IDYSM: Hey Mischa, thanks for taking the time to talk to IDYSM. So, first up, what is 43EinHalb?
Mischa: Hey, you’re welcome! Thx for having us here. 43einhalb, translates to ‘the shoe size 43 and a half’, is the common shoesize of Olli and me, and when we started our shop in June 2011 it was the best name for our “baby” we could imagine.
IDYSM: How and why did your relationship with sneakers start, and where is it at now? Are you a huge collector?
Mischa: It all started in the mid 90’s. I have a big bunch of brothers (3) and also a twinbrother. When I started to look at what I was wearing, I always wanted to have something different my brothers had so Trainers were always fascinating for me and I chose to start collecting in around 1995. In 2003 Olli and me started “sneakerblog.net”, the first german spoken Blog around sneaker culture in Germany. Later we changed the name to Sneakerized as a online magazine for Sneakers, which all happened before 43einhalb was born.
IDYSM: How diverse are your customers, and do you find that sneakers have the ability to bring together different kinds of people?
Mischa:We see every day that sneakers connect all kinds of people, from the youngest customers at the age of 0 to older customers of 75+. Everybody likes comfortable footwear and that’s the reason they wear it.
IDYSM: Germany obviously plays a pivotal part in sneaker history after giving birth to both adidas and Puma, how influential is Germany still in the sneaker game?
Mischa: While the whole movement of wearing sneakers during your leisure time started in the US Germany has provided some big inventors for the world of sneaker culture. Today there are lots of very strong brands that are act international but have their origins in Germany which I think is about German reliability.
IDYSM: What other territories’ sneaker scenes excite you the most at the moment and why?
Mischa: We are into the old classics, we love them, but also we see the new concepts and we love them too. At a certain time you start to think outside the box and there are some cool new concepts we love to feature on 43einhalb.
IDYSM: How hard is it working in retail now with internet shopping being such a dominant force?
Mischa: For us both have their advantages. On the one hand you have the local retail store where you can speak, discuss and dream together with your customer. Its always a pleasure to have straight edge thinking guys in our store – this exchange is priceless.
On the other hand with our onlineshop we can reach the whole world. Look at us, we’re in Germany, your in Australia and we’re having a interview, how cool is that!
IDYSM: Looking at the product you stock there seems to be a lot of retro styles – do you think the sneaker scene can ever afford to breakaway from it’s past?
Mischa: Yes – we have some new concepts like the New Balance 890, ON Running from Switzerland or the new lunar stuff from Nike, also some new asics stuff will follow so we’re working towards mixing the retro with the new stuff.
IDYSM: What do you expect to see happening with the sneaker scene in 2013?
Mischa: 2013 will be the year of retro running from adidas Tech Super, Allegra and some more Torsion models. Also the Air Force Sneakers will have a revival and new stuff like like the Flyknit, 890er and some other cool models will generate big interest.
IDYSM: I have to ask, what’s on your feet right now?
Mischa: I’m rocking the DQM AM90 Bacon.
* Image courtesy of Mischa at 43 Ein Halb