PICTURES: SaintCity & Hikmet
TEXT: Sara Sani

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Hikmet Sugoer is a Berliner, and he is also the sneaker culture godfather in Germany. With more than 60 collaborations in footwear, his expertise and his trained eye make him one of the very best, most respected international specialists. For Shoes Up, he comes back on his career and unveils his new brand: “SONRA”.

When did you become passionate about sneakers?

It all started in school. beginning and mid 80s. It was my kind of expression.
Nobody was really caring about sneakers in my school back then expect two or three others. Most were into punk, rock, etc and I was into hip hop and reggae.

What is your favourite sneaker collab you have been working on?

This is a hard question. All my projects were and are important to me. It was always my aim to work with a non hype brand or silhouette. So if it was successfull it was my work. Most of my projects were successfull. My very first collab ever with New Balance means a lot to me. Because this was the beginning of everything. So I would say the 1500 GGB.

Why did you decided to step out the retail business and create your own shoe brand?

After I lost my Dad, I wanted to have more time for my family. So I decided with my brother to sell Solebox. I thought this would make things easier and that it would give me more time for my family. But not at all. The deal had a snag: I was doing my work under harder circumstances than before. I was a mascot and i was not allowed to make decisions in the new partnership. After two years my contract ended and the company decided to work without me. All my visions of the future for Solebox ended at this point. One of these visions were to have an own shoe brand. So I decided to do it on my own. Relaxed from home next to my family. Only driven by passion. No pressure.

“A shoe more
form fitting
with time”

Can you tell us more about SONRA? Its concept?

SONRA is my new love after Solebox. I started to draw my ideas on paper. Putting all things together. The biggest task was to get these drawings and ideas to a final product. My first SONRA modell is called “proto”. I wanted to do shoes which become softer and more form fitting from time to time you wear them. The “SONRA proto” is handmade in Germany. I use vegetable tanned suede and leather from a German tannery. The craftmanship and quality is amazing on these. Every colorway is limited to 100 pairs globally and every pair is individually numbered. First release is scheduled for Mid of December. 24Kilates, Hanon, Patta and SoTo will carry some pairs and the rest will be sold by me.

On your youtube channel you were making fun of those who couldn’t cop a pair of Light Brown Yeezy 750 Boost with a DIY tutorial that consist in covering a pair of Light Grey Yeezy 750 with expensive melted chocolate. You think there’s too much hype on the « sneakergame » nowadays?

Most people already know my sense of humor. I am the self ironic simple guy. I am not doing fun about others and I do not want to offend people. But with this video I do wanted to show, that we are talking about shoes. No more no less. Shoes are made to wear them. If they get dirty, they get dirty.If they get chocolate covered, so what?

What’s you opinion on this new generation of sneakerheads and resellers?

Resellers were always part of the whole sneakerthing. I started as a reseller too. But I resold shoes to buy me new ones to wear. Or I traded shoes. At the end I bought more shoes than I sold shoes. Today it is unbalanced. There is too much reselling. Many people do not care about the product. They care about the profit they can do. I hope the new generation is learning fast and seeing that the sneaker thing is not about everybody wearing the same. “Don´t believe the Hype” as Public Enemy would say.

Can you tell us what’s your fave top 3 sneakers of all time?

My personal shoes the Air Jordan 1 in first place, then Puma Clyde and in third the New Balance 1500. Followed by Adidas Campus, Reebok Pump Fury and Air Jordan 4.