Shoes will always be a part of a normal individual’s life. They are worn well, forgotten and comes in a new pair.
We on the other hand treat them as works of art, we love and cherish them as if they were memorabilias and keepsakes. It’s an obsession. We are Shoephoric.
Behind the name is a woman who truly embodies what being Shoephoric is about. She gets excited by the sight of a fresh pair, has colourful stories to share with every pair she owns and is a proud owner of a “Shoeseum” that houses her crazy collection. From heat sneakers to the most coveted of heels, this woman leaves no tables unturned and no shoe unloved.
Fellow Shoephorics, meet the woman who truly lives up to the community she built... Ann Jacobe.
What's with the deal with shoes? How did you fall in love with collecting them?
I’ve always had the most Shoephoric childhood. My mom always made it a point to buy me shoes that matches my every outfit. That developed my taste in footwear, even my slippers and sandals matched my house clothes!
That childhood passion was carried out till Highschool. College saw me rocking Grosby, Tretorn, K-Swiss, DM’s, adidas Sambas and Superstars. It was a great time. What I liked, I rocked.
When I started working and earning my own money, I hoarded Charles and Keith, Nine West and Ferragamo. Then I eventually gave them all away.
During this time, I got into power dressing which got me started with Louboutin Pigalle, which I bought two pairs of. Then I added more Louboutins to my heart's content. More Zanottis, Lorenzis, Blahniks, Choos, McQueens, Guccis, Pradas, Balenciagas, Miu Mius, Valentinos to name some.
Usually, they say your lifestyle dictates your taste in shoes, would you agree? Why?
Yes, when I wasn’t so active and more present in social gatherings I just wear heels most of the time. Even my hobby requires me to wear heels. Competitive Argentine Tango is a great excuse to buy more heels that catch my fancy.
The Air Jordan bug also bit me for quite a long time. Starting out with the Jordan 4 Breds which I thought was a very classy looking shoe. It paved the way for more numbered Jordans which turned into a collection. I also turned my attention to Dunk SB’s because of the wild colorways and concepts which got me some pairs which I still love to this day.
For the past few months, I’ve been travelling constantly and I prioritized comfort which had me hunting for runners. From Nikes, to Pumas, Sauconys, to adidas, I’ve been on a wild quest for comfort and style, not to mention the brand collabs which are always awesome to own.
What particular shoe would you rock on the following occasions?
Romantic Dinner Date
Jimmy Choo “Mira” because this shoe has all the romantic elements, yet doesn’t leave out the fierce factor.
If it was my heel phase I’d go for Louboutin “Lady Peep Spikes”, but now I’ll go for my Valentino Camos. They hit hard literally.
If it were heels, my vote goes to the McQueen black open toe booties.
If I were to pick a sneaker it would be the 2002 Reese Forbes Denim Nike SB’s for that 80’s feel, I also am in love with the red bottoms.
No doubt it will always be my Louboutin Barbie shoes. I think it's made for Tango and Swing and lots of jumping and twirling as well.
If you were to pick 5 shoes from your collection and match them with your best qualities, what pairs would they be?
Louboutin Lady Peep Geek
Because it symbolizes the industry I’m in. It also affirms the strong presence of women in tech, which is really inspiring.
The Gypsy Dream
Aside from being a part of Shoephoric’s One Town One Shoe Project, these show my carefree Boho side. It’s all about channeling your free spirit and applying it to your daily life, when I slip into these, my day becomes lighter and easier.
Any colorway, anyday. adidas never fails to keep me moving with these nifty functional beauties! From the airport to the office, they are worn heavily.
Zanotti Studded Heels
These heels just spell “joie de vivre” all over! The gold studs, Swarovski crystals, and the mirror ball-like material make me feel like life is a party every time I wear them.
Nike Air Jordan DB 4
Life is all about conquering your fears and going every situation with a superhero-like attitude. Superman and Michael Jordan in one shoe? I’m definitely in!
If your sneakers were men, what qualities would they embody?
Nike Dunk SB Tiffany High
A charmer and a man of pure luxury, a man who has a penchant for the finest things that money can buy.
Asics Gel Lyte III Marble Pack
A serious go getter, one that has a liking for adventure. Full of attitude and spunk.
adidas Stan Smith PK
One who’s old fashioned, with modern attributes. Knows his values, yet isn’t afraid to try out new things.
Your holy grail for heels, what would it be?
I'm over the moon with my latest pair, the Sophia Webster "Evangeline 3D Strass" I've always dreamt of having these angel winged heels.
It's a sophisticated take on such an iconic pair. The satin and crystals make it irresistible.
The sexy winged silhouette makes me feel like I'm part of a fantasy world.
Staring at your shoe stash it seems that you get to find the rarest and most coveted, from sneakers to heels. Do you have connects or you're just lucky?
Aside from sheer luck in raffles and my knack for timing, this is where our Shoephoric network comes in. The power of social media keeps me informed on when my desired pairs will drop. I also get love from The Sneakpeek and One Step Ahead. Nothing but love for local shops and resellers as they make hard to acquire pairs possible to own and enjoy.
If there's the pair that you won't mind getting multiple copies of, what would it be and why?
The adidas Yeezy line, because it’s so comfortable and stylish. Actually I’d take all the colorways and the models because I think Kanye West has set the standard for high-end/Musician-designed sneakers. I rank him up there with the fashion greats and it’s my way of appreciating a designer who blurs the lines between designer and street fashion with music thrown in.
