A NEW business will let sneaker lovers display their exclusive collections.
On the Wall is aimed at collectors of high-end sneakers, which can cost thousands of pounds to buy. It is the brainchild of Scott Stewart, of interior design specialists Design North.
Scott put some design ideas for On the Wall on social media and had a huge reaction, including a response from legendary sneaker makers, Nike.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Nike’s Jordan sneakers so I was thrilled when we had a message from Nike in Portland, Oregon, showing their support. Other collaborations are in the pipeline looking at special boards and even bespoke solutions,” said Scott.
“I’ve always been interested in sneakers and have a collection of about 60 pairs. Most of them are tucked away in boxes and I thought there must be an easy way of putting them on display. Our solution is ‘sneaker walls,’ easily-assembled shelving which you can add to as your collection grows.
“One unit is 600mm by 600mm and we have three designs in our launch range,” Scott added.
He was surprised where the social media interest was coming from.
“We thought we’d mainly hear from teenage lads, but the response has come from 30 to 40-year-old men who have amassed huge sneaker collections,” said Scott.
On the Wall has investment from Design North, and from Rowen Group, a collection of businesses launched earlier this year by Andrew and Alice Hall, who turned £90 into the £14m fashion firm Pink Boutique.
Scott is On the Wall’s Creative Director, supported by fellow Design North Director Jacqui Martin as Brand Director, and Rachel McDermott, who will be On the Wall’s Commercial Director.
“We had a huge amount of interest even before we launched. Our Instagram account had hundreds of followers almost immediately – including Premier League footballers and top designers,” said Scott.
“Design North works with clothing retailers such as End, so it’s a market we know well. We’re planning exclusive boards to complement specific sneakers, using their colours, for instance, to create bespoke shelving designed for certain brands and shoes,” he added.
The success of online marketplace StockX, which specialises in reselling sneakers, is evidence of the popularity of sneaker collections – and how much people will pay for shoes.
“You can see on StockX how people are snapping up sneakers during limited releases for say £300 and then selling them on for £9,000 – it’s a massive market and it’s growing,” said Scott.
For a recent photoshoot to promote On the Wall, Scott managed to track down a pair of Nike Mag sneakers, a replica of a shoe used in the film Back to the Future Part II. “They are really rare shoes and are worth nearly £90,000 a pair,” explained Scott.
“So you can see why people might want to display their collections rather than just leave them in their boxes.”
On the Wall is based on Hoults Yard, Byker, and Scott was determined to keep production of the pegboard shelving systems local.
“We’ve been planning this for a long time and one of our priorities was always to keep things local, to use north east suppliers for everything we could – so we’re using a Byker based company to make the pegboards.”
Design North are also behind another new brand, Hypercave, a venture designing luxury garages for super cars.
* Design North specialises in interior design for commercial environments. For more information about On the Wall, go to www.onthewallhype.com or follow the company on @onthewallhype