Until recently, Born Originals specialized in custom sneakers and sold them worldwide. The company also develops corporate wear with a focus on shoes for well-known companies in Germany and Europe. In 2021, the business model was expanded: Born Originals acts as an inspiration platform and partner in the "Creator Economy" sector. Here, the brand offers selected individuals, companies and brands with a community the opportunity to develop joint products in the field of fashion and to market them. For this purpose, BO has now established a new content department that focuses on such partnerships, presenting them primarily through interviews, podcasts and editorial posts on social networks.
From sneaker brand to lifestyle magazine
"Normal Gets You Nowhere": that's the title of the new Born Originals podcast, which will launch in early October and is emblematic of the brand's new direction. After being known for years for its custom sneakers, and still is, the focus will now be on inspiration.
"I realized late last year that there was a lot more to Born Originals than just the 'sneaker' product," said Melvin Lamberty, founder and CEO of Born Originals, who continued: "We have had the privilege of meeting many interesting people over the past seven years. We want to share this privilege of meeting these individuals and hearing their inspiring stories with our community in the future."
Here to Inspire
Talking to Melvin about this new direction, you can tell how much it's been working inside him for the past few months. "The first half of 2021, I worked really hard on the brand. The process has taken significantly more time than I would have guessed at the beginning," says Melvin. In the process, the emerging vision of Born Originals carries a great headline: Here to Inspire. Melvin explains what this means: "As a brand, we want to stand for inspiration and individuality. But the people we present on the basis of their exciting stories also stand for precisely these values and attributes. At the end of the day, it is the values of inspiration and individuality that fill Born Originals with substance," says Melvin, whose anticipation for the coming weeks and months is evident in every sentence.
The brand also aims to encourage people to write their own story. "We want to get people to go their own way, even if it might not always seem like the right way at first glance. In the end, everyone is individual, but being self-confident enough to live out one's individuality is what matters," says the "head" of Born Originals, who then goes on to talk about the origin of the podcast's name: "Many of the people we have met and would like to introduce in the future have not chosen the "normal" path. Often it was special decisions and encounters that brought them to where they are today. Funny enough, a few months ago we ordered a neon sign with this phrase for our office. Then, when we were thinking about a name, this lettering came directly to mind," Melvin says with a laugh.
Success Story Markus Koch
Where the path should ideally lead is also already clearly defined. "In the future, we want to be perceived as a brand that has a clear brand identity. We want to be the ones who encourage you to go your own way, who deliver inspiring content and, on top of that, bring out fresh products," says Melvin, who cites the now three-year collaboration with German stock market expert Markus Koch as one of BO's success stories: contact was made with Markus Koch at the end of 2019, and the idea quickly emerged to develop a joint product for his community. "Our first drop was a Wall Street sneaker limited to 200 pairs, which sold out within three hours," says the native of Wilhelmshaven, who also emphasizes the "all-round carefree package" of Born Originals. "We spontaneously flew to New York City at the time - just a week after the idea was conceived - photographed the campaign with Markus and then took care of the entire production, shipping and customer support afterwards. Of course, this service was very well received," says the Born Originals CEO. The collaboration expanded the following year with a second sneaker, despite the lockdown, and will culminate in mid-December 2021, with the release of a joint hoodie created in collaboration with New York artist Sandy Cohen. "The project with Markus and Sandy also showed us again that this is the way we want to go. A strong personality, in this case Markus, the creative artist Sandy Cohen and Born Originals as a "gatekeeper". The feedback from the community proves us right," says Melvin, who is looking forward to upcoming projects with curiosity.
That this new, different path will be new to many customers and companions at the beginning is clear to Melvin. "Of course, it's a tough cut and we face a lot of work. But we firmly believe that in the long run, this path will realize the full potential of the brand and still offer a lot of added value - both for us personally and for our community, who we simply want to give the opportunity to be part of this journey and these exciting stories."
Sometimes it takes a few changes in direction to stay "on track" in the future, but it's often these steps that ultimately lead to the destination. Because: "Normal Gets You Nowhere".