Stockholm’s Favorite Sneaker Store Just Opened in NYC

Sneakersnstuff brings its impossibly cool merch stateside.

By: Leah Faye Cooper
Photography: Alec Kugler

Earlier this week, Stockholm-based sneaker shop Sneakersnstuff opened their first store in NYC, prompting us to book it to the Meatpacking District for a tour of the new space. We arrived to find owners Erik Fagerlind and Pete Jansson giving the shop a once-over before it opened to the public the following day, and proceeded to chat about their brand and the significance of the new digs.

“We always had our minds set on New York City,” Jansson says. “Twenty years ago, we started coming here to go sneaker hunting, and in ’98 we started the company on a flight to New York City. We’d go back and forth every year to add flavor to the stuff we had in Stockholm.”

The latest in an expansion that also includes stores in London, Paris, and Berlin, the NYC shop owes its open layout, vaulted ceiling, and neon signage to Swedish architect Jenny Askenfors of Bofink Design Studio. The aim was to make it cool, but not intimidating.

“We’re trying to be an inclusive brand,” Fagerlind says. “We want everyone to feel welcome. That’s one thing we hated about New York fifteen years ago. Walking into some stores, if you didn’t know the secret handshake, they wouldn’t even look at you. That’s the opposite of who we are.”

Click through for a tour of the shop, some brand history, and a very impressive sneaker selection.

“We were both working at a sporting goods company [in the ’90s], and we had heard about each other because we were such sneaker nerds and people kept telling us both, ‘There’s this guy who is exactly like you and knows just as much about sneakers as you do.‘ Neither one of us thought that was possible [laughs], but eventually we ended up working together at the company and got to know each other.” —Erik Fagerlind

Pete Jansson and Erik Fagerlind

“It was [a] dream to come [to NYC], the city where we got all the inspiration to open up. When we started coming here in the ’90s, our inspiration was from old-school retailers like Training Camp and Raspberry Sports, Mr. Sneaker, Dr. Jay’s, Classic Kicks, Premium Laces, Clientele... There were a lot of places.” —Pete Jansson

“We wanted to give the best retail experience in the world, but we were placed in Stockholm. So we were the best, but in Stockholm, and nobody went there.” —EF

“We’ve been doing this for almost twenty years now, and it’s meant different things along the way. The first phase was the happy, fun phase. We just rolled with everything. We didn’t really worry about finance or anything. But eventually reality caught up to us, and that’s where the business side of the brand started to develop. We had to keep track of things and pay our bills on time—all the adult stuff. But that made us realize our value. Even though we owed brands a ton of money, they still kept delivering to us and supporting us. That showed us that the brands didn’t work with us for the sake of the money, but they needed us to validate them from a lifestyle perspective—to be the cool trendsetters.” —EF

“There was always this one guy who was the exception to the whole New York cool thing. He was cool, but he was friendly—Will Whitney. So he’s our store manager here. He was our first choice, and we’re super glad to have him representing us.” —PJ

“[We have] a unisex approach. We’re trying to be 50/50 men’s and women’s, so we have more focus on women’s than your classic streetwear store.” —PJ

“Buying today is [a] matter of a long-term commitment with brands, and positioning ourselves to get products that they create for what we want to offer. And also to work with brands on creating product when we see that there’s a need. There’s [often] something missing between the coolest hard-to-get shoe and the mall shoe. That’s what we want to deliver.” —EF

“[With our sneaker collaborations,] we want to create for what happens in a store on a Tuesday. When you’re catering to high-end clientele, you have a ton of business on Friday and Saturday, when all the releases happen. You have lines around the block, you have people fighting outside of the store to get your shoes. But on a Tuesday, all those shoes are gone, so what happens then? [We] create classics with premium execution, and treat collaborations with the respect that a heritage product deserves. And we’re obviously selling them, but we’re not trying to sell out. [They’re shoes] we’re going to restock and reproduce.” —EF

“We’ve done over 130 projects over the years with brands, everything from the Vanson jacket Erik is wearing to shoes.” —PJ

“We did a shoe with a store called Social Status with Adidas as part of our Sneaker Exchange project. [The beige] was a sample that leaked and became a little hyped on social media. We went with the black-and-white, which we felt was the better one, but we couldn’t let this one go, so we begged Adidas to produce it. It’s a global release [this week], the Adidas Consortium Ultraboost Lux. That’s a great example of brands really paying attention and listening to stores like us. We’re not the biggest retailer to them, but we mean something from a validation standpoint.” —PJ

“Normally in a sneaker store, there’s a wall of footwear. For us, it makes more sense to have the footwear to be inviting to grab.” —EF

“Our interior designer, Jenny, is not from our sneaker world. She’s an interior designer for homes. That what makes things exciting, because she has so many different ideas. Here’s a good example. Here’s a Jordan I table, which was designed to look like the outsole of the shoe.” —EF

“[The blue shoes] are from our guy Stash, representing Brooklyn. He was sort of a pioneer of the New York graffiti scene. Stash has [a] good track record of doing a lot of shoes, and he mostly does these colors.” —PJ

“This is typical Jenny. We always push her to do different things, and she came back with an idea of buying this old Swedish car—because this store used to be a garage—and she said, ‘I need you and Pete to send your personal shoes.’ ...We filled the car with shoes and then we crushed it.” —EF

“We have our own brand, SNS. We started making t-shirts in ’99, and now we have a person just working on the clothing brand, which is good.” —PJ

“This Vanson jacket is something that we’re super excited about. We like to work with people who are as geeky about things as we are. Vanson is a family-run business that’s been around, and they put a ton of love into everything they do. Each jacket is handmade.” —EF

“Whenever we collaborate, there’s always a personal connection. It’s not brands we work with, it’s people. The pants are all corduroys by two friends of ours who started a brand called Cords.” —PJ

“That’s all Alexander Wang. It’s cool that most of that stuff is unisex and comes in extra small to extra extra large.” —PJ

“Probably the biggest kicker to this store and the reason why we chose this location is that we actually have a bar in the basement. It’s going to be renovated and redone, and we’ll open in late March or April.” —EF

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