Published: 25th September 2019
How Instagram influencer Hassan Ali fell in love with shoes and bought 125 pairs, to boot!
Hassan Ali, Instagram influencer and owner of a whopping 125 pairs of shoes, believes that the right shoes can take you to all the right places
When profession and passion come together, it makes for a heady combination. And Hassan Ali is currently savouring this blend with a wide, satisfactory smile. This sneakerhead, who owns a whopping 125 pairs of shoes, is currently the Head of Marketing for BFL India who have under their belt brands like Anta Sports (world's third-largest sportswear brand), K-Swiss (a renowned tennis footwear brand), Palladium Boots (Salman Khan's go-to brand) and more. But of course, the coming together of his love for shoes and marketing for them wasn't all serendipity. The 29-year-old, who is an influencer on Instagram with over 34,000 followers, tells us how exactly his love affair with shoes began.
He wants them all: Hassan showing shoes some love | (Pic: Hassan Ali)
Instead of making the annual trip to Bata to buy a pair of canvas shoes for sports day, the then 12-year-old Hassan pleaded with his parents for a pair from Converse instead. His love for shoes was further propelled while playing NBA on his Xbox. And that's when he saw Air Jordan, the shoes produced by Nike for the legendary Michael Jordan, and it was love at first sight. "I called my cousin in the US and asked him to get me a pair," says Hassan who holds an MBA in Marketing from GBS School of Business Studies. One by one his collection grew and his career soared as well.
Basketball and skateboarding shoes are trending too, as per Hassan knowledge
He started working with Mercedes-Benz then became the Head of Marketing, South India for Harley-Davidson till he finally arrived at his current job with a cumulative experience of seven-and-a-half years. "Now, I am known as an Encyclopedia of Sneakers though I am just six months into the new job role," he says with a smile. And purchasing shoes became easier since the limited edition ones are now available online. Yet, he most recently made a trip to New York to buy another coveted pair — Nike Air Fear of God1. "Getting these shoes from the store was a big deal for me. I stood in line for over eight hours outside their store on Fifth Avenue," says Hassan. And oh, was it worth the wair! The pair which he purchased for $350 now has a resale value of over $1200.
Posing with shoes: Hassan at the popular Kith store in New York | (Pic: Hassan Ali)
We figured 125 pairs of shoes would require a lot of space. Right enough, Hassan has a room dedicated to them in his house. "Women have jewellery, bags, accessories to make statements and men only have shoes, so we must make the most of them. The right shoes could take you to all the right places," says Hassan, who is gearing up for the launch of independent stores in Gurugram of the brands he handles. While white shoes seem to be the trend nowadays, Hassan tells us it's chunky shoes which are doing the rounds internationally. And as we arrive at the end of our conversation, the youngster leaves us with an important tip. "Most people are not aware that shoes can be given for dry cleaning. This can help you keep them clean for long," he says and signs off.
Hassan's most coveted pairs
KT4 East Bay Times
"Thanks for my current workplace I was able to lay my hands on these limited edition shoes from Anta," says Hassan. These are in collaboration with Klay Thompson from Golden State Warriors basketball team and is inspired from a Klay's habit of reading a newspaper before a match
Sacai x Nike LDV Waffle
"These are touted to be the sneakers of the year," says the youngster. These shoes are owned by celebrities like Ranbir Kapoor and Vicky Kaushal in India
Nike Air Fear of God (Orange)
As soon as the colourway 'Orange Pulse' was announced he wanted to lay my hands on the Nike Air Fear of God1. It's a collaboration between Nike and Jerry Lorenzo, Founder of brand Fear of God. "Getting these from the store was a big deal. My wife and I planned the trip to New York during the same time of the launch and stood in line for over eight hours to get it from the Fifth Avenue store. Getting the pair was a big deal. Every shoe has a resell market which is called 'underground'. These resell for as high as $1200 now while I bought these for $350," he shares
Nike Air Force 2 Volt
"Nike and Off White is a collaboration that I love and I have a dozen of Off Whites in my sneaker collection, but this one is special. This one is a Volt Colorway of Nike Air Force and looks dope. They resell for over $1000 too," he informs
For more on him, check out instagram.com/iamha_sun