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Paolo Quartarone - Australian Sneakerhead


Hapsari Listya
January 2, 2023

Paolo @thesolecollector84's sneaker collection grew after he moved to Australia, and now he has around 180 pairs of sneakers. He always buys sneakers that he likes, including the latest hyped sneakers and the weirdest ones!

Please share a bit about your secret origin story? (Tell us a bit about yourself, how you started loving sneakers, what you do/hobbies etc.)

Hi, my name is Paolo. I'm half Italian, half Filo born... in Australia!

I grew up in Italy, where the sneaker culture was not existing, but in saying that, I'll never forget the first time my sneakerhead side was born: I remember being about 11-12 years old. While hanging out with my young friends, I look down at these incredible pair of Nike's at my mate's feet. All black, countless air bubbles embedded in the midsole, and this gigantic white lettering on the sides spelling "Air." I froze, I had sparkles in my eyes, but coming from a very modest family, I didn't even bother asking my parents to buy them for me and moved on. But it was too late; the seed was planted.

Nothing happened till six years ago (after I moved to Australia) when browsing in a random shop. Then, I passed a shelf and stumbled on these beautiful sneakers: KD 7 "All Stars." I had that sparkle again! They were on sale, less than half price, and I knew I had to get them. Unfortunately, the last pair was US 10.5, whereas my size is US 12. I have only worn them a couple of times as, obviously, they were killing my feet, but then I had to sell them after a few months to buy another pair instead.

Over time I got into Lebrons, Nike's, and skate sneakers; nothing too crazy! In 2017, I had about 12-15 pairs. And then, I bought my first pair of Jordans: Son of Mars "Bordeaux"; that was the new chapter. Today I'm sitting on about 160-180 pairs of sneakers: Jordan (75%), Yeezy, Air Max, Nike, Reebok, etc.

Am I a sneakerhead? Maybe. Am I a collector? Probably. But I know for sure I do love sneakers, and thanks to this hobby/passion, I met so many new friends in the sneaker community over the years!

It's not all about sneakers; I owned a cocktail bar in Italy and always had a thing for spirits (especially Scotch) cocktails, wine, and craft beers. I also love food, design, and traveling! I work in the construction industry, nothing exciting, but it brings bread on the table and... Sneakers in the Vault! I'm so obsessed with the Jordan 1's that I had to make my own steel cap version!  

All images via @solecollector84

What's your current favorite pair of sneakers?

My favourite sneaker? This is a hard question to answer, it's like asking a parent who's your favorite child...

Jokes aside, my Holy Grail (that I acquired last year) is the Off-White Chicago. But, if I had to sell my whole collection and keep only one pair -  I'd go with the Jordan 1 Bred for sure.

What drew you to this particular pair of sneakers?

The Bred 1’s are OG classics, such an icon in the sneaker legacy with a sleek silhouette and a super clean colorway,  this pair is one of the most wearable ones in my collection.

Air Jordan 1's are hands down my favorite sneakers. You can dress them up or dress them down, I love them so much that I lost count of how many pairs I own.

What’s your sneaker-collecting philosophy?

Easy, I buy what I like; from the latest hyped sneakers to the weirdest ones everyone hates! I also love when brands use bold materials, colors, or shapes! One of my most controversial pairs are the ISPA Road Warriors. Every time I wear them, I hear them snapping behind my neck!  

Your dream hype sneaker you wish to acquire but don't have so far.

Nike Air Yeezy 2 "Red October."

What's your day-to-day style like?

Working in the contruction industry, I don't wear my sneakers as much as I want to; so I take vantage of any occasion to wear my favorite ones everywhere at any time!

You can easily spot me wearing a pair of Travis Scott's at the local grocery store, Off-White's in the gym, or walking my dog in Airmax 1 Atmos OG's or 1/97 Sean Wotherspoon's!!! Team #wearyourkicks

Where can people find you on social media?

You can find me on IG: @solecollector84

An ailurophile who loves bake cookies and listen to indie music!