I’m sure you all know about Patta.. one of the most well respected sneaker stores in Europe. Unfortunately we couldn’t head out to Amsterdam and chat to him in person, but we were lucky enough to grab an email interview with the designer and Media Director, Lee..
My name is Lee, born in 1975 and I am media director and designer at
Patta. I also still dabble a little bit in DJ’ing and music
First sneakers you ever bought?
The first pair of sneakers I ever bought with my own money were the
Nike Air Max 1 when they first dropped. They looked so futuristic and
beautiful then, and they still do. The Air bubble and colourblocking
really set them apart from every other shoe at that time, it was
really cool and exciting to own a pair. I bought the varsity
blue/neutral grey women’s colourway. As an added bonus they were also 10
guilders cheaper than the mens colourway.
Is there a particular sneaker that sticks out from your youth?
I had all types of adidas, Puma, but never really cared about them.
They would get beat with the quickness, thrown away and replaced. The
Nike Air Epic and New Balance 1300 were greatly desired from the other
side of the store window, but way out of reach due to the hefty
price tag. The first pair of shoes I specifically requested for from my
parents were the Nike Airborne.
Did you own them?
Eventually I did. And I was caring and really cherished those because
I thought they looked so good, plus they were kind of expensive for a
kids shoe. That shoe had all the goodness I still like today: Blue
hairy nap suede, grey mesh toe-box, nylon panels, golden swoosh,
perforated 3M accents. I think they only produced them in grade school
sizing. Unfortunately I do not own a deadstock pair of those for
nostalgia sakes, but if anybody does, hit me up!
What’s your favourite pair of sneakers of all time and why?
I have been through many phases shoe-wise: Runners, tennis,
basketball, ACG, crazy extravagant colours, high end, sober functional
stuff, but the one model that always sticks around due to it’s sheer
simplicity and cleanness is definitely the Converse Chuck Taylor.
Do you have a pair of kicks in your collection that you don’t wear
very often and why?
I have two. Nike used to release city series’, and my friend Piet Parra
(Rockwell Clothing) was commissioned to color up a shoe to represent
the city of Amsterdam. He applied the house colours from a Dutch
supermarket chain called Albert Heijn, which were orange, blue and
white. However, during the development process of the shoe, the
supermarket changed up their styling and colours, rendering the initial
idea kind of pointless. So instead, an alternative colourway was
produced for retail, while the initial colourway became a hyperstrike
friends & family type of affair. It’s one of the first big projects we
were all involved with in the beginning days of Patta, so that pair
holds a special place. I wear them on rare occasions.
The Nike SB Zoom FC ”Fret Click” is another pair with a little story. Back in the early 90′s me and my close group of skateboard friends used to run wild wherever we went. We called ourselves the “Fret Click”, “Fret” derived from “Friends”. Style was very important to us: The way we would skate, the way we would dress, the brands we would sport, the music we listened to. Basically just a bunch of young self-centered snobs having fun, oblivious to the fact that we were influencing others. In honor of the infamous click and our dear friend Mike de Geus, a superb skater and member who passed away, Nike SB offered to make a tribute shoe. It’s a very simple shoe: White leather upper atop a gum bottom. The tongue label has a golden silhouette of Mike doing a huge ollie, “Fret Click” embroidered on the back. They’re a constant reminder of our brotherhood and golden glory days of fun, carefree living.
Staple everyday pair in your collection and why?
Again, the Chuck Taylor. They are easy to wear, available in a
plethora of colourways and materials, and many of the special make ups
now come with Lunarlon foam sockliner for extra comfort. The Fragment
Design versions get a lot of daily wear.
Is there a particular style that you keep re-buying? eg: Mine is the AM90 and AM1.
Overall it’s Converse Chuck Taylor, and in recent times it’s the Nike
All Court. I love the simple aesthetic, and so far since its
reintroduction, most of the released versions are nice.
The New Balance 1300JP’s which are available every 5 years are a must. I have
also been buying quite some Nike SB Koston 1′s lately.
Keep checking back for the next part of this amazing interview!