In this day and age the sneaker scene is a force not to be reckoned with. The 3 biggest leaders of the business combined (being Nike, Adidas and Puma) generated over 29 billion US dollars last year only. Proof that the sneaker cycle isn’t ready to end. On the contrary, it’s growing every day. And that’s actually a great thing because it gives you the opportunity to explore new options.
Enfnts Terribles had the pleasure to sit down with one of the recent promising colts in the footwear field : ARKK Copenhagen. In essence ARKK is a danish unisex sneaker company that likes it simple. They create sports orientated fashion sneakers inspired by the minimalistic Scandinavian architecture and lifestyle. Offering you a clean silhouette all by integrating technical materials.
Anyhow, let’s start the interview!
Kasper, can you shortly introduce yourself ?
Hi, I’m Kasper Rasmussen one of the owners of ARKK Copenhagen. Me and my partner Thomas started establishing our brand about 2 years ago. At first it took us an entire year to make the product we were happy about. Right now we have been active on the market for 1 year in 25 countries over the world. With the best accounts we could ever dream of.
We do make sneakers but we don’t have a sports background like the most popular brands out there. When you look at Nike, Adidas or even New Balance you’ll notice it right away. Our circumstances are different. We come from Scandinavian architecture and fashion. That’s our identity. So when you look at all our products it’s very simple and clean. No flashy neon colors! And we’d like to keep it that way.
How did you roll into the sneaker business ?
I have always been in the fashion industry. When I was a head-buyer for a big chain in Denmark called Kings and Queens. Having 55 different brands to please wasn’t an easy task. After 10 full years I felt like doing something new so I started a brand named OILL, that I sold years later.
Thomas, co-founder of ARKK, and I have a great workflow. I’m more the visual guy and he is the executive one. His advanced expertise as a central bank employee and investment banking helped us grow into a perfect match but even better friends.
One day we sat down analyzing the shoe labels out on the market. After hours of brainstorming 1 question popped up: “How many sneaker brands do we promptly think about ?“. Sadly, we could only name a few relevant brands. Being: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Asics, Diadora, etc. What about the rest though ?
Other than the top of mind sneaker titans you have: Common Projects and Filling Pieces. These are clearly different types of sneakers with a less sporty look and feel. So we took it upon ourselves to enter that business we loved so much armed with a distinct strength. Our love for Danish architecture.
That was the ideal remedy for a bored clientele who finally were offered a brand new thing that excited them again.
How do you differentiate yourself from the major players ?
Although sport is dominating fashion we try to implement our knowledge about architecture and design in our designs.
What kind of girl or guy should wear ARKK Copenhagen ?
First of all, everybody is welcome to buy ARKK. For sure! Still the guys or girls that should be wearing ARKK love to feel special. They also prefer a simple and clean Scandinavian design. Old or young.
Do you have message for young entrepreneurial creatives out there ?
If you have a dream go for it and work hard for it 7 days a week! Don’t allow negativity to bring you down. Use your personal motivation to achieve success.
Looking back at my school education I realized it wasn’t that brilliant. However I still managed to work myself up in this business.
What’s the next big move for ARKK ?
The next step is to go to the US market next year. To meet up with people who are in that market and move our office there.
Any collaborations in mind ?
A lot of people are asking to collaborate but most importantly it needs to be the right fit. Not to mention that we need to aim high too. Working with an architect for instance or even a furniture designer would be innovating options for ARKK.
We are only looking to do things right.
If ARKK had a life motto what would it be ?
“Be nice to people” is one of them and the next is “simple and clean“.