Four of Hong Kong’s most stylish sneakerheads walk Hong Kong Tatler through their spectacular collections. Next up is Liu Kin Wai. As the owner of Asterisk, a store selling vintage and vintage-inspired fashion and lifestyle pieces, this collector (with over 2,000 kicks in his collection) certainly has that retro-cool aesthetic down pat.
WHO Liu Kin Wai is the founder of Asterisk, a store in Sai Ying Pun selling vintage clothes and products, with a particular focus on Americana. He owns roughly 2,000 pairs of sneakers.
FIRST LOVE “My first sneakers were a pair of Pumas,” Wai recalls. “I can’t remember the model name but they were black and white and had the Puma logo on the side. I was nine years old. I started buying sneakers when I was about 12. I’d save up my pocket money to buy sneakers rather than going to watch a movie with friends or buying comic books.”
EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS Recently, Wai wore a pair of red Vans #44s, which were made in 1977. “This pair of canvas shoes were made in the US, so you can wear them every day without worrying; the rubber used back then was much more durable than the rubber used nowadays,” he says.
VINTAGE OVER CONTEMPORARY “A few years ago, Converse released new shoes with the black label the brand had used in the 1970s and people loved them, so began looking for original Converse from the 1970s. But the price difference between original shoes and remade versions could be HK$600 to HK$10,000. I prefer the originals because they’re much more comfortable and are made from better materials.”
COLLECTORS ITEM “I think the rarest pair of shoes I own is a pair of slip-on Vans from 1966. According to my knowledge, Vans doesn’t even have this pair of shoes in their archive and I’ve never known anyone or seen anyone with the same pair. I’ve never worn them, but I hope I will wear them someday. Maybe on a very special day in my life.”
UP NEXT Wai has his eyes on a pair of Adidas Kamanda sneakers.
HANDY HINT “Everyone wants to be a sneakerhead nowadays, but remember that enjoying your shoes is more important than having people look at your shoes.”
Styling: Rosana Lai | Grooming: Jim Tse at A Ten Studio