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A 'degenerate collector' paid $9,000 for Trump sneakers -- and says they're worth more

Aliya Schneider, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Lifestyles

PHILADELPHIA -- Roman Sharf is a collector. His most recent addition to his conglomeration? A $9,000 pair of sneakers autographed by former President Donald Trump.

The golden high tops, which don an American flag on the ankle and the letter T in the center, are titled “Never Surrender.” The image of the shoes went viral after Trump unveiled them at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia in February. Sharf, who lives in Doylesown, bid on his pair at the sneakerhead convention.

The Bucks County businessman said he believed the sneakers to be worth $10,000 before he began bidding. Shortly after the auction, he was offered $12,000 for them. He has since been offered $25,000, he said.

“People are telling me they’re worth 100 grand,” said Sharf, 48. “But the reality of the situation is they are worth zero until I decide to sell them. And for now, they’re being displayed in my office alongside with a hat that Donald Trump signed for me, and the marker that he signed it with. And it’s a story to tell.”

After winning the signed shoes, Sharf and his son, who sells sneakers, went to lunch with the former president at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. They discussed golf and sneakers. Trump ordered a burger and fries with a coke, Sharf said.

“I felt the presence of a boss,” said Sharf, who supports Trump. “… But yet, not for a second did I feel belittled, or as if I didn’t belong.”

 

Sharf runs a self-described gray market luxury watch dealing company called Luxury Bazaar. That means he trades luxury watches “without being authorized by the brand to do so on their behalf,” and his company makes more than $150 million a year while doing it, according to his YouTube channel. Luxury Bazaar has offices in Southampton, Bucks County, and in Hong Kong.

Sharf’s collection

In addition to the sneakers, Sharf’s Southampton office houses a Formula One racecar, vintage weapons, including a Chinese hand cannon from 1600, Muhammad Ali memorabilia, helmets, and old cassette tapes.

“I’m a collector by nature,” he said. “I sometimes like to refer to myself as a degenerate collector because sometimes I over-buy stuff.”

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