Interview: Erik Fagerlind from Sneakersnstuff talks collaborations with New Balance
Erik Fagerlind of Sneakernstuff talks collaborations with New Balance. From concept to color ways to fabric, it’s all about the details and telling a unique story. SNS’s most recent collaboration with Milkcrate NYC is another definite collectable. We hope to see many more projects from the SNS team but join us now to get a behind the scenes read on what it takes to create a notable runner.
What do you feel is the most important part of a New Balance shoe? Why?
I guess there is no secret that we love the New Balance 577 the most. So to answer your question, I guess I will just go to that shoe. And as all good sneakers, it is a matter of balance in the shoe. The NB577 is a well known faithful old shoe that has served many runners many miles. And as a sneaker for the street is has been a classic since day 1. And I would say that is because of the balance of the shoe. I mean, the 577 is a pretty wide and somewhat heavy shoe – but the balance of it makes it looks slick never the less. And if you have to break it down to one part of the shoe – it would depend on the actual shoe. In case of the 577 I would say it might be the N. Or the re-inforced tpu heel.
What do you say is your trademark?
We always look to find a theme for the collab. In this case it was a threeway, where we brought in our good old pal Aaron Lacrate and Milkcrate. He is very much about the colors so it made sense to do one very colorful version. And for those who feel that they might be to old/fashion for colors, we matched it up with an all greyscaled version of the same shoe. So that was the theme for this particular collab, but in most cases we would try to find some tye in to something typical Swedish. For instance Reindeer leather Puma or Moose leather Reebok. Or knitted shoes Converse All Star as the classic knitted mitten from the north of Sweden. Things like that.
How are you trying to change the shoe game?
Change it? We are the shoe game… When we started out back in the 90′s – the retro part wasn’t that big. People were in to the new performence styles more. You can sort of see that come back now, but it is still a long way to go to get to where we were back then. I guess, for our part the biggest difference compared to the typical streetwear/sneaker stores out there is that we will carry good sneakers even if they are not tier zero of whatever. A good sneaker is a good sneaker. Our customer knows that, we know that – but sometimes brands try to tell you different. It is very easy to be labled as a certain type of store. We are trying to move away from that a little bit. Each one teach one style.
What is your concept on making a collaboration sneaker with New Balance?
It has been a bit different from time to time. First time, they gave us 10 minutes to try to come up with a deign. Second time I wanted to use some outside materials to make a shoe that looked one way on the outside, and another way on the inside. Third time I just wanted to make a Me shoe. A sort of an ego boost I guess. Forth time I tried to work on a different model, and we made three styles at the same time to make a RGB pack for our 10 years anniversary. I also wanted to try to use only synthetic materials. But that didn’t work out that well – so we went back to the 577 in pigskin suede and leathers for the recent 5th round.
Describe your process in picking color/ fabric/ materials/style?
Same as above – it is different from project to project. But idealy we would start with a design theme. And then try to work out something from there. We normally have the color story together first, and then it is a matter of sorting out the right balance of materials. And then it is a matter of what materials is available – wait for the first samples and make changes and move on. It is not always easy.
What feeling do you want people to get from this drop?
Happy feelings. We always want people to feel happy. Hopefully the Milkcrate fans like the shoes. We know the sneakersnstuff fans like the shoes. They all sold out pretty fast, so I guess they all like it.
What do you see NB doing differently than other brands?
NB has a good heritage springboard. Sometimes they put that to good use. New Balance has a profile that appeals to a more mature customer base. That is something that you might not see too much from Nike or Adidas at the moment. Nike is trying sometimes with their NSW stuff, and we see adidas make some decent drops as well. But as a whole both Nike and Adidas are targeting a much younger consumer.