In our yesterdays article about the new image of Asphaltgold, we invited the founder of the Darmstadt sneaker store, Daniel Benz, for an interview. We were already able to learn a lot about the company's philosophy, the external presentation via social media and the cool new Instagram AR filters from Asphaltgold.
>>If you want to read the article from before, just click here on the link<<
All that Asphaltgold has achieved so far is of course thanks to the entire team. But still we should not forget the man who took the legs in his hands over 12 years ago to open his own store and made all this possible in the first place.
That's why we took the time to ask Daniel Benz aka Dani a few more personal questions and also wanted to know what it actually feels like to run one of the leading sneaker stores in Europe and what he thinks of the idea if someone wants to enter the sneaker game with his or her own store nowadays.
Daniel Benz | Interview with the founder of Asphaltgold
As promised, there are no questions in this blog post that are the same as in the other interviews. We have your questions, dear sneaker community! Questions that you, as sneaker lovers, would certainly ask him! But now enough talking, let's start with our Sneaker Portrait / Interview with Daniel Benz from Asphaltgold! 🚀
KEV: You've been in the game for a long time and you've also experienced some milestones in the history of sneakers. Which Sneaker-Grail from your collection did you have to hunt the longest? And which silhouette still impresses you the most and why?
DANI: I don't really call it a collection, because I don't have the goal to complete anything. I'm not sure which Grail was the most difficult to get hold of. But for the New Balance x United Arrows 997.5 I had to look quite long. And one silhouette that still flashes me like it did on the first day is the Nike Air 180. Technical, but still classy!
My personal Grail is the Atmos x Nike Air Max 1 'Elephant'. Unfortunately a masterpiece that I still couldn't be able to let on my feet. 😭 Yeah as a poor student you just have to weigh the pros and cons. I am more happy with General Releases that drop. But wait a minute, this is not about me…NEXT QUESTION:
KEV: Your passion for sneakers, like with many others, has developed from a great interest in hip-hop as well as subcultures like skateboarding. Which artists and/or sportsmen have influenced you at that time?
DANI: In my case, athletes have shaped me even more than music. Michael Jordan, Penny Hardaway and Shaq were definitely heroes of my youth. When the Wu-Tang Clan really took off, their look also inspired me a lot.
Probs are also allowed:
KEV: Since I've been following you for quite some time now and have already read some of your interviews, I'd like to say you something, now that I'm talking to you: I have great respect for what you have created with Asphaltgold over the last 10 years. It is very impressive to see how you have created two stores, a cool team and a lot of loyal customers from your former 1.5 room apartment, which you make happy with fresh sneakers every day. Hand on heart, how does it feel?
DANI: Thanks for the compliment. I am very proud of my team! It is still a great privilege to be creative with like-minded people every day.
But leaning back, looking back on success and resting is not my thing. I am always thinking about the next project.
This is definitely the right attitude and certainly one of the factors that will keep you and your brand on the right track! In my opinion, you should take this attitude and motivation to heart for every life situation. And if you want to make your dream come true and open your own store, it's definitely not a bad idea to follow this attitude.
Can I do that too?
KEV: I am currently 24 years old and my goal is to open a store in my home town in a few years. More out of love and passion than for pure business reasons. Looking into the future, do you think young people like me still have a chance on the sneaker market in a few years? What do you think will be the biggest change for young entrepreneurs in the coming years? And what important things would you like to give me on my way?
DANI: First of all congratulations! I am glad! The game has changed a lot. The big brands are working more and more D2C (Direct-To-Customer) and moreover only with a handful of established dealers. The market has become very tight. I would especially advise you to create a clear USP (Unique-Selling-Point) over your own brand and thus differentiate yourself from the competition.
Thanks for your helpful tips! I already have a few ideas for a concept, but of course the whole thing is still expandable and incomplete in many ways. I'm still in the middle of my studies but who knows… with a lot of luck and ambition it might work out like yours and I'll open my store after I've finished my studies! 😄 Let's see.
Alright dear community, I hope you enjoyed the interview with Daniel Benz from Asphaltgold and maybe even motivated to do your own thing soon, no matter if it's a sneakergame or not. I personally enjoyed the interview with Dani very much and I learned a lot! 🙏🏼
By the way, before we say goodbye to you.
Alrighty, now I say goodbye to you, dear community, and can only recommend (if you haven't already done so) to read my interview with Dani yesterday. Interesting facts and lots of innovation are guaranteed. Just click on the button below and you'll be guided directly to the interview. ENJOY and Peace Out! ♥️