Hey there and welcome to Stride Magazine! This is our way of highlighting what’s going on in the sneaker world through interviews, blog posts and whatever else we come up with it.
To kick things off, our very first feature is with Oliver Berg, a 19-year-old sneaker aficionado who runs his own magazine called Epsilon. He’s an avid collector with an extensive knowledge of all things sneaker related, so please – enjoy!
My name is Oliver Berg and I am mostly known for creating Epsilon Magazine in January 2016. I am 19 years old and currently staying at Silver Star skiing resort a few hours away from Vancouver, Canada. Once I get back to Denmark in the spring, I will move to the city I was born in – Odense, Denmark with my wonderful girlfriend.
What was the first pair of sneakers you bought?
My first ever pair I still have is the Nike Dunk SB High “Concept Car”. I felt I could touch the sky when I got them, haha. Truth is that all my friends hated them and trash talked them so I did not wear them very often.
Why did this particular sneaker catch your attention?
Have you seen the pair? It’s crazy as fuck, hahaha
What did the shoe mean to you (and your friends) at the time?
As mentioned, everyone except me hated them. There was not really hype about them because no one knew about them. I think my friends adapted to the sneaker scene at the same time as myself.
Where were you in your life at the time?
I have always loved sneakers that are different from what everyone has. If not the model, at least the colorway. Usually my outfit is build up around my sneakers. I am not very much into streetwear brands and I actually think paying more than retail for a shirt is stupid as f…
I think it was in my first year of upper high school in Denmark, so everyone was trying to fit in, except me and my concept car.
What do you consider a must-have sneaker and why?
I don’t really feel like there are must-have pairs. Some people would go after the more hyped shoes and pay more than twice the retail. But to be honest I am not into that. I would much rather have two shoes for retail instead of one for twice retail.
Collaborations are a must for collectors I believe. You don’t really own a collection if you just collect general releases sitting on shelves across the world. You need something special to spice it all up.
Which shoes would you choose if you were to keep only 3 pairs of sneakers in your closet and why?
- Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte V “Cove”: No need to tell why, this pair is amazing. The difference from Mint Leave and Cove is the unbelievable toe box.
- New Balance 997PR: One of the greatest general releases ever. The quality really stands up to most collabs, and the colorway is awesome!
- Staple NYC x Puma Suede (EU Release): The reason I choose this pair is the story of how I got them. For me shoes are memories. When this pair released, my girlfriend and I were a bit unsure of how big the hype was. They were releasing at midnight UK time, which means 1am in Denmark. So we both stayed up until 1, and copped within seconds only to find out they sat for a day or so. That meant I fucked up the size, but the quality of the suede on this pair is out of this world.
What determines which pair of sneakers you wear on a given day?
All about the outfit. I try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row – sometimes only once a week. So every Sunday and sit down and arrange a rotation for the week haha.
What’s your favorite collab and what’s your grail?
For a period, Cove was my grail. I think grails are very personal. It does not have to be super impossible to find them and they do not have to cost €1000. That being said, one of my good friends has properly the best looking pair of Asics ever – the Colette 25th anniversary sample. I might fit them if I cut off a few cm of my feet haha
Which release/drop are you looking most forward to this year?
Since 2016 is ending soon, I really look forward to the upcoming Naked x Asics collab. Specially the Ultra Boost look incredible!
Which upcoming designers (sneaker brands) are you expecting great things from?
I must admit I really don’t look much after upcoming brands since the powerhouses keeps on spitting out incredible collabs and general releases.
Where do you cop your sneakers?
I think most of my collection comes from Mr. Claus Nelson himself. This year he decided to sell out some of his pairs and I got a very nice deal on some of them. Otherwise, Wood Wood has been my #1 go-to store.
What your most memorable experience in 2016?
I think the two Sneaker Banquet events have been some of the best moments of 2016. I have not been to that many campouts since I had my last year of upper high school.
If you could give one piece of style advice what would it be?
Don’t pretend to be someone else, make people look up to you and your style. Stop trying to copy famous people, create your own style.
What made you want to create The Epsilon Magazine?
Epsilon Magazine started as a place for real sneaker collectors from across the world to tell their story. Later on, we have added more features to the magazine. About two months ago Team Epsilon was created. The team is filled up with crazy people from all across the world. What’s great about our team is that people not only care about shoes, they care about pictures as well. So we share a lot of tips etc.
We are currently trying to build up a “Sneaker index” with a small text for almost every pair ever released. It’s gonna take us a while but please take a look once it’s online
Thanks Stride for having me!
/ Oliver Berg