Taking a small break in between listening to global fashion experts at Sportswear International’s first Denim Day at Ellington Hotel - SI visited Hikmet Sugoer’s Solebox right across the street on Nürnberger Street. Known for a well-selected portfolio of sneaker fashion, the store has become a must-visit destination in Berlin’s district Charlottenburg.

With people having arrived for Fashion Week, the store is filled with international clients, chatting about their newest sneaker collections and giving feedback on the up-and-coming shoe trends. “The seasonal Fashion Week is a very nice opportunity to meet up with our customers on a personal base,” Sugoer says. Yet, the retailer doesn’t seem infected by all the ‘Fashion Week buzz’ and stays quite relaxed. „In terms of traffic, there is no big difference compared to the rest of the year. Our customers come specifically to visit the store, that’s what we want. We are no fashion people, we are pretty down-to-earth and keep our business the same way“.

Highly appreciated for his expertise, the sneaker fan already teamed up with renowned brands such as Puma, Adidas or Lacoste for limited editions several times. Hikmet Sugoer’s newest collaboration called Pump X Reebok will be launched end of March of this year. “Collaborations are the drive of my work,” Sugoer says. The Solebox editions don’t appear more than 3-4 times a year, in order to keep the products’ exclusivity.

As for the assortment, Solebox stays loyal to its present brands, adding up with special collaborations or smaller concepts such as Clae or Gourmet. „In general, its not the right time for small cutting-edge concepts as the market is already saturated. There is no real niche market anymore, every store carries the same brands worldwide, and many more stores open up“.

Rather than doing tradeshow research and highly connected with the international sneaker community, the 38-year old Charlottenburg local gets the scoop of the newest trends and latest styles from the brands themselves or on the internet. „There is an upcoming tendency to technical performance styles with different fabrics, colors and details. But the overall style tends to become more and more minimalistic and pure – less flashy but pretty classic with sober monochrome colors and made out of smooth leather qualities.“ Even though Hikmet Sugoer values classical designs, the retailer’s true passion are eye-catching and entertaining styles.