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ELLESSE x KING OF TRAINERS

We chat to long standing Offspring community member Franklin Boateng aka Tottenham’s 'The King of Trainers' about his new collaboration with Ellesse.

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Tell us about your journey, what do you do now?

Where do I start, I’m a serial entrepreneur and been in business for a number of years but now I’m what people may call an 'influencer', but I say I’m an influencer’s influence because I’ve been doing this a very very long time. From buying trainers in the states in the 90s, to setting up my sneaker studio in North London in the 00s, to founding the first 'Sneaker Award Show'. Recently, I also opened an Avirex Store Pop up at Boxpark Shoreditch.

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Do you have an early sneaker memory?

My earliest is from around 5/6 years old, when my mum bought me the trainers she thought Boris Becker wore when he won the Wimbledon final.

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I have been into sneakers since the early 80s. My mum loved tennis and would look for the trainers tennis players wore and buy them for me at a young age, which lead to my playground nickname as the King of Trainers.

Why did you pick this model from Ellesse?

The guys from Ellesse PR company Gung Ho invited me down to the Ace hotel at the time to work on the new Ellesse flagship model the Ellesse Tanker. The project was called the Design Council and they invited people from all over the world and put on an amazing spread, there was a lot of drinking and socialising, but I was focused on creating a design that connected with my mums love of tennis.

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Where does the colour scheme come from?

I based the design on the Ellesse tennis top that Boris Becker was wearing when he won the Wimbledon Championship in 85, one foot light blue and one foot dark blue.

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How was the process of designing a shoe from scratch and then seeing the first sample?

It was a long process because the original shoe was done before lockdown then during lockdown the factory got wiped out so we had to get a new factory and start again, but I can’t thank the guys at Ellesse enough they really pulled the strings to make this happen. We had to go through a few samples, but we got there.

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What does community mean to you?

Community means people coming together for a common cause and love. We have a big sneaker community and then sub communities within this thing of ours, but my thing is as long as everyone is treating each other with love and respect that’s what it’s all about. People who hate and talk down to people have no part being in this community. I try to do a lot for the sneaker community because I love it.

Check out the 'Ellesse x King of Trainers' collection.