Collector’s Interview – Leys49

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It’s not always about Hype releases and limited stuff. We met Dennis Leys, who has been collecting sneakers for many years to talk about kicks, hype and his exotic collection.
You should definitely check out his Instagram feed!

SM: Hey Dennis, nice to meet you! Please shortly introduce yourself to our readers!

Hi! My name is Dennis, I am 34 years old, born in Berlin but nowadays I live in Saarlouis. I am a happy husband and father of a small son. My passion is about food, music and of course, sneakers.

SM: Yeah, it’s all about the kicks! When did you start collecting sneakers and how did it begin?

Well, I think I started in the early 90s, Michael Jordan just won NBA championship for the third time in a row. I was around 12, played basketball and yes, he was the best role model and of course an incredible player! Also music and graffiti influenced me – Beat street, Wildstyle and so on.

SM: Did Berlin influence too?

Yeah, for sure! My friends, music and also graffiti scene really had an huge influence!

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SM: Do you have an all-time favorite when it comes to sneakers? Is there a holy grail you are still searching after 20 years?

There are so many shoes I really like – it’s hard to choose a favorite. But I think it’s the Nike Lahar Escape from 1989 – it’s a bomb! But there are some sneakers I am still hunting, Kangaroos Speedster, Nike Cross Trainer Low `88, adidas Rusher, I could continue for hours!

SM: You just spoke about Kangaroos: some of our readers might have recognized all the on feet shots of Kangaroos OG’s over the last months. You don’t see these often – How many of them do you own? Where did you get them?

That’s right, there are only few Kangaroos OG’s out there ¬– so I am even happier to have around 10 (and growing) in my collection. I found the first one on eBay by accident – and fell in love. Usually buy from eBay and Klekt, but there are also some secondhand stores all around Europe that sometimes give me a notice when they receive something special – thx btw!

SM: Kangaroos OG’s are kind of rare – isn’t it interesting for the brand itself to have someone with unknown OG’s? Did they reach out to you yet?

Yes, we’re in contact since summer. It’s really cool because there are some guys that are really putting love into the brand! I mean, these OG’s are like the DNA of Kangaroos!

SM: So can we await some more retro models? Is there one style that you like most?

Oh no, I really don’t know about any upcoming retro’s. There’s one silhouette I really would like to see back on the streets – I didn’t find any information and I never saw it before, so I called it “Leys”. (laughs)

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SM: Vintage or Retro? What else do you collect? What’s important when it comes to kicks? Do you have a favorite brand?

I think it’s 50/50! Adidas and Kangaroos are definitely dominating my collection, but there are also some Nike’s in between. I don’t have criteria for what I like. I buy sneakers whether they’re limited or GR’s, old or new and so on but I’m not into all that hype. My favorite brand is adidas – there’s no other brand with such a huge heritage! I am a little proud to have even worked for the three stripes some time ago!

SM: 20 years in the game and still countin’ – you survived trend after trend. What was different back in the days? Was it all better?

There’s much that has changed. I think trends are much more influential today and – no offense – many kids start collecting because of trends and don’t know nothing about the history and background of brands and shoes. Also prices are ridiculous nowadays – I would rather miss releases instead of paying resell!

Not everything is “worse” – with the Internet, it’s easier to connect with others and with the bigger hype, there’s a bigger number of available kicks!

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SM: Some short questions for the ending.
Instore vs. online?

Definitely instore – without that the cool smaller stores will die.

SM: Campout – Yes or no?

Well, do what you want. I really respect people camping for shoes they really, really want to have. But only to sell it? That’s just wrong.

SM: Winner in 2015?

I would definitely name Kangaroos and Diadora. They had some very good concepts and cool releases!

SM: Thanks for having us!


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