Switzerland is well known in the European sneaker scene. World class sneaker store Titolo calls the land of chocolate and cuckoo clocks home and the Sneakerness swap/buy/sell event has been holding down central Europe for years. Adding the final piece to the puzzle, Zurich now plays host to the first ever Swiss sneaker consignment store. We caught up with owners Nik and Kai to get the 411 on their latest venture, $auce.
Hey guys, congratulations on opening your store '$auce'. Please introduce yourselves...
Nik: I was born and raised in Bern, the capital of Switzerland, where I started Sneakerness seven years ago alongside three other Bern natives – shout out to Sergio, Lukas & Diana! We moved Sneakerness from Bern to Zurich after we noticed its potential, and it has been working out really well here. I met Kai at a Streetball tournament! After my team beat up his team, we became good friends and I started working at his father's clothing store.
Kai: My passion for sneakers naturally started through my love for basketball. I first picked up 'the rock' in 1992 shortly after seeing the USA dominate at the Barcelona Olympics. I always took notice of what was on their feet. My first pair of sneakers were the Nike Air Check '93 in blue, I would love to see a retro of those! Later that year I received the Air Jordan 'Aqua' VIII. I played basketball professionally and at the Swiss national level, through which my passion for sneakers never left my side. It was only a matter of time until we would open our own sneaker store or, in this case, a consignment store.
We remember the times when collecting sneakers was just an obscure hobby. What do you think about the current state of the scene?
Nik: Most sneakerheads our age dislike the current state of the game and blame the younger generation for bots, the increasing hype surrounding certain releases, and having to camp out. I personally believe the game is in a good place. If it weren’t for the kids, we wouldn’t be able to revisit some of our favourite childhood memories.
Kai: You have to accept the fact that any product that has a high demand but a set quantity will have a strong resale market. We believe other consignment stores like Flight Club played a pivotal role in keeping the culture alive and moving it forward over the years.
Shops are opening every day, and they still survive even if they all sell the same general products. Tell us a bit about the concept for $auce?
Nik: We resell unworn sneakers and by doing so have created a physical and online retail space for local sneakerheads to purchase from. We also offer apparel from Stüssy, HUF, Alife, Undefeated and our own $auce merchandise as well.
How does your consignment concept work?
Nik: The consigner or seller brings his sneakers to our store, taking our knowledge and the current market value in to consideration we determine the sale price together. If the sneakers are less than 500.00 CHF, the consignor receives 70% of the sold sneaker. If the sneakers are more than 500.00 CHF, the consignor receives 80% of the sold shoe. As the current market has become very volatile, we obviously make adjustments to all our prices with approval from the consignor.
How many shoes do you have currently have for offer, and what is the 'most sought after shoe' at the moment?
Nik: We currently hold 260 pairs in stock. We have kicks selling and consigners stopping coming weekly with new heat. Kids here really want the Air Jordan 'Bred' 11 right now.
What was the most stupid request for a shoe?
Nik: From time to time we have people asking if our Jordans are fake, as they have the 'Nike Air' logo on the back.
What is your opinion on the future of the sneaker scene?
The scene should remain strong going forward as the major brands are keeping the game interesting. What we hope is that the sneaker game stays a sub-culture and doesn’t get commercialised and lame.
Word is bond! Thanks for your time fellas, stay drippin'!