Growing up in East Berlin, Marc Leuschner wasn't allotted the same economic opportunities as his peers who grew up in the Western part of the city. Now he's the co-owner of Overkill, a sneaker boutique in the city's Kreuzberg district, and he's doing a collaboration with Adidas on sneakers he lusted for as a kid.
His shop has two pairs of Adidas EQTs coming out later this month -- the EQT Support ADV and the 93/17 Future Boost -- and they're based off of the original colorway of the Adidas EQT Running Support '93, which came in a grey, black, and red version almost 25 years ago. The pack of the two shoes is called the "Coat of Arms," and it pays tribute to Kreuzberg and Berlin's history with the EQT.
"Normally I don’t like when shops grab the O.G. colorways for a project. I like them to do something new. But when we started with the design process, I had the idea to take my two favorite sneakers from the Equipment line, and I mixed details from both of the shoes," Leuschner says. "We had the idea of giving them the title ‘Coat of Arms,’ because we gave them logo from our district, Kreuzberg, in the city. The logo shows the bridge that’s in front of our store."
Leuschner had the chance to previously design a pair of EQTs with a collaboration on the Racing '93, but he says that the sneaker was a bit more difficult to put together than other EQT models.
Leuschner's love of the EQT is well-documented, and he's regarded as an authority on the history of the shoe. Earlier this year, he hosted an exhibition on the series of sneakers and held events in Berlin, Greece, and South Korea. "It felt really good that we could do something for the EQT and all for Adidas," he says.
His obsession with the shoe came from looking up to older guys who went to football matches in East Berlin, who grew up during the city's communist days and wanted to appear more affluent than they were. "I was born in East Berlin, and in the ‘90s I was inspired by the older generation who wore expensive clothing -- not only their shoes, but their expensive leather jackets and tracksuits," Leuschner says. "The Equipment series was the collection with the best quality, but it was also expensive. Not everyone could get it, because it was a high social status and not everyone could afford it. For me, it all begins with the guys I’d see at the soccer games and wanting to be like them."
The result of his history with the "EQT has given Leuschner the chance to work on these two EQT sneakers that connect with the older and younger generations. "The ADV is a shoe for the older generation who knows Equipment from the past, and the 93/17 has a lot of hype with the younger generation who’s into Boost," he says.
Leuschner is helping build Overkill into a name that's recognized around the world, and Adidas is realizing that the people with authentic ties to its archive of sneakers are the best people to help market them. In the end, both parties win.
Fans of either sneaker can get their hands on them later this month, with the ADV ($150) and 93/17 Future Boost ($180) releasing instore and online on May 20 and at other Consortium retailers on May 27.