Sneaker fans, rejoice.
A new virtual sneaker “museum” opened by Boston-based collector Rick Kosow lets you take a virtual tour of some 1,000 pairs of shoes — including 800 pairs of Air Jordans — from the comfort of your own home.
The collection, currently housed in shelves of black boxes in a climate-controlled vault, features shoes from as far back as the mid-’80s and can be accessed online. Kosow has never bought his shoes on eBay, instead having the good judgment to buy sneakers and other Jordan memorabilia when he sees them in stores and then stashing them away for his collection. The vast majority of Kosow’s sneakers have never been worn.
“I feel like sneakers belong on a pedestal,” Kosow said to Christopher Muther of The Boston Globe. “Things that are collected wind up in museums. It led me to this idea. I saw a footwear exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts that made me think that there should be something similar for sneakers.”
Kosow started off collecting Spiderman comic books but as a teen gravitated towards Michael Jordan. He was as high-flying as some of Kosow’s favourite superheroes, just on the basketball court.
“Nothing in the league like him existed before,” Kosow said in an email to Business Insider. “It started as a hobby and quickly grew into an obsession. Every year was more innovative.”
All of the sneakers in his collection are special, but the Air Jordan II from 1986 is his personal favourite.
“I remember how supple the leather was and the high-end quality of Italian craftsmanship,” he said. “It was a first of its kind.”
Kosow’s collection can only be
viewed online, but he hopes to eventually have a permanent space for exhibitions. Descriptions of collections on the site include historical and cultural background as well as what was going on in the basketball shoe industry at the time each particular sneaker was created.
Some of the shoes may be worth up to $US5,000, but Kosow can’t say how much his collection is worth as a whole.
“Some of the items in the collection are hard to obtain valuations on because of how hard it is to find comparable examples,” he said. “It’s hard to put a price on the full collection.”
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