The streets are talking – Patta's rise.

How Patta leverages the power of community to make it happen

How Patta leverages the power of community to make it happen

Alexine Maurin

8 minute read08 Nov 2023

When streetwear meets the spirit of community, you get a label like Patta — a black-owned independent business that's turned heads and stamped its mark on the global scene straight from the vibrant streets of Amsterdam.

At The D2C Summit, we got a real insider look when Patta's co-founder Edson Sabajo and Shopify's Benelux lead Mel Van Lieshout shared the story of how Patta became a cultural icon.

Patta's roots - The culture behind the brand.

At its heart, Patta is the product of its founders' three loves: football fields, hip-hop beats, and streetwear fashion. They started Patta with the goal of getting their hands on exclusive sneakers for themselves and their friends, sneakers that you wouldn't see on every street corner. Right from the start, they took the disruptive approach. Ignoring the standard catalogs from brands, they traveled the world to hunt for one-of-a-kind sneakers, bringing these rare finds back to Amsterdam.
The duo opened the first Patta store in 2004, and what started with securing the best sneakers worldwide quickly spiraled into a cultural phenomenon. Word of mouth became Patta's powerhouse, quickly establishing them as the go-to spot for unique sneakers. But it wasn't just about the sneakers; their store evolved into a community hub, a cultural hotspot where buying sneakers meant buying into a lifestyle. It wasn't long before brands took notice, reaching out to collaborate and inviting Patta to infuse their fresh perspective into new launches and nostalgic revivals. Patta had a knack for capturing the street's pulse, knowing precisely what styles and products would resonate with their community.

The collab commission: Patta's secret sauce.

Patta's not just big in the footwear industry; they're shaping it. Sneakerheads worship them, and for good reason. They're on everyone's collab wishlist, and they’ve got an impressive track record to show for it. Since 2004, they’ve dropped over 50 collaborations; from iconic Nike collabs to teaming up with Asics, Vans, New Balance, Reebok, Mizuno, Mephisto, and even Clarks, they’ve done it all. Ask Phill was right there with them, powering their Nike Air Max 1 'The Wave' drop with Shopify 2.0. Wanna see how we did it exactly? Check out the full case study herxe. Recently, they've even hit the field with the Nike FC Barcelona x Patta collaboration — the ultimate nod to their football roots.

So, what's their recipe for pulling off such massive collabs? It's simple: Patta listens to the streets, to their crowds. They've got a collab commission in place that truly understands the community's spirit. They are the ones calling the shots on which partnerships to pursue and which new ideas to explore. Patta only joins hands with brands that are aligned with their ethos and resonate with the community. As Edson puts it, "It’s about the people you work with".

And it's this genuine connection that's carved out a unique space for Patta, turning each launch into a cultural moment. Patta also connects with fans through their website, where they announce new collabs and share blog posts with their community. See exactly how we boosted their online capabilities in the case study here.

Patta boots Patta boots

Community first, sneakers second.

Patta's essence is community over everything. They're solidly committed to initiatives like the Patta Academy, the Patta Foundation, and their very own Cycling and Running teams, demonstrating that their support and empowerment of the youth isn't just talk — it's action. Their approach? Spark trends, achieve wins, and cycle those gains back into the community. Patta got love for all, and it shows. See it for yourself in the recording of the interview with Edson below.

Key takeaways

Patta's Mantra - Dream, Lead, Inspire.

In our view, Edson Sabajo's story with Patta is an anthem to dreamers and doers. It highlights how vital it is to create a space where culture, community, and commerce come together. This is Patta’s legacy – a blueprint for those who dare to dream and give back to the community that fuels those dreams.

Learn from Patta, watch the full talk

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