Also one brand I’m in love with is Common Projects. You can’t go wrong with its casual yet luxe vibe. Whether relaxed or dressy, you’ve got winners here. Simple and clean.
With the sheer amount of pairs you have, how do you keep each pair loved and well maintained? Do you do it yourself?
I keep it organized - Call it my O.C. side but I tend to keep my shoes in an organized fashion and categorize them according to form and function. It doesn’t help in maintenance, but it helps me keep them in a healthy rotation so none of them give out and crumble as they age.
I got space - I dedicate a huge space for them inside the house, I want to appreciate them both on feet or displayed.
I dust off regularly - Every Saturday is dedicated to dusting off all my shoes. Every pair gets TLC from this lady.
I clean as I wear - Yes, I clean them all up with a shoe cleaner as I want each pair to retain its freshness and prolong their shelf lives.
I maintain – Because of the hot and humid weather, the leather remains pretty much intact. It’s the rubber that supports the heels that crumble, so I have them replaced every 3 years.
Is there a pair you own that you can't get yourself to wear, yet you don't mind keeping them? Why?
Air Jordan 12 “Taxi”
Because they are so white and classy-looking and they were given to me with the most thoughtful of intentions. It’s like a medal coming from a son I’ve never had.
Air Jordan XX3 Retro “Chi City”
I bought this pair mainly for its historic significance. A store-only exclusive, I decided to buy them as a keepsake from my recent trip to Chicago. For me it’s more of a collectible than an actual shoe.
Are you proud to say that all your pairs came from your own pocket? Care to share something interesting about your collection?
Yes, most are bought from my own pocket as I’m a self-confessed shopaholic. I buy what I fancy.
Some are gifts from dearest friends, brands and stores.
They say every pair from one's collection has a story, with the number of pairs in your Shoeseum, does that statement still hold true? Or is it just a sterotypical line from shoe collectors?
Believe it or not, each of the pair I own has a story that I can recall in detail. It’s one of the reasons why I make it a point to buy shoes when I travel. Each pair is a window to the best of memories. Call them journals and photo albums that I can wear.
Can you share with us funny story about a particular pair you own?
The first time I saw the adidas NMD’s I really did not get into the reasons why they are hyped. But I ended up hoarding pairs for myself. I also remember saying that I won’t buy them, but when I got to try on a pair, I went ballistic!
What are your latest pickups? Can you elaborate what those pairs are?
Black Yeezy Boost 750’s
Because Yeezy told me. You can’t go wrong with an all black pair. Kind of gothic and fits my style.
adidas Stan Smith Primeknit
The Stans are always staples in my rotation, given the Primeknit treatment, I just had to have them.
adidas NMD’s (3 Colors)
If I could get all the colorways for this one, I would. They are so comfortable and perfect for any occasion. Either dressed up or down, they will match my outfit. These three will definitely jive with my NMD mix.
I will always have a soft spot for camo and Valentino, the marriage of the two is of course a must cop.
Nike Roshe Run LD-1000 X Serena Williams
An inspirational shoe that I totally connect with. Simple, with an inspirational message on the insoles that says “You are strong, powerful and beautiful!!” Definitely a keeper!
Nike Air Trainer 1 X Fragment design
Every pair that Hiroshi Fujiwara touches is pure gold and this pair is no exception. Red? Midcut with straps? A lucky Hongkong adventure find!
NikeLab Footscape Magista X OR
A recent Hongkong pickup. It just so happened I was there during its day of release. I wanted it, had second thoughts, went home and got it the next day! The best decision I ever made as I’m in love with them!
I think I've got white sneaker flu. But I'm a huge fan of Alexander McQueen so I've got to own them. Beautiful.
Wow that is crazy! In just a week?
Yes, it happens most of the time and there’s something really energizing with a room full of brand new shoes!
Is there a pair that you initially didn’t like but eventually loved?
adidas NMD’s. At first I didn’t like the protruding rubber parts but then when I wore a pair, I just couldn’t stop getting every colorway I come across. I know, it’s crazy but the NMD bug hit me. I’m wearing one as I’m answering this.
What's your latest Shoephoric memory? Something that's far extra awesome from the others.
My recent trip to Chicago made me look back and think on how far Shoephoric has gone. Starting out merely as a collection organizer for me and my friends, this has blossomed into something beyond my imagination. It’s more of a general feeling that we are doing something right. It makes an impact in the community that I love.
My other trips as of late have also been very memorable as I managed to meet different Shoephorics from every country I’ve visited. It’s always a life-affirming feeling that they appreciate what you’ve started, something that began from my love of shoes.
What's your next dream for Shoephoric?
My dream is to localize Shoephoric in every country. Shoephoric Japan, Shoephoric Singapore, Shoephoric Hong Kong and the list goes on. Imagine a Shoephoric HQ for every country? WOW!
We’re also in the process of making our content much more personal as we’ve noticed that the community is way more into content that contains our views and opinions on shoes and shoe-related topics.
It’s always been our continuous goal to make Shoephoric a household name among shoe lovers everywhere and all these dreams will contribute to Shoephoric as a go-to-place and community for everything shoes. Fans, collectors and resellers included.
For us it’s all about bridging the gap, connecting everyone with the love for shoes.
Spread the Shoephoric word!