In context of preparing our brand new Sneaker Issue, we spoke to countless industry insiders. Retail-wise, one of the authorities in this field clearly is Patta. The Amsterdam store was opened in the heart of the Dutch capital in 2004 and enjoys international recognition for its well selected assortment of streetwear and sneakers from the likes of Nike, Adidas, Converse, Asics, Reebok, Kangaroos, New Balance, Diadora, Stüssy, Rockwell or Patta's in-house brand itself. The team behind, consisting of the two co-founders Guillaume Schmidt, Edson Sabajo and his brother Tim, among others, is also making a name for their frequent collaboration with beloved brands, such as their recent team-up with Asics for the Asics X Patta Gel-Respector sneaker. We spoke to Tim Sabajo about his design inspiration, the things he couldn’t live without and what made him a sneakerhead. Interview by Melanie Gropler

You are heavily engaged in collaborating with beloved brands. Your latest one is the cooperation with Asics. What’s so exciting about working with other brands?
Make them do things they normally won’t do and doing things that we normally can’t.

What is your inspiration for your sneaker designs?
My surroundings.

The Asics X Patta Gel-Respector is made of perforated, light grey suede with contrasting accents in orange, methylene blue and navy green
The Asics X Patta Gel-Respector is made of perforated, light grey suede with contrasting accents in orange, methylene blue and navy green

You operate your own store. Why did you open it and on top of that also started designing sneakers yourself?
We opened out of necessity. And the designing part came naturally.

Once you said that your own brand is the bestselling one in your store. What distinguishes it from other brands?
We are really street culture and everybody can relate to that.

What are the main challenges in designing and selling sneakers today?
We don’t see this as a challenge. It comes naturally to me when I walk down the streets, colors and ideas come to me.

What was the first pair of sneakers you bought for yourself?
I really can’t remember…But the shoe that made me into a sneaker freak is the New Balance 1300.

What are five products you couldn’t live without right now?
My Moleskine notebook, pencil, these are the most important things to me. The rest I could live without.

How many sneakers do you own?
I stopped counting at 500.

What is the most important trend for men/women in AW16?
Healthy life.

What style will totally be outdated for men/women in AW16?
Style is never outdated you can bring it back whenever you want to.

Lookbook imagery of the Asics X Patt Gel-Respector
Lookbook imagery of the Asics X Patt Gel-Respector