MEET THE COLLECTOR #11 Kay Knipschild

Today the 11th episode of the topic Meet the CollectorMeet the Collector 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 11th collector: Kay Knipschild in the topic: Meet the Collector. 

Kay Knipschild is the owner of several Red Wing Shoes stores and also co-owner from the denim store Statement. Today we will focus on his Red Wing collection as his archive is a huge inspiration for all of us. Thanks for sharing your story Kay! Enjoy.


Kay Knipschild

Kay Knipschild red wing

  • Name: Kay Knipschild
  • Living in village & country: Berlin, Germany
  • Age: 46 years
  • Instagram ID: @redwingberlinhamburgmunich
  • Number of Instagram followers: 32,5K
  • Website:
  • Daily work: Owner of the Red Wing Shoe stores in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and the first Red Wing Women’s store worldwide in Berlin. And co-owner of Statement, the denim store in Munich.

What’s your favorite brand:

Hands down, the Red Wing Shoe Company. I guess that is a given.

What’s your favorite denim brand:

My favorite brand is Stevenson Overalls. The single-needle stitched details and the green cast denim really won me over. Especially the La Jolla fit is the ideal cut for me.

What’s your favorite footwear brand:

Red Wing Shoes.

How long are you collecting:

I started collecting vintage Red Wings back in 2007, so more than 10 years ago. That was when I co-founded the Burg & Schild Store. It is quite interesting that it all began with a true icon, a 1960s Irish Setter 877 boot.

How many items are there in your collection:

My collection encompasses approximately 300 pairs of vintage Red Wing boots ranging from the 1920s to nowadays. In addition, I own hundreds of old Red Wing related items such as old cardboard store signs, advertisements, pins, etc.

Kay Knipschild red wing

Shot of the Red Wing collection from Kay Knipschild.

How or why did you became a collector:

I did not set out to be a big collector in Red Wing items at first. The process was very organic. At first I started to buy various types of vintage items related to the Red Wing Shoe Company to have a unique store decoration, which complements the boots on display. My vision was to create the Red Wing world. So I started to go treasure hunting.

What’s the best thrill about collecting?

To complete a run or a series is really rewarding. For instance, owning a Moc Toe from each decade from the 1950s to nowadays. In general it is always thrilling when you stumble over something really special at a time where you are not even actively looking for something.

red wing moc toe

Vintage pair of Red Wing Moc Toe.

What is your favorite item en why:

I don’t have one favorite item. There are just too many things I am excited about. A very special piece is my early 1920s Red Wing cardboard sign. The imagery is really ornate and embodies the essence of the brand.

Vintage 1920s Red Wing cardboard sign.

What’s your best bargain in your collection:

A funny story is that I was looking through eBay offers for multiple hours and for some reason I ended up on an account that had nothing to do with Red Wing. There it was. An 888 Irish Setter “Sport Pac” from 1964 for 90 $ in mint condition. This set consists of an Irish Setter boot made of Australian green Kangaroo, a pair of green and yellow Irish Setter Sport Socks made of wool, and one can of Leather Conditioner.

irish setter red wing

888 Irish Setter “Sport Pac” from 1964.

Which item was the hardest to get and/or the most valuable one:

It depends on your definition of value. I was able to get a completely unworn, deadstock Red Wing Skytrooper boot from 1957 with its original packaging, tags, etc. two Christmas ago. This mint condition is almost impossible to find nowadays. Just an incredible piece of Red Wing history.

Deadstock Red Wing Skytrooper boot from 1957 with its original packaging,

Kay Knipschild holding the deadstock Red Wing Skytrooper boot from 1957,

Which item would you add to your collection:

I am looking for a Red Wing Work Chukka boot from the 1950s , since a while now. They are quite hard to come by and that would be a great addition.

Where do you get your daily inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from so many different places. I like to go into fashion stores and like to look at work from a multitude of designers. In regards to Red Wing Shoes, I draw my inspiration from talking to likeminded people, to Instagram, and especially informative Japanese magazines. Especially these magazines were the frontrunners in educating their readers on how to differentiate the decades of shoemaking of the Red Wing Shoe Company and other brands based on the tags and other details. That really elevated my knowledge about the brand.

What’s your favorite inspiration quote:

”A good idea does not occur behind the desk, but on a hiking trip.”

All picture credits in article: Max Schwarzmann.

Are you also a collector or do you know an interesting collector, please send an email to:

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.