If any store was going to be crowned king of colabs, the title would hands down go to Swedish duo Erik and Peter at Sneakersnstuff. Coming into their diamond anniversary this year, celebrating a decade of trade, there will no doubt be a sneaker to commemorate the occasion. Before the guys get there though, they have made time to drop Round 3 of their New Balance 577 collaboration. Once again, Peter and Erik choose a shoe each, lacing their own individual golden touch to create two very distinct yet contrasting sneakers. We caught up with Peter to get the inside scoop on becoming part of the New Balance fam, his chance meeting with his partner in crime and why sneaker brands are so eager to pick the deadly duo’s minds.
It’s been a few drinks between collaborations, how are Stockholm and the store holding it down?
Never been better thanks.
You guys certainly know how to market your brand with collaborations dropping quite frequently. What is the importance of bringing the SNS flavour to these footwear brands?
Since day one we’ve always had ideas on how a sneaker should look. When we first got the chance to do our very own shoe, the Puma SNS Basket Hemp back in 2002 (or was it 2003?) we got a lot of love from all over the world and we really felt that we had something that the world needed. Sneakers designed by sneaker lovers for sneaker lovers.
Tell us about your relationship with your SNS partner Erik Börjesson and how the two of you compliment each other?
Erik is my sole brother. I hooked up with Erik in 1995, I think. Both Erik and I had been in the industry for a while and I heard rumors about this kid that was totally nuts about sneakers and I guess he heard the same thing about me. The first time we met was at a Reebok Walking Clinic for store clerks. He looked at my shoes and I looked at his kicks and we’re like ‘you’re Peter right? And you’re Erik right?’. Later that year we ended up working together in a store in central Stockholm. We went back and forth to NYC hunting sneakers together. After a few trips, people gave us money to hunt down specific pairs they wanted. Not mad money but enough to pay for the trip. In 1998, Erik came up with idea to start a website for hard to find sneakers. The only person he thought would be interested was me. I said yes before I even gave it a thought. It was the best thing I’ve ever done. Erik’s the younger of the two of us but acts more like a grown up and is the person that says ‘no’ when I’m acting like a kid and says ‘yes’ to everything that looks and sounds cool. We complete each other and my advice to all you rookies out there is that working together works.
You are about to drop another series of New Balance (Round 3) after the success of the pair of 577’s you guys dropped last year. What was the decision to go back and release another pair of the same style?
We both love the 577 so much and it is such a nice style. The 577 and I go way back, back to 1989 to be exact. I started out in the sneaker business that year and I remember launching the navy/greys when they came out the very first time. It was the best NB for me then and it still is. Classic. Comfortable. Quality.
How did the process differ from the last time around? Was there a more solid comprehension of what to expect from New Balance and a familiarity with the working relationship that made it a lot easier this time?
The first time, we designed the shoes very quickly in England at the legendary Flimby Factory. The second time and this time we did it all from Stockholm and via emails. The people at NB have always been friendly to us.
Like the last 577, there is once again a massive difference between both yours and Eric’s designs. Do you look to each other for approval and guidance or do you work strictly independent of each other?
We work strictly independent on the uppers then try to connect the soles to each other.
There is quite a little story running around about the sole units of the NB577. Is it true you got the go ahead to each use different sole units? This may sound like a little thing but it’s quite a big deal. Tell us a bit more about that, and how it may have hindered production on the last collabs with New Balance?
Yep, it’s true. Thanks must go to Robert, Dan, Mike and the rest of the NB team! This time we actually got to do whatever we wanted to do sole wise. The first round we used the OG sole and the second time we did the all whites in 504 pairs, which is the minimum for a new sole. 252 for me and 252 for Erik. To link the shoes to each other, I came with the idea to print the ENCAP-logo in white on white except for the E on Erik’s and the P for Peter on my shoes. That was a ‘no no’ from NB because you couldn’t see the actual ENCAP-logo. We eventually highlighted the E and the P and that was the most important thing for us.
Where do the Round 3 designs fit in with the spectrum of the ones that came before? Is there an evident storyline that runs through all three rounds?
I wish I could say we have a storyline, but no it’s just Erik and I doing shoes that we like.
How do we get our hands on either pair?
Launch date is the 15th of August at both our stores in Stockholm and Malmö or at www.sneakersnstuff.com
Do you think you will ever slow down on the collaboration front? You guys are certainly up there with belting out quality designs for these footwear brands!
Thanks, we try to do our best. And I know you will see more of our stuff.
Where do you think the whole movement is headed? What are your thoughts?
If you look just a few years back, we bought our shoes from the same sales rep that sold football shoes to your average sporting goods store. Today all the brands have a ‘cool store’ rep with a ‘cool store’ selection of shoes. Collaborations are a good way to connect and build relationships with key accounts. There are a lot of classics waiting to be retro’d so to push things forward I think that you have to take a look at what the athletes of today are wearing. That’s the future if you ask me.
SneakersnStuff will be celebrating 10 years of business next year! That’s a major feat in this competitive market. What’s the secret to your success? How do you plan to commemorate the occasion?
Yeah, it’s mad. The secret is a lot of hard work, a lot of love and a crew that eats, sleep and breathes sneakers. We will be celebrating it with happenings and collaborations, trust me.
Check our review on the shoe here