43einhalb: Essential Part of the Sneaker Game for More Than 12 Years |
43einhalb: Essential Part of the Sneaker Game for More Than 12 Years

43einhalb: Essential Part of the Sneaker Game for More Than 12 Years

Anyone interested in limited-edition sneakers will sooner or later - rather sooner - come across Olli and Mischa from 43einhalb. The two founders of the Fulda-based sneaker store have been a big part of the sneaker scene for over 12 years. 43einhalb is not only a cool name for a sneaker store, but also the shoe size the two share. Find out what else there is to know about the two and their great shop in our interview. Have fun reading.

How long has 43einhalb been around and what were your reasons for opening the shop back then?
Before 43einhalb, Olli and I ran our online trainer magazine SNEAKERIZED - we had been active there since 2004 and reported in and about the German and international sneaker scene. In 2011, on 11.06.11 to be precise, we opened the doors of the 43einhalb store in Fulda and then in Frankfurt on 30.06.2016. The reason back then was more egoistic, because there were no very good Sneakers in East Hesse. But Olli and I knew that we could reach a few more customers and sneaker lovers through our online portal - from Fulda to the world, so to speak.

How big is the 43einhalb team and what do you look for when hiring new people?
We are currently a team of about 80 people. The selection of the team is of course based on the motivation of the individual, the team fit and of course the experience in the respective area. And the common love for shoes. But we are now also a training company and therefore have a wide range of team members from rookie to senior. Many of the 43einhalb employees are long-time companions of Olli and me, some of whom we have known since primary school days or have got to know over the years in the scene and industry. But we are also very proud that although we have only been around for 12 years, we are already celebrating half a dozen 10-year anniversaries at 43einhalb this year and next year - this probably shows quite well that we believe in long-term relationships.

You offer trendy sneakers in your shop, but do you also consider yourselves sneakerheads and do you perhaps have a favourite sneaker?
The term sneakerhead has certainly changed over the years - the field has become much more diverse and there are many more subgroups than before. Some are totally into the whole New Balance "Made in..." themes, many love the Made in Germany or Japan themes, but many of our customers also love the very clean modern casual styles. Some of our customers, on the other hand, are very interested in particularly sustainable themes. Therefore, the classic concept of the sneakerhead definitely has to be viewed differently here, even if we saw ourselves purely as such at the time of our founding. But sneakers have become a phenomenon in society as a whole, which we don't think is a bad thing ;)

Of course, despite all these different areas of interest, there are also personal preferences that change again and again and are always discussed here in the team. Picking out the "one" favourite sneaker here is like asking a mother which one is her favourite child - but I for one can only say that my love for oldschool tennis silhouettes is still unbroken - most recently the announced Nike Mac Attack by John McEnroe, which were bought by Travis at a vintage dealer, have already triggered a good tingling sensation again ;)

What's doing particularly well right now - which shoe is most in demand?
New Balance is very popular over all and Nike has some popular silhouettes with Vomero, AM1 and of course Dunk. With adidas, there is clearly a Samba / Low Profile trend. But other players like Keen, Salomon, Autry & Crocs are also having good momentum.

In 2015 you released your first sneaker collaboration with the "43einhalb x KangaROOS Coil-R2 OVIS", followed by other projects a few years later. What were the experiences for you?
Seeing your own logo on a sneaker is of course every shoe lover's dream. The projects with Kangaroos, Reebok and adidas have set a really special moment for us and finally, of course, the worldwide exclusive JOINT PATH project with adidas for the 10th anniversary put the cherry on top of the cake. We will definitely tell our grandchildren about this story :)

Is there a partner you would like to work with and why?
There are many - those who know 43einhalb know that we don't limit ourselves to brands from the pure sneaker cosmos like our small collabo with BRAUN or HORNBACH, for example. We love such out-of-the-box collabos and have a long list of partners with whom we will start something, but we can't talk about that at the moment.

During Corona, many other shops were struggling. Were you also hit hard or did business shift to the online shop?
Since we ship to almost 100 countries worldwide with 43einhalb, we were able to cope well with the lockdown restrictions and were able to use all of the employees from the stores during this time - so we didn't have to complain about any restrictions in this respect during this phase. Only the missing towel parties
or events with our community were missing - but we have already been able to make up for this with some events.

Which sneaker releases 2023 are you most looking forward to at the moment?
Again, this is not an easy question as there are a lot of projects here - I personally love the current Action Bronson x NB collaboration. There will be some exciting things from adidas this year and it will be exciting to see what Nike will do with the Mac Attack. So it won't be boring ;)

Do you have any plans for the future and if so, what are they?
We are currently very happy about the response and feedback to our "The Grail Club" regular customer programme, in which you get some exclusive pre-access and exclusive goodies - a programme that we would have liked to have even from a shop like us. We will continue to push this forward. Apart from that, there are many other construction sites, but that would go beyond the scope of this article :)

Last words?
Thank you for the interview and all the best to you!

Thank you very much for your time. We wish you all the best and a good cooperation with Grailify.

Check out the 43einhalb online shop here

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