Sneakerheads aren’t the only people who regard New York-based boutique Extra Butter as one of the best stores around; its longtime brand partners are also fans. As the retailer celebrates its 10th anniversary, execs from Asics, Saucony, Reebok and New Balance share with Footwear News why Extra Butter is so special.
Director of demand creation, Asics America
“The Extra Butter team has a unique perspective on the footwear industry. Most of their collaborative projects are inspired by clever, cryptic film concepts, which separates them from the rest of the field of retailers — they have really carved out a niche. They continue to get better and better, and they just recruited industry veteran Paul Lee to round out their creative team. We have celebrated several collaborations together, and we will continue to partner with them, as they always have great ideas. We have an amazing new project coming up with Ghostface Killah for Comic Con.”
NYC trends sales manager, Reebok
What makes Extra Butter so influential in the industry?
“Every release with them is an experience. They don’t just slap some colors and materials on shoes and call it a day. Every detail is examined under a microscope to make sure it’s perfect. A great example is the Reebok x Extra Butter Ventilator Street Meat, considered one of the best collaborations to this day. The details in that shoe are just amazing — even the speckled midsole was made to look like yellow rice from a halal food truck.”
What does the store mean to your brand?
“Having a partner like Extra Butter is important. It keeps us relevant to the sneakerhead consumer and also allows us to shine a light on key silhouettes we are pushing as a brand. Extra Butter is the industry’s best storyteller, and with every project, their customer is introduced to a new model that they may not have been familiar with before. Anytime we release a shoe with them, customers experience our brand in [an entirely new] way, and it keeps them engaged with us.”
Do you have a favorite memory from working with their team?
“What stands out most is when they pitched their prom-themed Club C to us. The Club C was introduced in 1985 as a retitled version of an older shoe called the Revenge. With movie and theater being such an integral part of their releases, they searched for revenge movies for inspiration, which is how they landed on a certain ’80s prom movie. This is the attention to detail that sometimes goes unmentioned — but it just shows you how passionate they are about their projects.”
Director of lifestyle, Saucony
“Extra Butter is the quintessential sneaker boutique in everything it does. They really hold true to being creative, respectful and businesslike. The owners, buyers and store clerks all treat the products they deal with in a manner that benefits not only the brands but the sneaker market as a whole. Extra Butter has meant a lot to Saucony over the years, helping us to gain coolness and awareness with a very desirable consumer. Not only have they been very good at supporting us on an inline basis, but they have really made an impact with the collabs we have done together [such as] the incredible three-shoe ‘Space Race’ pack, inspired by space travel. The story and support they put forth on that project was second to none.”
Lifestyle and numeric channel sales manager, New Balance
What’s it like working with Extra Butter?
“The team is extremely easy to work with and very creative and passionate about growing their brand. They have a strong vision and have been able to stay true to who they are, as they have grown. They offer a fresh outlook on the business and come at things from a fun, playful perspective. [As a partner], they show our brand in a new light and enable us to reach an audience who truly appreciates craftsmanship.”
What’s the best thing about Extra Butter’s culture?
“[Owners] Nick and Ankur [Amin] do a great job giving Bernie [Gross, creative director], and the team the freedom to create. Bernie has a great vision for what he thinks will work and knows what customers will respond to. They are able to move quickly.”
Where do you see the store in 10 years?
“Hopefully, there will be a few more Extra Butter [locations] in other markets that could really use a lift in sneaker culture. With this team’s vision, the sky is the limit.”
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