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Coffee date w/ the Founders of Sneakersnstuff – Interview Part 2

The wait is over! Here comes the second part of my interview with Peter and Erik from Sneakersnstuff!
Enjoy the interesting answers. I can't wait for 2017 after this interview!

How did you guys find each other?
Peter: At that time there were no sneaker stores. It's actually more than 20 years now that we met, 22 years ago maybe. We worked in the same company but in different parts of Stockholm. Me being a couple years older I heard about this young kid that is as passionate about sneakers as was. Erik heard about me and everyone told him that I was as passionate as he was. A couple years later we started working in the same store. Our first impression, when we saw each others outfits was like ‚yeah he knows‘. Fast forward 2 more years, Erik came to me and said ‚we know everything, we can do everything, we are the best. Let's start a store‘ (online store back then). I was like ‚hell yes, let's do this‘.

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What are your plans for the future? Can we expect more stores in different cities?
Erik: Roughly 5 years ago we came to the conclusion that we knew what we wanted to do, but we didn't have all the tools to do it. We started to look for more people that would join us. We needed to build a stronger organization with grown-ups that knew what they were doing.
Peter: We were looking for grown-ups that had the knowledge. We were stuck, but we had the ambition to expand. We started to expand in Stockholm, but that was not enough. Our concept of SNS is more of a big city concept. The place in Malmö is something different. The city is too small. It's very us 15 year ago.
Erik: There were voices that said let's do more stores in Scandinavia, but wanted a challenge, let's do the whole world. We want to be a global name, but you can't do that just online without a physical presence. We want to have 10/12 stores. What's also important for us is to keep the stores like a showroom. Of course the main idea is that they should be a store, but we also want to showcase who we are and what's behind SNS.
Peter: The bigger the city, the more consumers we will have. That's also how we choose the cities. We want to do big things and big numbers. We want cities as Tokyo and New York as well.
Erik: Exactly. The bigger the city, the bigger the subculture of sneakerheads. If it's just 1% in Stockholm, we probably have 3% in New York, which is a whole new level since NYC is way bigger.

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You've been working with a lot of brands and collaborated with big names until now. What about a collaboration with Nike? Is there any silhouette you would love to work on?
 It's a different question. We don't want to retro anything. We would love to do a new shoe. Back then, when we were working with adidas the Ultra Boost was a brand new shoe. That was fun. If we would work with Nike, we wouldn't look at their archive. The question would be: what's next?! What do you have?
Erik: If Nike would come to us we would be honored to do an Air Max or Air Force, but we want them to show us what they are going to be doing next year and work on that. That's where we come from. We are from the sporting goods. When we opened adidas wanted us to sell 10% retro and 90% of their new shoes. They don't want to be labeled as ‚old‘. All we wanted back then was retro. But now, all that is available is retro, but we want the new shoes. It's always going to be pushing forward things that are not there.
Peter: If you look at our adidas section in Berlin we don't have a lot of retros. Just some Stan Smiths and Superstars. The performance products such as the new EQTs, NMDs and Ultra Boosts that's the money for us.

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Talking about NMDs… what did adidas make right in your opinion? Why is everyone crazy about this shoe?
Peter: First of all it's a super comfortable shoe. It's clean and the timing was just right on time. The whole thing with the knitted upper and comfortable sole. Everyone is doing knitted uppers nowadays, whether you call the show a Flyknit or what ever. It's just a good shoe. They happened to take over all the kids that went crazy for Rosheruns a couple years ago. This is sort of their ‚hmm okay what's next‘, cause everyone got tired of Roshes.
Erik: If you look at the production numbers I'm guessing that Nike probably sold more Roshes last year or this year than adidas did NMDs, but everyone talks about NMDs and that's still the hype. I think the NMD represents the new/current customer. They don't care about the 90s or what ever. They care about what's new.
Peter: The boost sole is still one of the best inventions in footwear.
Erik: The design language is also really important. Looking at the Ultra Boost it's actually a running shoe, but almost too nice for just running that's why everyone else is wearing them as well and not just people that run. It's something new and something fresh. Runners would say they're a bit too soft and wobbly, but the customers love them. You can't also deny that Yeezy had a great effect on adidas. All of a sudden the Kardashians and Kanye approved adidas and now Americans are interested in adidas as well.
Peter: It's crazy how Nike and Jordans were a huge thing in the states but now adidas, Puma and smaller brands get the attention as well. Especially adidas with Y3, Yeezy and Rick Owens. Smaller brands like ASICS wouldn't exist in the US without their small collaborations with small retailers.

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What is your opinion on Nikes new silhouette, the Nike Lunar Charge? #CargeTheCity
Peter: I can see where the inspiration is coming from. They want to change their design language. It's based on a few epic designs. They were sold out immediately. We have a little restock now.
Erik: I think it's showing the progress and direction where they want to go now. I think it's going to a great direction, but it's targeting a consumer that is not me. I can't really say that I love the shoe. I personally don't like the style of it, but the shoe worked. It's comfortable and has all the things we talked about. It has the design aesthetic, the functionality and the comfort. To me it's more important to see that they are doing something, rather than what they are doing.
Peter: We all know that Nike has been the leader of the evolution of sneakers for many years. We don't expect anything else. We think that they will come up with something fantastic pretty soon. As a retailer it's good to see more than one brand pushing the limits, like adidas did last year. We did't see many AM1s here today but we know that some epic Air Max 1s will come up next year!
Erik: They had problems with the AM1 shape but they didn't fix it. Now they realized that the core consumer that is going for this shoe is paying attention to all the details. It's not as easy as it sounds. ‚Make the shape great again‘ – what does that mean? Do you know how hard it is to change a shoe? But they worked on it.
Peter: 2017 is going to be good! There are some good products that will come out.

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