NEW TOPIC: MEET THE COLLECTOR #2
Today the 2nd episode of the new topic. This new topic is about passionate people with a focus on collecting. With this topic I will give you an insight in their special collection. Collectors will tell their story behind their treasures, show their most rare and unique items and tell you all about the collecting thrill. I’m very proud to show you the second collector: Michael van Hal in the topic: Meet the Collector! Thanks Michael for sharing your great story and showing your awesome Red Wing collection. Enjoy.
Michael van Hal
Picture by Takashi Okabe (Clutch Magazine Japan)
- Name: Michael van Hal
- Living in country: The Netherlands
- Age: 32
- Instagram ID: ouwepaparazzi
- Number of Instagram followers: 898
- Website: http://ouwe-paparazzi-photography.tumblr.com
- Daily work: Fulltime Supervisor at Lee Store Utrecht – NL
What’s your favorite brand: Red Wing Shoes.
Red Wing 8150 Moc Toe
What’s your favorite denim brand: Lee Jeans and Double RL.
Double RL Sacramento Jeans from SS2016 + my favorite Lee101 Rider in 19oz from FW2015
What’s your favorite footwear brand: Red Wing Shoes.
How long are you collecting: I started collecting RWS about 6 years ago.
How many items are there in your collection: At the moment, I’ve collected over 49 pairs now.
How or why did you became a collector: Before I started collecting RWS, I was more into trainers. During the period I was working at a store in Eindhoven – NL, the footwear departement there received a whole bunch of different shoes from a brand called Red Wing Shoes. I haven’t heard from the brand before so I tried on several pairs to see if it’s something I might buy. After a while, I just bought 4 RWS pairs straight away; 2 Moc Boots and 2 Chukkas. And that’s how it all got started for me.
Red Wing 875 Moc Toe & RWS 877 Moc Toe
What’s the best thrill about collecting? The best thrill? For me, I think it’s the hunt. To find that one pair that’s missing in the collection or that one particular release that stands out. My main focus at the moment is to find releases from Japan and/or vintage pairs. Luckily the European branch from RWS sometimes do release some Japanese releases here as limited edition, so when that does happen I buy it straight away. And when you finally find that one pair all laced up on your feet: it’s such a victory!
Red Wing x Tenue de Nimes Store Limited Edition natural indigo dyed boots (50 pairs only)
What is your favorite item en why: My favorite pair, if I had to choose one, would be the RWS 8273 Engineers in Kangatan Green. This was my first pair of Engineers I bought and, with help and info from Kay (Red Wing Shoe Store Berlin), I’ve found out these are pretty rare to find. I bought them in deadstock condition right after the release of the RWS 8180 Moc Toe in the same color/leather. Besides this pair, I’m also very happy with the RWS 2966 Klondike Engineer boots. I first wanted to buy the version with the steel-toe from Japan (9268) but when I heard rumors that there was a non steel-toe version coming AND would be a limited edition for the European market, I just had to get them. This version has a more sleek silhouette and together with the Klondike leather, which would get an awesome patina over time, it’s a great release based on the older releases from back in the day.
RWS 8273 Engineers in Kangatan Green
RWS 2966 Klondike Engineer boots
What’s your best bargain in your collection: From my entire collection, the 899 Irish Setters Logger boots. I’ve bought those online via eBay for just under €50 from the US. Completely worn out and ruined, but with some TLC they now look almost as brand new. The owner who sold them to me was a farmer who wore and worked in them for +/- 40 years. This pair show how good and strong the quality from RWS is.
899 Irish Setters Logger boots
Which item was the hardest to get and/or the most valuable one: Well, that’s a coincidence. I recently bought a pair of RWS 8805 Supersole boots. This pair was a collaboration with Beams Japan back in 2012. I remember when I first saw them online on a news site, I was fascinated by it. Everyone who knows RWS, knows 8804 (“The Frankfurter”) boot in it’s typical red and black colors. But to see this pair in black Rough Suede with the white stitching: amazing! But since it was a Japanese release only and it got sold out in a blink of an eye, I had to pass on these and kept searching ever since. And just a week ago, I found them online on eBay UK and bid, now I can finally say I’m a proud owner of a pair.
RWS 8805 Supersole Boots
Which item would you add to your collection (wishlist): Well, I already have most of the pairs I wanted now. But if I had to name one pair that I’d like to add now, then it would be the RWS 9091 Girard boot from Japan. It’s a Moc Toe style, which I like very much, but in a dressed and more formal version. And the Black Cherry Featherstone leather is just amazing.
RWS 9091 Girard ‘Black Cherry Featherstone‘ Boot
Picture by www.redwingshoes.sg
Where do you get your daily inspiration from? My daily inspiration comes from Japanese magazines like Clutch Magazine, Lightning, 2nd and Free&Easy (RIP). The way people dress up in Japan is just amazing. They just know how to combine it all; from vintage to dressed and from workwear to military style. Besides these magazines, I’m following several Instagram accounts from Japan and Asia as well.
What’s your favorite inspiration quote: My favorite quote would be this Japanese (of course) quote I’ve read in a book : “If you lose, it’s not over. If you stop, then it will be over.”
(All pictures by Michael van Hal except the two with the photo reference)
Are you also a collector and want to share your story and treasures? Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org