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When the very first KICKZ Store opened its doors in November of 1993 at Munich’s “Münchner Freiheit” it was the first store of its kind in all of Germany, maybe Europe. A store focused on basketball sneakers was unheard of up until then and many believed we would have to close our little shop within a couple of months. There is no market for this “basketball & sneakers thing”, they said. But Chris our CEO aka Captain KICKZ knew better.
As an active basketball player and sneaker collector Chris was looking for alternatives to the soulless department stores that sold sneakers on hangers like pieces of meat. As for colorways they often only offered the choice between black or white. And if you happened to have big feet – as basketball players tend to have – you might as well give up the sport and switch to soccer as there were hardly any sizes bigger than US13.
For sneakerheads times were even tougher. They had to buy their limited shoes in the US, ask a friend on vacation to bring them over or be happy with whatever generic selection the local store had to offer. When our KICKZ store opened, all that changed.
People came from near and far to buy shoes they simply could not get anywhere else. Or they came to just hang around the store and talk basketball and sneakers with like-minded people. The license plates of the cars parked outside proved the movie Field of Dreams was right. “Build it and they will come.” A basketball & sneakers community was forming and we were right in the middle of it.
When it became clear that we could very well make a living with this “basketball & sneakers thing” and not have to close our shop, we started advertising in basketball magazines, essentially opening our doors to the whole country. If you saw anything you liked in those ads, you just gave us a call or send a fax, send the money and we would send you the shoes out of our small garage located just behind the store.
And when the internet became a “thing” we were one of the very first to launch a site focusing on the ever growing basketball and hip hop clientele, which became mainstream in the mid 90s thanks to the original Barcelona Dream Team and MTV.
Much has changed since then. Today, 25 years later, KICKZ has 10 stores all throughout Germany. Through our online shop we ship globally now to every corner of the world. Many companies jumped on the basketball & sneakers train and the market is as competitive as ever. Just like the NBA it’s a revolving door of competitors. Throughout the years we have seen many come and go. But we are still here. Strong as ever. And we have a lot of exciting things to announce in the upcoming months.
Celebrate with us as we start a new chapter in KICKZ history and we will see how far exactly we can take this “basketball & sneakers thing”. We are just getting started!
From ‘93 ‘til Infinity. Never Not Ballin’.
For our 25th anniversary we are celebrating what we do and love best – bringing the world of basketball and street fashion together to form something unique, at the same time emphasizing our authentic 90s roots in basketball and hip hop culture. We partnered up with a number of brands that all share our passion for streetwear and present you these exciting anniversary collaborations.
Columbia which coincidentally also celebrates their 80th anniversary this year, played a huge role in the 90s and is a dream match-up for us thanks to one item that revolutionized urban fashion. The Columbia Bugaboo Interchange Jacket, which birthed the concept of fashion-tech in streetwear and became an urban staple thanks to the 3-in-1 layering system, which allowed shell and fleece liner to be worn separately, essentially making this two jackets for the price of one. Together with Columbia we are bringing this legendary jacket back in very limited quantities sold exclusively at KICKZ.
The impact Champion had on 90s street fashion can not be overstated. There is simply no other sportswear brand that is as synonymous with the golden era of 90s basketball fashion. So we teamed up with Champion, one of the most prestigious industry giants and created a dedicated #NeverNotBalllin capsule collection.
Complete head-to toe styles elevated by Polar Fleece, designed in black and white, simple and understated yet on point in our message that with us basketball is always king and has been since 1993. Presented to you by no other than Love & Basketball’s leading actor Omar Epps.