyard and how it all came to be, so continue on for the full story, plus an extensive inside look at the mighty CLOT sneaker graveyard and all the wonders it contains.
Sneaker News: So, the CLOT sneaker graveyard – how did it all start and how many years have these shoes been piling up?
Edison Chen: I used to have cupboards of sneakers in my house. I moved once and then I put them in storage and then CLOT moved into a huge ass office so there was a little extra space and I decided to put all my sneakers in there randomly just because. There’s some gems in there, but I just put them in there because that’s my collection and it’s just where they end up. (Laughs) yeah.
SN: Do you have any idea approximately how many pairs are in there?
Edison Chen: I don’t know man because there’s still some boxes on the left side that they haven’t really put in there. I have no idea man, thousands?
Edison Chen: Yeah, thousands.
SN: That’s pretty crazy. How often are new shoes added there?
Edison Chen: Every week man. Because 80% of that collection in there is stuff that I bought. I used to buy samples of stuff before they came out. I’d spend stupid money on shoes, stupid money. But nowadays because we’re really blessed that a lot of people send us sneakers for just seeding and gifts and stuff – Adidas, Converse, Nikes and stuff – we get new stuff every week, so stuff is added in there almost weekly.