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WORK-LIFE BALANCE

CEO Passions: Collecting Sneakers

Coltrane Curtis, founder of marketing agency Team Epiphany, takes his love of sneakers to another level.

"I wanted to be more Spike Lee and less Martin Luther King, Jr.," says Coltrane Curtis.

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Coltrane Curtis grew up wearing bow ties and penny loafers. He started wearing sneakers in junior high to rebel against his straitlaced parents after watching Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and falling in love with the cool ethos that Nike Air Jordans represented. Since then, Curtis, founder of New York City marketing agency Team Epiphany, has collected some 1,200 pairs of sneakers, from a $59 pair of green and white Adidas Rod Laver tennis shoes to a $3,500 pair of autographed Nike Air Force 3 high-tops that Will Smith wore in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Curtis often wears sneakers to the office to dress down his business attire. "They allow me to have one foot in the boardroom and one foot in the club," he says.

Limited edition: Curtis is friends with Will Smith's stylist, Mariel Haenn, so he often receives hand-me-downs from the actor, who, like Curtis, wears a size 12.

Tight squeeze: Curtis keeps more than 300 pairs of sneakers in the bedroom closet of his New York City apartment. He also rents space in a storage facility.

IMAGE: Mackenzie Stroh
Last updated: Mar 1, 2011




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