A lot has been written about the Prada America’s Cup sneaker and its overwhelming popularity among fashion’s most stylish, celebrities, and artists. It’s a silhouette that has withstood the test of time and whose reach knows no borders.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that Berlin’s newest streetwear store — 3030 Supply — specializes in the luxury sneaker, and boasts what founder Momo Maserati claims is the biggest collection of Prada America’s Cup sneakers in Europe.
The store, which sits on Gipsstrasse in Berlin’s Mitte district, carries a range of brands and pieces, such as Berlin’s own Ravani, but it’s the wall of America’s Cup sneakers that immediately catches the eye when you walk through the door.
Following 3030 Supply’s grand opening, during which 100 pairs of America’s Cup sneakers — almost all vintage and in great condition considering their age — were available for purchase, Momo sat with Highsnobiety to discuss his love for the America’s Cup sneaker, what role it plays in Berlin’s fashion scene, and how 3030 Supply manages to source its stock.
First off, what does 3030 Supply even stand for?
Actually, it's wordplay. Because I'm Momo, and the number three, if you flip it, looks like an M. So it’s Momo but it’s also 3030. But also you have the 030 for Berlin.
Why did you open 3030 Supply?
The idea was to bring vintage clothes and new designer clothes and local brands together in one location, and to highlight hand-selected pieces instead of the usual seasonal stuff. We wanted to have a cultural spot, a hub for our community, our culture, and bring a place where you can hang out like back in the days at Patta at Amsterdam, or let's say Colette at Paris.
What about the America’s Cup is so special to you and your community?
To be honest, I really think it's more the nostalgia behind it, not really the shoe itself. While I was growing up, I really appreciated the silhouette and its design. It's a shoe that you can wear for any occasion: on the basketball court, or a wedding, or in a fight, or even for your job interview. That’s actually a meme about the shoe.
Does Berlin have a special connection to the shoe?
The West Berlin kids who grew up in the '90s were really into the shoe. The America’s Cup had huge hype in the ’00s when Cam’Ron started to wear them. And so slowly the West Berlin rich kids started to rock them, and then the Russian mobsters in Berlin. I think the new generation of Berliners appreciates it because they see the older guys wearing them.
And now it’s much more common to see people wearing them.
I bought my first pair when I was 13, but in 2013 my friends and I were getting back into the shoe because we felt the nostalgia. And then slowly, we saw that all the meta guys and hipsters and fashion guys were also getting on this shoe.
When did you have your “Oh shit, I need these” moment?
Basically, I come from a working class area. I was sent to a school in a really rich area in Grunewald. A lot of the rich kids had really expensive clothes for our age. Everyone had America’s Cups, and I just always wanted a pair. Finally I bought a pair from a kid called Mischa for like 120 Euros. I was the luckiest kid ever, but then a year later someone stole them. That was really sad.
And now you have a store that sells them.
Now I have a store with a lot of Cups. Maybe it’s some kind of complex, that I couldn’t afford them, and now I have them all.
You claim to have the biggest collection of America’s Cup sneakers in Europe.
At the store opening, we had at least a hundred pairs. I think we sold more than 30 pairs. I think every week we're getting at least 5 or 10 new pieces. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depends on how much we can stock.
How do you source your sneakers?
We hunt a lot on diverse sites. We hunt alone, by ourselves, we have different plugs or people helping us find vintage pairs in good condition. I also have family in the States, like my uncle who you met today, and he brings over a lot of pairs.
The hunt for sneakers is sometimes the best part.
I think letting go of a sneaker after you’ve tracked it down is the hardest part. I had some shoes that I overpriced in the hope that nobody will buy them. There are some that I don't even have myself, but they're not in my size, so I have to let them go.
What are some differences between the sneakers? What determines their value?
It always depends. If it's made in Italy, is it made in Vietnam, or is it as a US release? So we have these three categories. Category three, if it’s made in Vietnam, you’ll find them in outlets. They’re mass-produced. Then you have the US releases, which are always special colorways. And then you have the Italian pieces, which are always made using Nappa leather. They have very nice finishing, very good leather quality. And then we have also special collaborations with stores. The camouflage pair was a special release with a store in Tokyo.
Most of your Cups are vintage. How do they hold up over time?
There's a little hint I share with people who are into vintage Cups. If the shoe has just one line of stitching, it means they're older than 2001, and they will crack. Like, 80 to 90 percent, they will crack if you wear them. Even if they look perfect, you go outside, oxygen and tension, everything will mix, and they will crack. If they have two lines of stitching, then they are newer and can be worn.
The Italian-made pairs, if you take care of them with some leather moisturizer, you can wear them for 20 years. The ones that are made in Vietnam are good as well, but you've got to take care of them. I would say those last 5 to 10 years.
If there’s something you want 3030 Supply to be known for — outside of having a great selection of vintage America’s Cups, what is it?
I want to be a store that is a micro-Colette. We are a smaller store, so we are limited to that what we can do. We are really focused more on culture, events, and the community.