During the last edition of Sneakerness Zurich we had the pleasure to spend some good time with Sergio Muster, Sneakerness' founder and organizer, the most important series of sneaker events in Europe. Sergio is in the first place a sneaker lover, and that's why we asked him to explain to us where Sneakerness comes from and what organizing a series of events of this magnitude means. What we can anticipate is that the spark of every successful project always comes from one thing, passion. Happy reading and... see you at Sneakerness Paris!
Hi Sergio, let’s tell us a little bit about Sneakerness, about your roots and your passion for the sneaker game.
For me, Sneakerness is in the first place a passion, not a job. I have another job to earn money, for living I mean, a job that takes up most of my time, but my dream is Sneakerness to become not only my passion, but also my job, a job for living. Obviously, my passion is also my obsession, but after having collected sneakers for over 15 years, buying models for absurd prices with no second thoughts, today I managed to find a great balance, experiencing the sneaker game with more satisfaction and less frenzy, because even with more than 800 pairs of shoes I realized that I have had enough for the next 2, 3 or 4 years. I must admit, however, that I am an 'Air Max addicted', since I've got 300 pairs of them, more or less. But I also like Puma, Asics and Adidas; well, I definitely love sneakers.
Where does the name Sneakerness come from, and how did it start in 2008?
All started in 2007 at Titolo shop in Bern, with the intention to organize an 'aperitif' to bring together some collectors of sneakers in the store. Given the success of this first event, in 2008 we organized a second 'aperitif' at Titolo, which was attended by hundreds of fans from all over Switzerland. With such a result, we were like 'Wow, why don't we make something a little bigger?'. So a few months later we looked for a location in Bern to create an event open to 500 people. Well, we had to find a name for this event, and the idea of Sneakerness came to us while watching Jim Carrey's movie 'Me, Myself & Irene'. At some point in the film they say 'you are not cool, you've lost your coolness!'. 'Ness' impressed us, it sounds so good! And so the name was born: Sneakerness, and so it was that the first official edition was organized in 2008 in Bern. After that event I got several emails from people who were enthusiastic, one from Vienna, asking me to go there to see if there was the possibility of organizing an event in the Austrian capital. So it was that in 2009, taking many risks, I decided to organize Sneakerness Vienna, realizing my dream of creating an event outside of Switzerland. The following year, a guy from Cologne asked me to arrange a date in his hometown, and even there I asked myself, 'why not?' Thus was born Sneakerness Cologne. But at that point I had a new dream, realize an edition of Sneakerness in Amsterdam, which to me is the 'sneaker city' above anything else. And from there the dream has become even bigger until we reached Warsaw. Now there are folks contacting us from many parts of Europe to organize new editions of Sneakeness, but it is becoming so big, with increasing risks and organizational commitments, that I decided to create a joint venture with my partner in Cologne, in order to better manage the present and future events. By partnering with leading international brands, we do our best to ensure any organizational support and high-level sponsorship, trying to achieve new dates, new successes, both for the organizers and for the fans.
Why haven't been all the 2014 dates available before August, and what’s the most important thing about Sneakerness?
This year, we are publishing the dates of Sneakerness little by little because there are many news and partnerships that we are able to confirm only month after month, with major new events such as Paris, and possible projects we're working on, such as Copenhagen, Moscow, and London. But before publishing something we want to be sure that everything is ready and that the event can be organized the best. Each new date requires approximately 6 months of organization, during which there are meetings, site inspections and negotiations. The most important thing for Sneakerness success is the team I work with. Many people who are helping me since the first edition, and without whom I would have never been able to let Sneakerness grow up to what it has become today. It's a kind of 'family business', since the events get organized with the help of my friends, my parents, my sister and my girlfriend.
How do you see the sneaker game and what are the differences between American and European events?
In America, the market - and therefore the events - are more focused on basketball models, such as Air Force 1, Jordan, LeBron, etc., while in Europe there is a great interest for Air Max, Asics, Adidas, New Balance, and running models in general, which are closer to our culture. I see the sneaker game up like never before, and I hope the same for the sneaker culture!