Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Chicago's most neon twins, the Landan twins have made a name for themselves being two of the most eccentric scenester/promoters in the city of Chicago. Join us, as we take a peek inside their closet.
Jon and Andrew Landan, A.K.A. The Landan Twins. All photography by James Atkins
Racked: You have a pretty colorful apartment. How long has it taken to get it the way you want it?
The Landan Twins: Yeah, we're pretty happy with it considering it's taken two years to finish.
R: So how many pairs of shoes do you guys own?
LT: Wow, oh man. Between the bags of shoes we haven't even gone through and all the boxes in our closet—and storage—we guess its about 300 pairs.
R: How many do you wear regularly?
LT: 30 between the two of us.
Jon: The Jordans with the black patent over there [the pair by the graffiti wall] those are my favorite but a lot of the things we buy are so special that we haven't had a chance to wear. We've had shoes for five years that we just aren't ready to wear yet.
R: How did you get started in shoes?
LT: We've been into shoes for longer than this was popular. I remember more than fifteen years ago we were in New York with a friend and he brought us to the East Village when it was really ghetto. We were going to Alife Rivington Club. It was in the middle of nowhere and it looked like we were walking into a warehouse. As soon as we stepped in onto the plushest carpet you've ever seen and looked at each of the cubbyholes made of oak, we realized each pair of shoes in there was so dope.
It was a life changing experience. We even named our company after it as an homage. We were the Alife Group. My liscence plate was Alife. It was so inspiring—everything was spawned from this little shop and it was great to realize, 'wow, we were ahead of the trend.'
R: What's your strategy when buying shoes?
LT: We get pairs that that no one else wears. Like those red Pony's, Everyone is wearing Converse and Vans. You're just not going to see a pair of red Pony's. And the vintage Jordans. We try to find unique colors of vintage Jordans.
R: So the Jordans with the black patent have always been your favorite?
LT: Yea, we got those when we were 21 and nobody else had them. They weren't supposed to come out again but they were re-released in a limited edition last year. We didn't used to wear them out, only on special occasions, like with a tux, but now that more people have them we wear them outside more often.
R: What is your most expensive shoe?
LT: A few thousand. It's a pair of Jordans
R: How much would you value your total shoe collection?
L.T.: The total value? About $100,000.
You can catch the Landan Twins in person and peep their kicks up close, every Friday at Brewstone or at any of the Chicago Interactive Social Club events.
· Jonathan Landan, @LandanTwin [Twitter]
· Andrew Landan, @LandanTwin2 [Twitter]