SAYSKY is a Danish running apparel brand, based in the capital Copenhagen. Created by Lars Pedersen, the brand is on a mission to create premium performance sportswear with an urban attitude. This is running kit that performs as well running flat-out as it looks enjoying a post-run beer and burger.
At the core of the brand is the star that adorns the vests, shorts, tops and jackets that make up the range. This star is the manifestation of the idea that every runner can be their own star – no matter how fast they run. Runners are all striving to be the best they can be and the community that SAYSKY has created recognises that in everyone that wears the star. Here brand founder Lars takes us through the SAYSKY story.
LtW: Where is the brand based?
Lars: Copenhagen, Denmark
LtW: Can you give us a short history of the brand.
Lars: I launched SAYSKY in July 2013 as a one-man army doing everything myself – from design, production and sales to building up the web-platform. Even delivering both wholesale and customer orders if they were within reach on my bike.
Around 2010-2012, when I started thinking about it all, the market didn’t really know about social running crews, urban running or hyped major events. SAYSKY was set up to be – and is hopefully still considered – a metropolitan, casual and Scandinavian design-orientated performance running brand. Established to serve the core and passionate runners who believe that group effort ignites individual performance. A brand which was urban lifestyle orientated, but rooted in performance.
Somehow the two models I discovered on the streets became the first employees of SAYSKY just of couple of years later. We still consider SAYSKY as a ‘family’ brand and we have no outside investors. We all live by the words we preach.
LtW: What is your personal relationship with running now and how has running played a part in your life, going all the way back to your childhood?
Lars: To me, running started when racing to the canteen in primary school. I have always been in love with sport and the active lifestyle as well as being highly competitive. For anyone like that running will always be the backbone of your performance. I was not in a running club before 2008 when I wanted to improve my first marathon time from the previous autumn. I left a little later because I wanted to just run with amazing people, whenever we wanted to meet up regardless of memberships.
LtW: What were the key motives for you creating a running brand?
Lars: To offer an alternative to the traditional, introverted and often bitter and super-serious expression of running. That was how I looked at it at that time. I wanted to offer more smiles and fun. A more extrovert and positive expression. I wanted to offer more closeness and a feeling of belonging to a ‘tribe’ than the big corporate brands could offer. More relationship among the people tapping into SAYSKY. If SAYSKY can make the world of running smaller, create friendships through the logo and at the same time deliver great quality, great fit for runners and attractive designs, then I will be over the moon.
LtW: What have been the biggest challenges for you building your brand?
Lars: Very hard to say. I think there are many obstacles along the way – not that they all make me frustrated, but production and fabric MOQs and getting the retailers to renew and rethink their shop concepts are definitely some of them. I generally think we need specialized bricks-and-mortar running shops. But I also feel that the majority of these retailers are stuck in the past. They hardly offer any new thinking to the sport. 80% of their turnover is shoes and they have almost given up on selling clothing – only offering what the major brands are forcing them to buy if they want to keep stocking their footwear.
LtW: What do you consider to have been your biggest successes?
Lars: I will let other judge if SAYSKY is a success. But my sole dream will always be to see two people high-fiving each other when they cross paths on the run because of the tribal feeling of the magic star on their chest.
LtW: Whether inside or outside of running, who do you admire and why?
Lars: I admire James Jebbia of Supreme and his 30 years of working with his brand all the way back from the time of Union. I am ‘inspired’ by the case of Quiksilver and how wrong it can go when you move too far away from your core group.
LtW: What do you hope that people will think, when they consider your brand?
Lars: Authenticity, quality, genuine community and core performance.
LtW: If your brand was a runner, what type of personality would they have
Lars: Extrovert, honest, performance driven runners – who care but don’t give a fuck.
LtW: What is different about your brand from other running brands?
Lars: I will let other be the judge of that. We concentrate on our own path regardless of the route other brands are taking.
LtW: What plans do you have coming up for your brand?
Lars: To stay brave, stay people-driven and to stay original