InterviewDifficulty by P

Difficulty by P.
Handmade quality sneakers.

Words byYaytrade team
Photography byPatrick Ekwall
PostedApril 25, 2019

To most Swedes, Patrick Ekwall is probably first and foremost known as a sports journalist and tv personality. Not many people know that he has also been designing sneakers for several years under his own brand Difficulty by P, DBP.

It all started when the apparel sponsors for TV4’s broadcastings from the World championship in handball withdrew their sponsorship. As Patrick Ekwall had been designing his own suits for a long time via Cavaliere in Borås, Sweden, he offered to arrange for the apparel himself. That was the launch of DBP. In the beginning, the brand focused on suits, but over the years, DBP has designed jackets and bags and lately the focus has been on sneakers. Today, they are basically only designing sneakers.

– “What was once a hobby of mine turned into reality and I could say that we make the best sneakers in the world when it comes to craftmanship, material and comfort,” Patrick says.

Patrick designs all the shoes himself – the goal is to make shoes that can be worn with everything but aren’t just black or white.

– “Our design stands out to a degree that is just right and can therefore be worn for more dressy occasions. But our main goal is that the design harmonises with comfort and materials. Here we would never compromise,” he says.

Shop the story - check out Patrick’s shoes here

Where do you find inspiration?

– “It’s a mix of things, but mainly I find it in myself and my own thoughts and ideas. I also talk a fair bit to Stefano, who is the production manager at the manufacturing plant in Italy. He always has a good idea of what type of model is underway. Of course, I also take a look at what others do – there’s plenty of inspiration to be found.”

Craftmanship is something Patrick is passionate about and he travels down to the manufacturing plant outside Venice in Italy himself to select materials and discuss the manufacturing. The fact that all shoes are both handmade and Goodyear welt is not a mere coincidence but a consequence of Patrick’s high ambition and great passion.

– “We have twenty people working our factory, making every tiny detail by hand. The prime quality leather is sourced from Tuscany and we work a lot with ergonomics and the construction of the foot,” Patrick says and adds: – “Actually, Dior and Louis Vuitton make their sneakers in the same plant – by the same craftsmen and using the same materials.”

What are your thoughts on sustainability seeing your factory is located in Italy?

– “Firstly, all the materials in our shoes are biodegradable and we only cooperate with Italian manufacturers who don’t use toxic substances. Secondly, we never ship our products with airfreight; we send everything by train or boat. This is a very important issue for us,” he says.

However, the sustainable way of thinking doesn’t mean compromising on the feeling of luxury. It’s important to Patrick that you can really feel the luxury in DBP’s shoes, and this is something they’re constantly developing.

– “For example, we have a brand new packaging with a lavish and elegant shoebox where the shoes are stored in a dust bag in delicate velvet. We know that many people thoroughly enjoy a wonderful unboxing experience and that is something we are genuinely proud to offer.”

Tags: Fashion

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