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Hong Kong Youtuber and Sneakerhead: Ken Chan

Interviews

Camille Lumogdang
July 2, 2022

Bavo @kenchan908 is a digital content creator whose first sneaker was an Air Force 1 Low. His passion for sneakers started in secondary school and still burns even now that he is already a dad.

All images via @kenchan908

What was the moment you first got drawn to sneakers, and which pair of sneakers triggered your passion?

During the 90s, everyone liked the NBA, so sneakers were the mainstream. In 1996, I got my first Air Force 1 Low during secondary school. It is red shoes with a transparent jelly texture. From that day on, I started noticing sneakers and had a fantasy about them.

The first pair I really fall for is the 2001 Nike Dunk Pro B x Alphanumeric from the Nike Dunk SB series. The padded tongue is getting thicker but slightly short. The shoes are deep and dark gray with yellow circular shoelaces, and the toe cap is also durable.

What’s one moment or trend in the history of sneaker culture that resonates with you?

There are two ways to buy the sneaker you want. The first is to go to Fa Yuen Street and buy at a high market price. Another one is to shop on eBay or other bidding sites.

I love sneakers so much, I shop and resell them to others. As it is slightly higher than the market price, buyers or sellers who are also sneakerheads always talk a lot as we trade.

The most exciting time was 2004. I bought 100 pairs of Crossover DUNK LOW SB, including Danny Supa, Futura, and Takashi Hosokawa. As a student, things are not well planned. So my girlfriend and I met all the buyers at Mong Kok Station at the same time. My girlfriend collects the money; I pack shoes into boxes and plastic bags, and the whole thing takes a day. We cannot even catch a breath and are sometimes chased away by the station staff. And I didn't only do this once; I also did this for some others like URL and ANGUS. It is pretty crazy, but happy memories!

Please describe how it feels to you when you get and wear a new pair of kicks?

I love the smell of glue when I open the box. It gives me energy and chills all over. I also love putting on new shoes, looking down at them, and enjoying the symmetry; such a good feeling.

What are some of your favorite creators/designers or brands and why?

I used to love A Bathing Ape in my younger age. NIGO, the brand's founder, is deeply influenced by the Movie "Planet of The Apes." The brand uses boring camo with an ape as its logo, which works out amazingly, along with the iconic line from the movie "Ape shall never kill ape" as the slogan. The Campbell soup tee of the brand is also great.

I also love Supreme. I am not very into box tees, but I enjoy its cutting and textile. Because of the brand culture, the shirt is long and durable, especially the crewneck and hoodie. I also love the Supreme 5 Panel Hat; it has its influence on pop culture.

What is one sneaker collaboration that doesn’t exist, but you wish/think should exist?

Supreme recently collaborated with Burberry and launched a box tee as well as a hoodie. So the collaboration I want to see is Burberry x Nike Air Force 1. Many people are looking forward to it, and there are many custom-made Burberry x Nike Air Force 1.

But I hope it is mass produced and not limited to 250 pairs like Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1. It cost one million per pair, so outrageous.

What are some of the current pairs of sneakers in your rotation?

New Balance 1300 JP3, Dunk Low Off-White, Jordan 1 Bred, and Stussy Huarache are my current favorite pairs.

What is your ultimate holy grail sneaker that you have not managed to acquire so far?

Air Jordan 1 Low "Travis Scott x Fragment" with a special dark blue and reversed "tick" is fascinating. But the bid price is so high; as I am a father, life is tough.

Other than kicks, what are some of your daily essentials or treasured items?

Aside from sneakers, I am casual with my clothes. I match my mood of the day, and comfort is the most important. For must-have OOTD items, I will say it's the hats.

Where can people find you on social media?

Instagram: kenchan908 or bavo_hk

Do you have a sneaker collection that you wish to showcase or share with the world? Or maybe you have some hyped deadstock that you wish to sell. Join Ox Street as an early community member in our beta stage today and get $25 SGD off your first order (while discount slots last).

An engineer who loves writing in her spare time.