Talking Shop: A History of Sneakersnstuff Collaborations
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: when it comes to retailers, Sneakersnstuff is king of the colab. The store’s road to coronation traces back to 1995 when Swedish sneakerheads Erik Fagerlind and Peter Jansson first met. As Peter tells it, their passions preceded them. ‘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?”’ Before long, the two were trekking to New York in search of sneakers for themselves and others — a hustle that led to Sneakersnstuff (SNS) opening doors in Stockholm in 1998.
Since then, SNS’s output has been relentless. After their Basket Hemp PUMA in 2003, their collaborations have set the bar for storytelling in sneakers, with make-ups that nod to everything from booze to legal disputes to Swedish nationalism. When I first contacted Peter for this article I planned on doing every single colab. But on learning that that list would be 140-odd sneakers long, I changed tact. Instead, here are Sneakersnstuff’s most memorable collaborations ever!
NEW BALANCE 577 'ERIK', 'PETER' AND 'SECRET'
Though their first-ever collaboration was with PUMA, SNS’s early colabs are characterised by their work on New Balance’s 577. Three rounds were issued, each with one ‘Erik’ and one ‘Peter’ colourway, except for the first which had a ‘Secret’ colourway. The result of a Flimby factory FUBAR, the colours on the Secret 577 were meant to match Erik’s round one. They didn’t, but SNS kept them anyway and sold a limited run of 96 pairs online.
Released: 2005, 2007, 2008
ADIDAS ZX 450 'AZX PROJECT'
SNS say this was their most important colab to date. Team Trefoil was undertaking the aZX project, going through each letter of the alphabet with adidas Originals releases, and they chose SNS to be the letter ‘S’. Though planned as a Gore-Tex build for Sweden’s inclement conditions, the sneaker ended up being made of waterproof suede-like uppers.
REEBOK PUMP '2OTH ANNIVERSARY'
Continuing a running theme of making lemonade from lemons, this ‘20th Anniversary’ Pump was meant to be equipped with survivalist accoutrements. The long arm of the law swatted that idea away and the Pump was instead built with wool and Thinsulate. It was also inscribed with a ‘Alltid Redo’, a Swedish scout motto meaning ‘be prepared’.
ADIDAS SUPERSTAR 80s '3-WAY CONSORTIUM'
For this one, adidas enlisted retailers into a ménage à trois. Joined by Patta, Alife and LimitEDitions, SNS worked on one shoe with each retailer. Apparently, most didn’t want the stress of tackling the Superstar, so SNS jumped in. Each came with a Cordura sneaker bag.
ADIDAS STOCKHOLM 'YOUR CITY'
Pairing the adidas Stockholm with the city’s best sneaker store is a no-brainer. Only able to add one colour to the original blue and yellow Stockholm, SNS told their hometown’s story by adding grey for the city’s skies.
NEW BALANCE 577 'MILKCRATE'
The Swedes returned to the 577 to make their most colourful iteration yet. They enlisted the help of their mate Aaron LaCrate from Milkcrate Athletics to make this colab another three-way.
REEBOK INSTAPUMP FURY 'LEGAL ISSUES'
It’s alleged that these InstaPUMP Furys based their spots on Swedish hero Pippi Longstocking’s horse. Of course, that’s just hearsay. The real name of this pair is ‘Legal Issues’. It’s not known why.
REEBOK SHAQNOSIS 'TRIBUTE'
The lads from SNS are big fans of Shaquille O’Neal, and this Shaqnosis is a tribute to him. Each colour represents a different moment in the big man’s career, taking from his bouts in Orlando, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix and Cleveland.
REEBOK QUESTION MID 'A SHOE ABOUT NOTHING'
Look, sometimes a colourway is just a colourway. After 15 years in the game, SNS told odyssey tales through sneakers, but for this Question Mid they swerved on narrative. Fittingly, the colab is called ‘A Shoe About Nothing’.
REEBOK INSTAPUMP FURY 'A SHOE ABOUT SOMETHING'
A year later, SNS revisited the InstaPUMP Fury with a flip of the Question’s colourway. Of course, with a reference point, this colab wasn’t a shoe about nothing, it was ‘A Shoe About Something’.
NIKE ZOOM TALARIA 'FEARLESS LIVING'
To mark 15 years of working together, SNS and Nike dropped two special Zoom Talarias. Each was a European exclusive and came with a ‘Versatile Protection’ shoe cleaning kit and woodgrain-styled boxes.
ADIDAS BREWERY PACK
This special make-up pack was inspired by the brewery across from SNS’s Stockholm store. As such, the EQT Running Guidance 93 took on a ‘Malt’, the Stan Smith was forged with ‘Copper Kettle’, and the ZX Flux treated to ‘Aged Copper’.
REEBOK VENTILATOR 'BEES AND HONEY'
This 25th anniversary Reebok Ventilator joined SNS to save the bees. Bee Urban, a company ran by Peter’s sister, set aside a beehive for SNS to sponsor, and proceeds went to its upkeep. The first pairs also came with Hexalite-shaped jars full of honey from the same hive.
ADIDAS SWEDISH SATELLITE PACK
A Superstar, Stan Smith and Tubular Runner (remember them) all teamed up for an out-of-this-world adidas colab. Called the ‘Swedish Satellite’ pack, the colab honours a Swedish-made Hasselblad camera which was lost on a spacewalk. It now orbits the earth as the first-ever Swedish satellite.
BROOKS REGENT 'AMERICAN DREAM'
This Brooks Regent is a nod to a film by Vilhelm Moberg (yes, he’s Swedish) called The Emigrants. It’s about Karl-Oskar and Kristina, who leave dreary Sweden in search of living the American dream in the Big Apple. Each facet of the build links back to the story and is drenched in history and culture, making these yet another example of SNS’s storytelling skills.
VANS VAULT SLIP-ON 'STOCKHOLM'
For their first collaboration with Vans, this Slip-On flips the traditional checkerboard pattern, replacing it with a triangular patter from ‘Plattan’ — a classic Stockholm landmark frequented by skaters. Friends and Family were able to grab these with one of 50 Vans skate decks.
REEBOK CLUB C 'WE MADE THIS FOR OURSELVES'
The name says it all. As fans of the classic Club C, SNS made one for themselves.
TEE TIME PACK
SNS brought the UltraBOOST and EQT Running Guidance 93 up to par for a golf-themed ‘Tee Time’ duo. Each had luxe materials befitting their Consortium status and is best worn while working on your handicap.
SOCIAL STATUS SNEAKER EXCHANGE ULTRABOOST
To host the second instalment of 2017’s adidas Sneaker Exchange, SNS linked with Social Status to make an UltraBOOST and Superstar. The pairs wore marled knit and were styled with luxury marble and a basketball hoop with a faux-diamond, chandelier-like net.
CONVERSE ONE STAR 'ERDL CAMO' PACK
These One Stars saw SNS get freaky with ERDL, a camo print whipped up by the US military’s Engineer Research and Development Laboratory. They were designed to stand out and succeeded. We haven’t seen much like them since.
You know what, this one doesn’t seem to have a story — not even a slight nod to Sweden. But when you’ve landed a collaboration with adidas’ most-revered model, the shoe can speak for itself. These 4Ds ruled the resale market earlier this year and still fetch upwards of $1000 USD.