August 21, 2013 BY Aaron Kr. / 21
As much as you may love sneakers, if you’re at it long enough, eventually most collectors/enthusiasts get to a point where those shoeboxes are simply taking up too much space, leaving them to face the harsh realization that it may be time to trim some of the fat. After two decades of passionately collecting sneakers and successfully tracking down and acquiring some of the rarest and most coveted shoes you can dream of, imagine whittling it all down to only 20 or so of your favorite pairs. For Simon Tan, better known in sneaker circles as Depeche23Mode, that drastic decision was actually put into effect as he has sold off the bulk of his mouthwatering collection multiple times over the years, now holding on to only a small, but still quite impressive portion of his once mighty sneaker arsenal.
Best recognized for his frequent jaw-dropping eBay auctions, Simon has regularly managed to get his hands on some of the craziest samples, PE’s and promo pairs the game has ever seen. In general, those deemed as resellers may get a bad rap nowadays, but face facts – if you have valuable shoes in your collection that you know you’re never going to wear, after a while is it really that crazy to want to make some money off of them rather than have the boxes collect dust in your house? And better yet, what if you took the proceeds from the sales and put them towards purchasing your grails? For Simon, it made perfect sense for him and that’s all that really matters. More heat has come and gone through his collection than most “sneakerheads” will ever get close to in a lifetime, and even though the numbers have been thinned
considerably, what he’s held onto can still go pound for pound with nearly anybody.
While he may not be currently able to match the breadth and massive scope of some other world class collectors, when it comes to embracing the notion of quality over quantity, Depeche23Mode might just be in a category all by himself. What are the chances that there’s another 20-shoe collection on earth that boasts three pairs of Undefeated Air Jordan IVs? It’s pretty safe to say there’s no one else out there who can make that claim, and that’s what makes Simon’s story so interesting. His journey has provided an unorthodox blueprint for sneaker consolidation that may not be for everyone, but will certainly get you thinking about what’s really worth holding onto once all those shoeboxes have finally overtaken your home.
Continue on for a look at Depeche23Mode’s “less is more” approach in all its glory, including a look at his carefully chosen keepers as well as a few juicy pairs that have gone on to find new homes since making a pitstop in the collection. And the next time you’re staring at that pile of boxes overflowing out of your closet, take a minute to ponder the idea of transforming those messy towering stacks into a concise and easily storable dream line-up of grails that you’ve always wanted, but never even considered actually going after. Yes, it will take some legwork and patience, but as you’ll see here, it can be pretty rewarding if you’re able to actually pull it off.