Singapore native and sneaker enthusiast Kahirul Anwar aka @khai_riot takes us through his journey into the sneaker world and tells us what got him into sneakers, how he almost gave up on them and then came back to do it all over again. He also shares his view on the increasing prices of kicks and of course, his top 5 with us.
Hey, my name is Khairul Anwar Sayarasi but just call me ‘Khai’. I’m from this tiny, red dot on the map called Singapore. I’m turning 39 this year. I’m currently working as a Retail Sales Manager with a US company.
Tell us how was it growing up in Singapore? At what point did you begin to associate yourself with sneakers?
Growing up during the 80’s & 90’s era, it was all about music, fashion & vibrant colours. As a kid I used to flip through my aunties’ fashion magazines. I had always been fascinated with nice, shiny, colourful objects. Perhaps that’s where my taste in fashion came from. Somewhere in the late 80’s, as far back as I could remember, my love for sneakers went to a whole new level when I bought my very 1st pair of ‘Etonic’ – high cut white / blue basketball shoes & I got hooked ever since. But when I started to work in the Hotel, Food & Beverage industry, I knew that Id have to put my passion on the back burner because of the daily uniform and long hours. I had no time to wear them. Slowly, I started to see my sneakers deteriorate and I had to throw them 1 by 1. My only regret was that I never had the chance to take sneaker pictures during that era.
What made you decide to collect? What’s your craziest/memorable sneaker story that you would like to share?
How is the Sneaker scene in Singapore? Which sneaker spots would you recommend to people who don’t know much about the local stores? Which is your favorite spot in Singapore when it comes to kicks?
What is the criteria for a shoe to make it into your collection? Are there any brands you particularly avoid?
Which is your favorite sneaker brand and why? Which boutique according to you is doing a great job with collabs?
How comfortable are you with the increase in prices of sneakers? Is it a double edged sword? How satisfied are you with the quality of newer releases?
Do you think ASICS has hit a glass ceiling in terms of creativity? Are you happy with them spinning the same old flagship models?
What are your top 5 shoes from your collection?
ASICS TIGER x MITA SNEAKERS GEL-LYTE III 2015 25TH ANNIVERSARY “FAR EAST”
DIADORA x 24 KILATES x X-LARGE N.9000 “COPITO”
DIADORA x RAEKWON x PACKER SHOES N.9000 “PURPLE TAPE”
ADIDAS ORIGINALS x PUSHA T EQT SUPPORT ULTRA PRIMEKNIT “KING PUSH”
ASICS TIGER GEL-LYTE III“STRAWBERRIES & CREAM”
Shahri (IG: @shah__ri ) forever, patiently helping me to take those awesome photos.
Elfy (IG: @elfcentric ) the guy who triggered me to buy sneakers again.
All those people on Instagram that have shown love and support since. 95% of them are not even from Singapore and there’s just too many names to mention. You know who you are.
I’m not into hype, just sneaker love. Find me @khai_riot
Khairul’s colorful posts, captions and collection are a true reflection of the “why” behind his passion. His eye for aesthetics and taste in fashion strike a chord with the inner child in him where shiny and attractive stuff stands out. But on the flip-side, the minimalist in him that values function over form stands strong too. This blend is missing for the most part from the newer generation of sneaker enthusiasts for whom, everything that their favorite rapper wears is “lit”. It is always refreshing to hear a strong personal voice in someone’s collection that overrides hype, yet looks ten times fresh. Khai’s transition from almost not being able to wear sneakers anymore to wearing them every day and what sparked it all is what this is all about. Shoutouts to Khai whose laptop died mid-way during this feature and he completed it all on his phone. I salute your commitment as much as I salute your collection and persona. Thank you!
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