A pleasant retail experience is pretty hard to come by nowadays. One that would be warm, welcoming, and will make you actually feel good that you’ve spent your dough on their wares. The fact that you have a thinner wallet carrying a large paperbag with a shoebox in it won’t even result in buyer’s remorse but will want you to come back for more… that’s The Sneakpeek experience.
Located at the 6th floor of the Shangri-la, We were welcomed by a friendly staff, with an awesome choice of background music to keep an active atmosphere going. Ranging from Gourmet, to Supra, to DC and Clae and even an extensive selection of nice graphic Stance socks, it was quite a sight to see.
Meet Anton Lasquety, Brand Manager of The Sneakpeek. A no-frills dude who actually loves his sneakers beat up and dirty. One look at their Shangri-la branch and you’ll definitely find something that’ll catch your fancy. From various sneaker brands to fit anyone’s lifestyle, there’s a lil’ something for everyone…
As a store, what does The Sneakpeek wish to deliver to its customers?
We want people to come in pretty stoked and leaving with a dope pair of shoes, feeling that they are part of something special. We understand the importance of building relationships with each new face that walks through the door, and we want everyone who works with us, purchase something from us or anyone who walks through the door feel like they belong. We at SneakPeek believe that where, and who you purchase your products from is a big part of the experience. Growning up I was very brand conscious but this business has taught me that it’s the story behind each store and each item that gives you pride rocking your gear. Asides the brands that I handle and other Primer brands, I’m also a big fan of local streetwear and concept stores. Titan, Progress, Sole Academy, Trilogy, Greyone Social, WeLegendary, Terminal, UNSCHLD, Medisina, Brgy. Tibay, Stndrds, Built by Sonic and even Cebu based brands Rhipstop, Scars, Killapinas and Nick Automatic take more than half of my closet space right now. I’ve learned so much from the people behind these brands as to what and how we deliver customers the experience of being at SneakPeek.
Judging from the current shoe boom, we're guessing you have too many brands to choose from, did you have a certain criteria on what brands would fit the store?
Well it wasn’t really a challenge as to what brands to choose from as I work for one of the retail giants who distribute brands such as Gourmet, Clae, DC, Supra, G-Star, Boxfresh and Tretorn Footwear etc. but it was more of a challenge as to what external brands we want included in our arsenal. Right now we’ve got New Balance, Adidas Originals and Nike and are looking for more. Not just footwear but accessories as well. We stick with premium lifestyle footwear and accessories. We have no intention to compete with the “titans of basketball or the legends of skate”. We at SneakPeek simply love what we do and that’s to share our love for premium lifestyle footwear and give customers a fresh selection to choose from and enjoy.
We've heard that you have this tradition that with every store/branch you open, you buy a pair for yourself, what's the latest shoe you picked up?
Haha! You’ve heard of that. It’s not necessarily buying a pair for myself but being the 1st to purchase footwear. It’s simply for luck. Well when I opened the SneakPeek Ayala Cebu branch at the new wing I simply got White Adidas Sambas (I get almost a pair of these a year as I use them too much). Simple does it for me. My footwear spectrum is limited to blacks, whites, browns and greys. I’m all about classic sneakers,boots and skate shoes I can use to wakeskate with. I love shoes but I am no sneakerhead. I like em banged up and dirty. No shoe cleaners for me. I have multiple pairs of my favorites. Old habits die hard.
Can you give us a favorite shoe of yours for the following and why?
Regular day: Black or White Adidas Sambas and Gourmet Rossis coz they go with everything and are not high maintenance.
Concert/gig: Boots. DM’s, Palladiums, and Clae Jacksons. They go with my plain black shirts,band shirts and leather motorcycle jackets. I’m a 90s kid. High Fidelity does it for me.
Chill Sunday: My Sundays are usually never chill as I still hit up gigs (if there are any) or go to SneakPeek stores to check em out so either of the ones mentioned above. My only chill time would probably be the 2 hours of Sunday Service so I’d keep it clean and wear whatever non banged up white kicks I have that go with button downs.
The store setup is pretty chill and welcoming... can you share us some info about the store's look and feel?
As we chose the keyhole as a fitting logo for SneakPeek, it pertains to having the 1st look at a product that hasn’t been released anywhere and having access to that product through our shop. The idea for the store was to use the “looking eye” and directly relate it to the space. It’s interiors are rustic and industrial. Wall panels of perforated pegboards and inch-thick metal poles are used. It’s a man’s premium footwear store. To make it more chill and welcoming we’ll be adding couches to the bigger stores. We don’t mind our customers and good friends hanging at the shop. I believe it’s actually half the fun of managing concept stores.
The Sneakpeek carries some nice socks to accompany anyone's shoe rotation, can you tell us more about it?
Yea, Stance Socks which our company is the distributor of as well. They’re basically the best socks on earth and worth every buck. From bands, artists, other brands and skater collabs to its technology and comfort, no sock brand can do any better. It’s the brainchild of visionaries hailing from different subculture brand companies such as Skull Candy, Reef and Billabong. A simple and brilliant idea – blend form, function, art and science to create socks. I wear them almost every day. Start with one then it becomes an addiction.
Is there a brand in particular that you are eyeing to add to the store's already stellar arsenal? We've heard you also have a heart for music and you have band endorsers? What bands are they?
As for other brands to add, I’ll keep that confidential for now but as for our endorsers and ambassadors we go heavy on the music scene. For rock we’ve got bands such as Curbside, The Wilderness, Earthmover, Drop Decay not to mention some frontmen of certain bands we’re signing up soon and as for the hiphop scene we’ve got Quest, RJay from LDP, B-Roc of Soul Fiesta, Nimbus 9, Mista Blaze and Sly Kane of BNK Pirates. This is just the start. We’ll definitely be adding more to our line-up. My influence in music coming from a band as well has definitely played a part in my marketing strategies. P&P Tattoo is part of the SneakPeek Team too. Can’t leave the best team of tattoo artists in the Philippines out can we? Music, Art & Footwear I believe come hand in hand.
How do you deal with limited edition releases? Do people simply drop by your Facebook or Instagram page for info?
Instagram works better for us as it’s easier to manage and customer interaction is faster but we’ll be coming out with our website this year which will also be another outlet for pre-orders. We aren’t at that level of campers hitting us up yet but who knows. I believe in our brands and in my team and we’ve only started last June so our following has definitely been growing.
Give us your top 5 The Sneakpeek shoe releases...
DC x Wu Tang Clan Collab, Chad Muska’s Supra Skytop 4, New Balance Propaganda Pack, Gourmet 35 LX White Snake and Clae x Vibram Collab Collection.
We've heard 2014, will be big for The Sneakpeek?
Care to share what's brewing in The Sneakpeek HQ? More brands, more stores and a store at an art center people all know and love plus a Grand Launch on Feb 28. Will keep you and everyone posted with details on our social media. 2014 will definitely be a big year for us.
Any shoutouts? Stuff to promote?
Thank you so much! Shout outs to all our ambassadors, online and media partners, brands we’ll soon have collabs with and all our supporters. All we do is for you guys and we owe the success of SneakPeek to each and every one of you! If you see SneakPeek fit for a brand you handle or if there’s a collab you think would work for us then feel free to hit me up firstname.lastname@example.org or 0923-939-2210. Thanks!