Kicks And The City: A Q&A With ETQ Amsterdam

Kicks And The City: A Q&A With ETQ Amsterdam

While Amsterdam may traditionally conjure up images of canals, narrow streets and grand 17th century buildings, the modern city happens to be one of Europe’s forerunners in contemporary design, in architecture, footwear and beyond. Sneaker brand ETQ, standing for elegant timeless quality, are champions of this, putting a strong focus on conceptual thinking and a subtle aesthetic. We caught up with the guys to discuss the sneaker world and the modern city.

Tell us about ETQ and how it came about. Why sneakers?

ETQ was founded by three friends in 2010, under the mindset of eliminating over-accessorised branding and focusing primarily on letting the quality of the product speak for itself. At that time, our founders worked at a luxury store in Amsterdam but grew tired of the excessive branding and pricing. Inspired by their shared love for sneakers, they started ETQ. Over the years the market evolved, as did the brand, but the very essence of ETQ remained the same: Elegant, Timeless Quality.

In 2015 we translated this into a revolutionary flagship store in the heart of Amsterdam, which embodies our taste, aesthetics and culture in a multi brand shopping environment.

What about Amsterdam do you feel matches that ‘elegant, timeless quality’ criteria?

You could see Amsterdam as a metropolitan village. Amsterdam, and the Netherlands in general, has a good name in the world of design. Of course, it is well known for its historic canals, its seventeenth century painters, Vincent van Gogh and Ajax and Cruyff. It is a relatively small city with a lot of heritage, allure and talent.

What’s the most exciting part of the city right now?

Because Amsterdam is relatively small, there is not really one district to be named that is more exciting than others. You can bike from the West to the East within 30 minutes, which makes it an ideal city to live in. Amsterdam-Noord is developing fast lately, with a lot of new exciting projects and clubs.

Favourite secret Amsterdam spot?

We never share our secrets.

Favourite place to eat in the city?

BAK restaurant at the edge of the centre in West. It’s located in an old warehouse, with great food and a beautiful view over the river.

If you could live in any building in the city what would it be?

De Ateliers, at Stadhouderskade. A beautiful building built in 1875 which was partly re-designed by famous Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld.

What would you do as mayor for the day?

Amsterdam currently has a big problem with tourism. Most locals avoid the city centre as much as they can. If we were mayors, we probably would try to do something about this problem.

Why do you think Amsterdam has become the hub of the sneaker scene?

Dutch design has been a worldwide renowned export product for decades but it has always been a somewhat elite thing. Same goes for fashion. The thing we have in common with these other guys is that we tried to do it ourselves. None of us had a fashion background, which made a lot of situations very difficult, but also benefited us, as we weren’t constricted by conventions. I think all these brands show that you can do whatever you want, regardless of your background.

What’s the inspiration behind this seasons ETQ range?

For Spring / Summer 2018 we return to the base we never left. We connect our past to our present and our future by focusing on quality, timeless design, and supreme materials while at the same time updating the characteristics out of which our brand has been built. We’re constantly looking to develop new materials and techniques, and this season we have pushed it further towards perfection.

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