January 9, 2014 BY Aaron Kr. / 57
As we’ve seen here in our SELECT Collections features, there are all sorts of collectors out there with all sorts of different tastes and approaches to the kind of stuff that they hunt down. While Air Jordans and LeBrons will always be a popular starting point, some individuals are more dedicated than others when it comes to the funds and legwork that they’re willing to pour in to cross off the rare and elusive items on their sneaker wishlists. While most of us just drool over photos of these high-priced and hard to find items from afar, there are those who go all in and pull out all the stops to get their hands on the kind of stuff that others can only daydream about owning.
Ken W. from Chicago dabbled in Jordans over the years, but the obsession bug didn’t bite him until a little later in life. Since then, he’s more than made up for lost time by putting together a stunning arsenal of the most coveted Air Jordan and Nike Basketball gems from the last few years. Being on the elder side of the sneakerhead demographic doesn’t make the infatuation any less fervent and it also means being set up in life and having the resources to go treasure hunting for rare sneaker gems. While he make take some ribbing from friends about keeping most of these conquests in deadstock condition, Ken looks at it like collecting art and doesn’t seem to bat an eye at prods from the “made to be worn” advocates.
In theory, it would be great to get a pair of Oregon Vs and wear them as beaters, but most people who track down a pair just aren’t going to do that and Ken isn’t afraid to admit it. Wearing all your shoes versus collecting deadstock pairs will always be a heated discussion, but you have to realize that for some people, it’s more about collecting than wearing. You don’t wear a piece of fine art or have a catch with a baseball signed by Mickey Mantle, so we need to just accept that there are all types of sneaker enthusiasts out there, and what’s really important is the love for the culture and not what people do with the shoes once they get them home.
Regardless of what he’s doing or not doing with his sneakers, there’s no question that Ken has amassed one of the more impressive collections around and we’ve got the highlights for you just ahead. In addition to just sharing his collection, he and some friends really went the extra mile by taking photos of the shoes in different spots all over Chicago, using well-known city landmarks, themed settings, and sneaker shops as the backdrops. There’s a jaw-dropping array of sneaker heat in the following pages, so get comfy and dig in for an all killer, no filler look at Ken W.’s amazing assortment, and stay tuned for more inside looks at the world’s top collections here on SN SELECT in 2014.