Born Originals® was founded in March 2014 by Melvin Lamberty, while he was in college. After Melvin posts a picture on Instagram of a Yeezy sneaker that he has changed in color, the picture goes "viral" and questions arise as to whether they are photoshopped, replicas or even custom sneakers. Melvin stumbles upon the topic of customized sneakers, teams up with an American artist, builds a website and launches his own brand Born Originals®.
With pictures of the first shoes he customized himself, the brand quickly generated a significant reach on Instagram, and Born Originals® (BO) soon had its first popular customers. Melvin and his team recognize the demand for personalized shoes and equip professional soccer players such as Mario Götze and Leroy Sané, as well as artists like J Balvin, with exclusive shoes. After the original project of making the color-altered Yeezy really work, Melvin and the artist from the U.S. end their collaboration, but that doesn't stop Melvin from continuing to work on Born Originals® and offering other creative products and services in Germany with other artists, including his mother.
Years of collaborations follow. The brand launches campaigns and products together with brands like McDonalds, Kapten & Son, Leandro Lopes, Dr. Oetker, and even conservative companies like a private bank or insurance companies.
The company is building a community on Instagram and incorporating it into its campaigns, while its product portfolio of refined shoes from other brands will be complemented by its own shoes in 2017. Melvin travels to Portugal, the country known for its high-quality shoe production alongside Italy, and finds manufactories there that meet the company's quality and design standards. The Born Originals® own brand is born.
In the following year, Born Originals® underlines the idea of giving every customer the possibility of a personal one-of-a-kind shoe with the specially designed shoe configurator, which enables customers to design a completely individual shoe on their smartphone, tablet or PC at any time. A special feature here is that certain areas can not only be provided with patterns or colors, but can also be equipped with the customer's own images and graphics, which after uploading run through a painting filter and show the customer in advance what the hand-painted shoe will look like later. An algorithm recognizes the complexity of the image and uses it to calculate the price for the finishing.
In early 2019, Melvin will receive the "Made For More Award" from Sportscheck in the CREATOR category live on German television, honoring him for his ideas and inspiring story. The newspaper "Textilwirtschaft", the "FAZ Magazin", schuhe.de and other media report about Born Originals®. In the same year, the company launches the BETA phase of its Creator Commerce Program (CCP) and, together with stock market expert and journalist Markus Koch - known from ntv and Handelsblatt - releases a Wall Street sneaker developed with Markus that sells out in no time. The company's mission is to give personalities with noteworthy reach an opportunity to open up new sales channels with these products and to offer the community added value with fashionable products.
Another milestone in the history of the young company is the official cooperation with OREO. In 2019, Born Originals® will be part of the OREO Pop-Up World in Cologne and in the following year will receive the license to offer sneakers with individual OREO designs for the globally renowned cookie brand in the DACH region.
In March 2020, the doors of the Born Originals® pop-up store open in Amsterdam. The company is gaining its first experience with its own retail concepts, choosing a city whose people are known for their progressive understanding of fashion and early adaptation of new trends. Despite a premature end due to the pandemic, the feedback from visitors is positive and confirms the team in its idea to offer such exclusive products not only online but also in stationary retail.
Driven by the impressions of the pop-up store and the plans in the area of "B2B", the search for a suitable showroom in Hamburg begins. This is found in the fall of 2020 in Poststraße, directly on Jungfernstieg, and since then has been the central contact point for media, partners and commercial customers of Born Originals GmbH. In the historically rich Streitshof, the brand presents its products, shows opportunities for cooperation and lets visitors immerse themselves in the world of Born Originals®. On the wall of the showroom hangs a large neon sign that reads "DO EPIC SHIT" - a statement from the makers of BO.
Today, Born Originals® is a registered trademark of Born Originals GmbH in the entire European Union as well as in the USA and China. With shipments to over 60 countries, the brand is represented worldwide and can be reached by customers all over the globe. At the two locations in Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven (Germany), the creative team of merchants, marketeers, e-commerce specialists, artists and graphic designers works closely with its customers and partners and manages to produce individual one-offs, small editions, but also editions of 10,000+ pairs of shoes professionally, transparently and in high quality. The partner network, built up over several years, not only enables the production of fashion items, but also covers all aspects from sourcing to marketing and customer service. With its partner company erka Verpackungssysteme GmbH, BO also manages the logistical fulfillment of any project, thus covering the entire cycle from the idea to the reprocessing of returns. With this offer Born Originals® appeals to companies of all sizes, makes itself the ideal partner for influencers and artists in the field of e-commerce and also offers end customers a wide portfolio of exclusive and high-quality products in the field of shoes.
August 2022 marks one of the biggest milestones in the history of the young company. The brand relaunch with several new shoe models is the start into a new brand era as Born Originals will not continue to customize other brands' shoes but make own shoes - designed in Germany.
These will be sustainably produced in Portugal (EU) in a family-run factory using vegan materials from Portugal, Spain and Italy, some of which are made from recycled materials.