Tareq Q— who is more commonly known as @kickstq to his 131K followers on Instagram— is refreshingly elusive in today’s digital age. For one, his full name and age are kept a mystery, and we certainly can’t pick him out of a crowd (his face is always strategically covered in his photos,) but, if there is one thing that we know for certain about him, it’s that he is the proud owner of the biggest, most envy-inducing sneaker collection in the Middle East. Tareq is a self-proclaimed “sneakerhead” from Kuwait who works in an oil and gas company by day and manages an Instagram page dedicated to meticulously laid-out outfit and shoe combinations—he leans heavily towards brands such as Vetements, Saint Laurent and Gucci—in his spare time. In his home, rows and rows of color-coordinated, limited-edition pairs of Air Force Ones, Yeezys and Jordans line up all four walls of “the vault,” as he calls it, a chamber dedicated solely to his kicks.
Tareq first began his burgeoning collection at the age of 12 (when he was first introduced to basketball legend Michael Jordan) with a pair of Stealth black Air Jordan 5s, which he bought at the World of Sports store in Singapore and wore until the soles fell off. Today, he has hundreds of pairs of different shoes on perennial rotation— he slyly admits that he’s never counted— and designed his own capsule collection for an LA-based brand called Entity. In his words, the collection features “his go-to outfit”— a white denim jacket, a black tee, black denim and a black baseball cap. As for his favorite pieces of clothing? He admits his Air Yeezys Red Octobers, Fear of God denim jacket and Saint Laurent Teddy jacket are the three things he would save if his house caught fire. When it comes to shopping, Tareq’s philosophy is “quality, comfort and timelessness.” His go-to hot spots include Harvey Nichols and Concept 4, as they are a couple of the only stores which carry his favorite brands. Indeed, in comparison to the rest of the world, the region is generally exposed to trends later on. When asked about the street wear fashion market in the Middle East, he is hopeful. “It’s developing,” he says, “Events such as SOLE DXB really help bring awareness to the culture and put the Middle East on the map—” And Tareq is at the forefront of shaping the urban culture in the region, one curated Instagram post at a time. As for how he came up with his catchy username,which he has inscribed on a pair of customized white Air Jordans, he says, “My initials are TQ and I love kicks.”