Interview by Sneaker Freaker Germany.
Saucony and British retailer End Clothing apparently know something about their buns – proof comes in the form of this mouth-wateringly colourful Shadow 5000 Burger collaboration, which is served to the ever-hungry sneaker connoisseurs this upcoming saturday. We had a little chat with End Clothing Marketing Manager Simon Lister in Newcastle about the nutrition facts of this tasty treat! Bon appétit!
Simon, tell us a bit about End Clothing, please.
End opened its door in 2005. We are located on High Bridge, which is a small cobbled street in the City Centre that runs in-between Grey Street – voted the finest street in Britain a few years back – and the Bigg Market, a notorious drinking epicentre. In 2006, we launched the website and in 2009 we opened End Hunting Co. which is just two doors down from the original store. The website covers all of our brands, whereas the stores are set up to represent different lines: at End we stock the sneakers, streetwear and high-end sportswear, and End Hunting Co is for the more casual and outdoors fashion brands.
You as a store know how important limited edition sneakers are for the scene. What was the most hyped sneaker (except for the Yeezy!) you've seen so far?
There isn’t a week or month going by when there isn’t a frenzy for a limited sneaker. That is just the name of the game now. In terms of hype, the ASICS x Ronnie Fieg releases always massively ignite the market and I think that is down to good concepts and strong shoots of the product.
This is only your second colab, right? What is the story behind the shoes, and who had the idea for the concept?
Yes, this is our second collaboration. The Reebok Insta Pump Claret was our first release, however these Burgers were the first collaboration we worked on, they’ve just taken a little time to refine. I came up with the concept, with the recent boom in burger and food related pop-up joints around the UK and more recently in our hometown of Newcastle. Our stylist Samuel Monahan then worked up the concept.
How come you chose Saucony, and why the Shadow 5000?
Saucony have a lot of solid silhouettes, but we felt the 5000 worked the best for the burgers. The panels and lines carry quite different angles and shapes that may not look right together if the shoe was dissected, but assembled they form a really strong sneaker. The stacked effect of the panelling around the heel is a big nod to an actual burger.
Do you think the concept is important for selling a shoe?
The concept is definitely important. We feel that a successful back story separates the sneaker you’re working on from just another inline colourway. The concept in turn leads to the creation of a complete package. By this we mean limited edition extras, whether it be the box, or in this case the oversized condiment sachets that hold the spare BBQ and mayo laces. It’s this complete package that cements a collaboration and its concept, creating that extra level of hype.
What is the most difficult part for you when working on sneakers?
The most difficult aspect is coming to an end point and accepting that you're happy with the final submission. There’s so many tweaks, changes and iterations that you could go through that it is important to step away for a period of time and come back with a fresh pair of eyes. You can’t be too subjective or overly personal about the project – although it is very close to our hearts, we have to think about servicing a very competitive and critical market.
The sneaker world has grown and changed a lot in the last few years. How do you feel about that?
It has turned into a monster! It is great to see the size of the community now and the global appeal of sneakers, but sometimes people can take things a little too seriously. The amount of hot releases and colabs coming out now is fantastic and it just helps to feed the demand for product.
More and more fashion brands come up with runners and sneakers. Do you consider that a good thing?
I think streetwear and sneaker culture has had a huge influence on high-end fashion brands. You only have to look at the high fashion brands now doing printed T-shirts and sneakers to see how streetwear has had a trickle-down effect. I think it is a interesting avenue for the fashion brands and it highlights the popularity of streetwear and sneakers to a wider audience.
The ‘Burger’ will be served in extremely limited numbers, first exclusively at a launch party to be held at End Hunting Co. on May 1, followed by an online release on May 3 for the masses. We can already here the sizzle of the grill, get in line.