Epsilon Magazine

I am a sneakerhead

I am a sneakerhead episode 145 - @My.sneakers.bgd

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My name is Lazar Labus and I’m from Serbia, a place where it's hard to be a Sneakerhead. It is also a place where 30 years ago and today having good sneakers is a status symbol. And I'm not talking about problems with finances or availability in stores, I’ m talking about logistics in order to own grails from Europe or from the States.

Now, I’m a grown man, 45 years old, very successful in advertising business. I've been collecting sneakers for 20 years now. Okay, for the first 15 years I bought them and wore them but now most of them go to the shelves..

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This is the story about me and about every older sneakerhead in Serbia...

Can you imagine a country where the average salary is 5 € per month and every young man’s dream is to wear Nike Air Max? That was my country back in the ‘90's. War, embargo, violent crimes increased, illegal weapons at the streets of capital. Having new sneakers was a dream and wearing good sneakers was a status symbol. In those days, it was normal to go to work, restaurant or going out wearing sneakers. 

Now this is normal everywhere, but here we are talking about a period 30 years ago.

Very often, the guys were returning barefoot home because it was normal thing that stronger, more violent guys take your sneakers and leave you like that at the streets of Belgrade. Period of shame for Serbia, but very good for Nike Air Max.

And then a star appears along the sneakers in Serbia - Air Max Big Window! And at the top of the pyramid of Air Max BW one - The Air Max Classic BW Regal Blue/Nevy Blue/ White OG.

In Serbia we called this model ‘Pandurka’. If I try to translate, that is something like cop shoes (because of the blue color). Those sneakers changed us all :)))) Probably the best-selling shoes in this region ever. Unfortunately, that sneakers can not be found anywhere else. Only one guy in Serbia has one pair saved of this Grail, and if you have an idea of how to get to this silhouette, I would be very grateful to them.

I bought them, of course, like they “bought” my entire generation. 

That model rulled them all :)

Of course, favorite brand is Nike, and 95% of my sneakers are Nike Air Max models.

This might be controversial, but I support reselling of sneakers because it increases the community, and in many cases, this is the only way to get the desired model

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Today I think I have about 100 pairs in my collection. In the future, my goal is to focus on quality and not quantity and, of course, permanent search for rare models in DS condition. I hope that I will not sell them but will remain intact in DS condition and decorate my living space :) 

Oliver Berg