Tony: Hola Luis, I’m really proud that we have you in the magazine for an interview and a stunning insight into your impressive collection.
Luis: Hello Tony! It’s my pleasure to share my passion with you and your readers.
Tony: The first thing I’d like to ask you is – I was always wondering how you found out about the Sneaker Expo and, even more interesting, how did you manage to get into “The Brandery” as it was not open to the public?
Luis: By that time I was just following the “Tour de France”, and that day it had stopped in Barcelona. Luckily, I’d read an article about your sneaker exhibition in the daily newspaper, so I decided to leave the tour for a moment and tried to check out even more important things! Of course I didn’t have a pass for the tradeshow and it was almost closing time when I finally showed up. So I decided to show some pics of my collection to the guards at the entrance and they let me go in – once inside, I met you!
Tony: If you showed them the same pictures you showed me, than it’s more than fair that they let you in! Would you please be so kind to give us a little introduction?
Luis: Sure. I was born in 1976, so I grew up during the 80s and got infected by the sneaker virus in my very early subconscious years, due to all the iconic designs made in that era. I seriously started collecting vintage sneakers in 1998 when I tried to find a pair of OG Nike Air Jordan 1s, metallic blue on white, which I owned as a kid and wanted back so badly. After I digged up this masterpiece, I tried to get all the kicks I’d had back in the 80s.
Tony: Wow, quite a hard one to start a collection with. Even back then or actually even MORE if you compared the possibilities people have today. But if you only search for sneaks you had in your childhood days, you must have been a happy shorty in the 80s with all these great kicks?
Luis: Hahaha, no of course I haven’t had all those models I own now. But you know how it is, the more you get into it, the more incredible shoes come back to your mind or suddenly pop up, which you need to get next urgently! So one pair followed the other and I just haven’t stopped until now.
Tony: I guess your preferred era is obvious, but as your collection includes various types of shoes, could you define your favorite style?
Luis: That’s kinda tricky. You’re right, my decade of choice is the 80s, or even more precisely 1982 until 1987. As I said, I just love the kicks which were released when I was a kid. Nevertheless, once I started collecting I realized that those from the 70s were also awesome. So I started getting interested in older ones, too. Basically we could say that my collection consists of sneakers from 1972 to 1993. Ranging from spikes to basketball shoes and including models of more than 20 different brands.
Tony: I know this is another hard one, but if you had to break it down to one brand, which one would it be?
Luis: I think that the most important feature of my collection is the big variation in styles and brands. Almost every pair I own is down for a certain reason and that reason is linked to “recuerdos de mi infancia” – to my childhood memories! But at the end of the day, if I really had to choose ONE brand, only – I would definitely say Nike. Their designs have always been one step above the rest, period!
Tony: By taking a look to your set up, it’s not hard to see that Converse plays another major role. That’s a fact I really like because besides the “All Stars” you don’t see much vintage Cons in collections – on top of that I’m a big fan and collector of Converse myself.
Luis: Yeah, you are right. I really love their basketball shoes. They were the pioneers of that part of the game so I have great respect for their designs. Apart from that, Converse was a really powerful brand in Spain during the 80s. Back then models such as Weapon, Startech or Cons were some of the most valuable sneakers. So I can truly say that Converse has an important meaning within my collection.
Tony: Of course there is no interview without the mandatory question about your holy grail – what is it?
Luis: That’s an easy one and not really difficult to guess – my favorite model or grail is of course the Nike Air Jordan 1 metallic blue! As it was my first important sneaker when I was a kid and the one model, which it all started with in ’98. So without this one, my collection wouldn’t have made real sense.
Tony: There is no doubt that you have an impressive amount of sneakers, but is there still anything you want to hunt down?
Luis: At the moment I don’t have a special interest in any model. I already own every pair that I ever dreamt of a few years ago. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t want more, hahaha. Of course there are still models I have on my mind. But I can still sleep well even without owing them. I’d like to get a pair of Nike Hawaii for example, you know how it is – the collecting cosmos is just endless.
Tony: As you have a very wide range of brands and different styles, I’d like to know what is the most underrated sneaker in your eyes?
Luis: Let me think, there are a lot of underrated sneakers from the different companies. As we said before. Converse in general. All their models from the 70s and 80s, like Starion, Startech, Spectre or Cimarron didn’t get the attention they deserve in my eyes. Which is kinda cool for me, because it makes it easier to get my hands on them.
Tony: I totally agree with that, I just love the Converse Lydiard Equinox from 1985 for example. What do you think in general about the evolution of the true vintage market?
Luis: Over the last few years I noticed that there is a tendency to reject all those models that are not wearable anymore. So from a vintage collectors point of view that’s truly a crime. People disregard the true roots and overrate the models from the 90s, even if those models had little relevance back then and don’t deserve the attention. But that’s another point – everybody has to judge on his own!
Tony: Luis, I just have to ask you about the girls, as they caught my attention almost as much as your pix you showed me back in Barcelona! Professional models or parts of your personal collection? Haha…
Luis: Well, let me introduce you to Marta, Yolanda, Irene and Isabel. They are all carefully chosen models. Not only because they are great looking, BUT because I wanted them to be related to sneakers somehow. As an example, I can tell you that one of the girls owns a collection of more than 50 pairs of vintage sneakers herself! They did a great job and I want to thank them.
Tony: Just make sure you send me their email addresses and the behind the scenes pics, like you promised! Luis, it’s been an honor talking to you about our passion and I’d like to thank you very much for the opportunity to check out your vintage treasures.
Luis: Thank you for your interest in my collection. Hope everyone enjoys it! Also, big thanks to my mother as she was the one who started it all by buying me my very first pair of Nikes.