Buried in Style

***This is a video I did while at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism for a web video class.***

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/54746304″>Buried in Style – Vanesa Vennard</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/vswfall2012″>VSW Fall 2012</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Produced and edited by Vanesa Vennard
Shot by Terry Chao and Vanesa Vennard
To say that Edwin “Ninjahood,” 29, likes shoes is an understatement. For the past decade, Edwin has collected well over 400 pairs of sneakers and has spent around $90,000.
Edwin “Ninjahood”, 29, is a Dominican Republican New Yorker from Washington Heights. He lives in a cozy apartment with his mother and his 400+ pairs of basketball sneakers. He keeps most of them in his bedroom, as they line above his bed on top of shelves, stacked up to the ceiling. Some are on display in the kitchen.
The shoe collecting started when Edwin was in high school. He said he was the first of his friends to start buying shoes online rather than going to one of the many sneaker stores on his block. Originally a video game collector, Edwin said he would use his Sega Dreamcast to go online and search for shoes. He still goes on shoe forums like Niketalk.com, to check out the latest releases and re-releases. His collection is a nostalgia-induced museum for any fan of great basketball players like Michael Jordan, Penny Hardaway, LeBron James and Charles Barkley, styles ranging from the 1990s to today.
Edwin said he always makes sure he has the money to spend on shoes, maybe not always the space. He has been a utility driver for about a year and a half.
He added that he maintains a balance to keep from becoming a hoarder, by having a healthy collecting habit. His decision to buy a pair of shoes limits his social life. Edwin said he will not go out when he knows he needs to save money for the next pair of sneakers he wants.
In the past, Edwin said he has given shoes to kids in the Dominican Republic who needed them. Though he still loves shoes, Edwin said he’s trying to slow down his purchasing. He wants to focus more on saving his money. Luckily for him, Nike has been re-releasing sneakers he already has, a perk that comes with collecting for so many years.
New York City, Sneakers, Washington Heights, NBA, Collector, NIKE
I love shoes, too. And I thought I had a lot of shoes until I saw Edwin’s collection. When we first went to his apartment I was amazed at how much he identifies himself with each shoe. He spoke about each shoe like they were photographic timestamps to his life. He also has superb knowledge on basketball players and past games, all of which can be brought back to life by looking at his shoes.
I was also amazed by his mother. Though she asks for more space and seems a bit irritated by his shoe addiction, she really loves her son and puts up with it. Space is hard to come by in New York City, but they make it work. Her personality and perseverance really shone through in her interaction with Edwin, which was why I had to have her in the video.


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