It goes without saying one does not have to be a sneakerhead to appreciate sports shoes. “I’ve always liked sneakers,” says Akarat Vanarat, founder of furniture and accessories retailer Motif. More commonly known as Oak, he adds, “I tend to go for white ones and although I’m not a collector per se, I do have quite a few pairs.” With a preference for sneakers that are a bit dressy, it comes as no surprise that amidst his array of shoes are luxury pairs by top couture houses such as Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Prada and Balmain.
It is the combination of elegance and functionality in these high-end sneakers that Oak finds so appealing. Recognised for their superior construction and emphasis on quality materials, these brands have arguably become serious contenders to sportswear giants such as Nike and Adidas. That said, Oak also has an interest in the more sporty and streetwear brands. “I have many pairs of Adidas sneakers as well,” he says. “Mostly the Adidas Ultra Boosts, which I have in several colours. That’s probably the pair I wear most often.”
As opposed to the collectors fixated on keeping each pair spotlessly clean—owning multiple pairs but never wearing them—the businessman makes sure his shoes are used until they are worn out. A pair of sneakers he is looking forward to obtaining is Abloh’s Off White collaboration with Vans. “I would definitely like to add them to my growing collection,” he smiles.