Delicacies are always a welcome theme in sneaker collaborations. The Afew gang from Düsseldorf in Germany seem to have had the same thought, as their inspiration for their most recent collaboration with KangaROOS allegedly originated at breakfast. Andreas Biergen of Afew went into detail with Sneaker Freaker Germany about the upcoming, handmade Coil R-1 'Peanut Butter'.
First and foremost, congratulations – another collaboration that you guys have come up with. And you don’t seem to be getting bored of it?
Haha, yeah, it is a lot of fun always having new projects beside the everyday sneaker life. And when you are given the possibility of doing a 'Made in Germany' shoe, you are definitely not going to say no.
First Nike and ASICS, now KangaROOS. How did that come about?
We have been selling Kangaroos in our store since 2010 and have always had a good rapport with Pirmasens (Kangaroos Germany HQ) and we took well to the small brand from the German 'Shoe-City'. So when we found out that Kangaroos were planning to produce limited quantities in Germany, we enquired about the possibility of working together.
What significance do ‘nationally’ produced products have to you?
The biggest difference is the quality and workmanship, for sure. Many shoes produced in the Far East give you the impression that they weren’t properly worked on and that the used materials are not the best. On the other hand, the German-made shoes boast excellent quality and perfect workmanship. And because the shoes are being made virtually around the corner, any required changes can be realised at short notice, without any complications, which was really advantageous to us. The environmental factors should also not go unnoticed, after all the shoes aren’t being shipped all around the world.
You guys have come up with something special yet again. Tell us a little about it?
It was important to us for everyone to know that the shoe was made in Germany and of a higher quality than your average sneaker. We therefore decided to only use the highest quality of materials, that aren’t really typical for a sneaker. The upper is made from hand-waxed calfskin; the lining is made from goatskin, which is usually only the case for high-quality men’s shoes. This shoe is virtually a mix of a luxurious men’s shoe and a classic sneaker.
In your opinion: what makes a perfect colab?
That is quite difficult to tie down to one point. There is no perfect recipe; then it would be too easy. In general, the whole concept has to be right, and you should be able to make out the colab partner’s signature in the concept. Personally, we prefer a clean shoe that stands out through details, materials and innovation.
Why was peanut butter your chosen topic?
Honestly, our first concern was making a great shoe and concentrating on the material, model and shape. When the blank was done and we started thinking about the details we came to the peanut butter conclusion rather fast – besides having a passion for shoes, we are also very passionate about food, and our breakfast is never complete without peanut butter. Other than the upper, the shoe features details such as the insoles and a special box that are also kept up the peanut butter look.
How long did you work on your project and how many samples did it take?
In total we worked on the shoe and concept for nearly four months with the KangaROOS team. Since the KangaROOS hierarchy is very compact and the boys and girls in Pirmasens worked their hardest on the project, it all happened very fast.