The Footpatrol Discussions series is back! What better way to freshen up our creative juices than sitting outside in the sunshine whilst reading this latest instalment of the series.
For this feature we took this time to plan a trip over to visit the owner and founder of the ever growing page of Nike Server, Linus Nutland. We spoke to Linus about his career, the Nike Server brand and how he has aimed to create a new outlook on used and second hand Nike trainers giving them a new lease of life and becoming more sustainable by doing so.
Take a read of this latest exclusive Footpatrol Discussions feature now!
Footpatrol: Firstly, a massive thank you for joining us and taking part in our Footpatrol discussions, how have you been this last year?
Linus: I’ve been good thank you mate, thanks for having me on here, looking at who else you’ve interviewed and the fact I’m now being interviewed is really humbling! But yeah, it’s been a busy year and a great year of growth for my shop.
FP: Would you be able to give our readers a bit of background into yourself and what it is you’re up to at the moment?
Linus: Sure, I’m 22 years old, originally from Bristol, I’ve lived in London for nearly 3 years now. I moved up here for uni, I’m currently at London College of Fashion studying Sportswear Design. When designing I specialise in biodegradable performance fabrics, natural dyeing and various other sustainable practices. I’ve just completed a year internship on the production team at Raeburn Design in Hackney, and on the side of all of this I single handedly run my shop – Nike Server.
FP: Let’s dive right into it then with ‘Nike Server’ as this instantly caught our eye and thankfully, what led us to this discussion today, how did this begin?
Linus: Nike Server started with a slight addiction to bargain hunting on eBay, growing up in Bristol I was seeing a lot of my older mates buying old ACG, rare Polo, Patagonia etc for the low on eBay. Years later I then started to go on there and just search for Nike in my size, I didn’t care about the condition I just wanted a collection, I was getting some real steals. Then for maybe six months I toyed with the idea of looking for other sizes and selling them and in my first year of uni I started looking for sizes other than mine and I couldn’t believe the pairs I was finding. I think I bought like 10 pairs, started the instagram page and did our first release! Since then it’s grown fairly steadily, but the last 6 months in particular it’s really exploded.
FP: In terms of product you seem to bring a whole host of lesser known models as well as some pairs that never pop up such as some of the Considered silhouettes. When you’re sourcing for your page is there a certain criteria when you’re looking for stock or are you pretty open?
Linus: I try to source pairs that no other shops are selling, pairs that I’ve never seen before, pairs my followers have never seen before! Also pairs that I’ve grown to like whilst curating, or from projects that resonate with me like Nike Considered. I love the lesser-known models, there’s so much obscurity out there. Finding them is one thing, and then I try to find out as much as possible about the shoes so I can share the information with my customers. Sometimes there’s loads of information readily available, sometimes it takes me 2 weeks to just find the name!
FP: The last couple of years have seen a massive shift in terms of brands starting to explore the boundaries in terms of sustainability. It’s great to see yourself and ‘Nike Servers’ approach to sustainable footwear, was this the aim you always had in mind?
Linus: The idea behind The Zero Waste Approach came to me about a year ago. When I started Nike Server I wanted to start doing repairs and restorations but I didn’t have the time, patience or money for tools. The whole ordeal of finding donor shoes didn’t resonate with me either. In my eyes there’s a lot wrong with standard sole swapping methods. I then learned of the Vibram Academy, it was the perfect alternative.
FP: How did you find people take the concept of rehashing old school Nikes and creating new leases of life with Vibram soles?
Linus: It got a really good response. I knew people were going to love it, pairing a curated selection of Nikes with the best soles out there – what’s not to love? I thought I’d have some purists on my case but that’s not been the case so far. Also, Matthew Williams of Alyx and Givenchy recently praised the project in his SNKRS Live interview – that was a proud moment for me, it’s great knowing big industry heads are seeing what I’m doing and liking it.
FP: Are there any other models you are planning on sole swapping that we can know about or is it all top secret?
Linus: I’ve got the next batch waiting and ready to go to Vibram – around 30 pairs. Rare Terra models, ACG’s, Sunder Max’s, 4 pairs of Air Max 95 Zips, it’s a serious selection! I’m also in talks with Vibram’s innovation team in Milan so hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on a wider range of exclusive soles. From what I’ve seen they’ve got some really cool new technologies, I’m praying I can utilise some of it!
FP: Are you surprised by how big it’s becoming? We couldn’t help but notice even Peter Foggy and Steve McDonald commenting on your posts… that’s quite the deal!
Linus: I think the great thing about using Instagram is that growth is kind of inevitable, pair that with interesting product and you’re on to a winner. It’s humbling to see Nike designers past and present engaging with the content as well. I interviewed Peter Fogg not too long ago, which was great. There’s a few more interviews in the pipeline!
FP: We saw as well you recently hosted a pop up in London, how did it go? By the looks of things you had a decent crowd queuing up for it!
Linus: Yeah the pop up was fun! I had a selection of around 50 pairs up for grabs and our new t-shirts. Big up Re-Run Streetwear for the opportunity! It was great to meet customers in person.
FP: Was that the first time you’ve done that?
Linus: In the first year of Nike Server I had a stall at a Bristol event that was a complete flop. Everyone else there was just reselling Dunks. Some of the stuff I had on offer got strange looks. I sold one pair I think… Plus it was the hottest day of the year and I was stuck inside!
FP: Well with this year hopefully opening up more and more for events we are looking forward to seeing you guys do some more! Do you have any in the works or being planned at the moment or are you focusing more on the product front again now?
Linus: Yes, I’ve got a week-long pop-up in a very prestigious shop at the end of August which I’m really excited about – more news on that soon! Other than that, I’m hoping to put on an event with my two mates’ shops, Inside Tag and Misc.Sell.Aneous very soon! Go check them out over on Instagram if you haven’t already.
FP: Other than Nike Server I also wanted to ask you about being a part of the Nike By You Workshop and being able to release your own shoe! How was that experience?
Linus: That was a real dream come true. I was lucky enough to be one of the 20 candidates chosen which was a great feeling. It’s a shame it was during the peak of covid times so there was no launch party or anything! But yeah, definitely a privilege to say I designed my own shoe at 21!
FP: Did you have any inspiration when approaching the design?
Linus: I was really just looking at shoes I had around me at the time, some being Nike Server stock and some being my own collection. I had a pair of brown Silver Fish, some brown Terra Albis and some Infrared 90s. I was also inspired by my surroundings growing up and some of my design practices, such as natural dyeing.
FP: If you had the chance to design any shoes from the Nike archives what would it be and why?
Linus: Either the Nike Air Sunder Max or the Nike Air Zoom Drive. They’re two of my favourite silhouettes from a great era of Nike. I think if they were recreated with modern materials they would be serious!
FP: On that note I think that brings us to a nice close! Linus thank you again for having us and sharing your journey you’ve created with Nike Server. Before we let you go is there anything you would like to share to the Footpatrol Readers?
Linus: Thanks for having me! I’d say if you haven’t checked out Nike Server on Instagram please do, we’ve got some cool projects and collaborations in the pipeline. And, if you’re London based, keep your eyes peeled for information on our next pop up!