Coveteur recently sat down with Complex Editorial Director Joe La Puma to discuss topics including his favorite sneakers right now, the craziest sneaker collection he’s ever seen, and how buying sneakers has changed over the years.
As the host of Complex’s in-house show Sneaker Shopping, La Puma has hung out with the likes of Chris Rock, Neymar Jr., and Allen Iverson to name a few, and is famously good friends with KITH founder Ronnie Fieg.
In the interview, La Puma talks about his shopping habits, how he keeps up with sneaker releases, and what his grail is right now. Additionally, we learned exclusively from Coveteur that La Puma has even purchased a bot in the past to adapt to the difficulties related to sneaker shopping nowadays: “I’ve bought one—I don't really understand how that even works. I don't even know how accurate they are. There's no secret. You either have to really know someone or get lucky on a raffle on one of the apps.”
Read on for a selection of his best quotes.
On how he fell in love with sneakers and the culture
“I was lucky enough that [growing up] my parents would get me good sneakers—it was only one pair a year, but they really managed to get me the pair of the year. I remember in 1991, I had the white and infrared Jordan 6s, and I remember the way they made me feel, and no matter how old you get, you still feel that any time someone compliments your sneakers.”
On the sneaker that “got away”
“It released in 2014 and I've been trying to get [them] since. And Benjamin Kickz, the whiz kid of resale, claims he has it for me but it's been years and I still haven't got 'em. They're the Jordan 1 Fragments. Every few weeks, I look at the prices on Stadium Goods or Flight Club and they're over two grand.”
On how buying sneakers is harder (but fairer) than ever
“Online shopping is super tough. We just had Shannon Sharpe on the show, he's an NFL Hall-of-Famer, and he said he can't get through to buy releases anymore. It’s so crazy. The websites crash. It's an even playing field for everyone now.”
On how buying habits have changed over time
“I think what's happening is that the buying habits have gone from—when I was younger, it would be one a week or one Jordan every other week. I think now people are saving up for that one monthly grail and are just accepting the fact that they’re going to have to pay over retail if they really want a sneaker.”
On how best to buy sneakers on the resale market
“You have to be really, really cognisant of who you're talking to because scamming happens all the time. But I think with eBay, Stock X, Stadium Goods, Flight Club, things like that—even though it’s tough to get things on release day—if you pay a little more for a premium and you know the sneakers are going to authentic, for me it's way better than meeting up with someone.”
On the best sneaker collection he’s seen
“Presented in a way that is crazy is DJ Khaled's sneaker closet. I've shot it twice in Miami. The ceilings are like church ceilings in the room and it's just a crazy, crazy collection. But Chris Brown's collection—which is a garage that is full of clothing and sneakers that aren't organised—it’s something I've never seen before. It looks a mini flea market of years and years of sneakers and clothes. Literally super rare sneakers are piled on regular general release sneakers and you have to dig and find. It was the craziest sneaker collection I've ever seen ever in my life, honestly.”
For the full interview, head to Coveteur here.
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