Trendsetters at Work: Marcus Hanuy

Get to know its co-founders

By Raleigh Burgan Jul 18, 2016 9:21 PMTags
ESC: Marcus Hanuy, TrendsettersMARCUS HANUY

Introducing, your newest sneaker obsession.

We live in a world where customization is king and that's exactly what Berlin-based, luxury footwear brand MARCUS HANUY did. Co-founders Jamie Kang and Herbert Gerzer created a versatile line of sneakers that give you the power to interchange your hardware. They're redefining the way you lace your shoes. And it's time you got to know them.

What was your first job?
Jamie Kang: During school holidays, I would help my mum at her stores. She introduced me to the retail industry and it gave me a taste of what the business world is like at a young age.
Herbert Gerzer: I was a kitchen hand at my Dad's restaurant. Peeling garlic for three hours straight is humbling work.

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How did you get into the industry?
JK: I never saw myself getting into the fashion industry, but I've always been a hardcore consumer. I was actually looking for a versatile pair of kicks in high-quality leather, that I could wear on an everyday basis. I couldn't find anything like what I had envisioned so without thinking too much, I decided to design my own and eventually roped my business partner, Herbie into it.
HG: By chance! Jamie came to me with the idea and I said "yes."

What's a typical day like for you?
JK: Wake up and, before I even get out of bed, check all my emails and social media accounts. We then individually fulfill each order ourselves and spend most of the day on Microsoft Excel doing budgets, conceptualizing fresh and relevant marketing ideas and thinking of new ideas for next the collection.

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Tell us about your office décor.
JK: It's full of yellow Post-Its—organized chaos. It's special due to the fact it's our apartment. Our office is our living room.
HG: We like to keep things to the bare minimum. We have a small logistics area, a common work area and a well-stocked kitchen.

What are your favorite items on your desk and why/what do they mean to you?
JK: Our first prototype, it means a lot because it's a reminder of the journey since day one.


What's the best part about your job?
JK: Seeing people wear and love a product that we created.
HG: Happy customers!

What's the most daring career risk you've ever taken?
JK: This!
HG: Quitting my job, moving to a new city and starting a label without any experience or background in the fashion industry.

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Who are some of your career heroes?
JK: Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal and perhaps Gretta Van Riel, the queen of product-based start-ups in Australia. I'm a big fan of women in business; I'm impressed by their strength and persistence in a male-dominated industry.
HG: Philipp Plein. He's just killing it and doesn't care about what anyone thinks.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
JK: My mum always told me there are no shortcuts. Things take time, a lot of hard work and consistency, and there's no such thing as overnight success.
HG: A penny saved is a penny earned.

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What is MARCUS HANUY best known for and why do you think it does so well?
JK: It's the first type of sneaker that has an interchangeable component. That makes them extremely versatile. I'm a regular traveler, so only having to bring one pair of shoes and not comprising style is super convenient and a huge advantage.
HG: Our customers love the versatility of the sneakers, being able to change the hardware pieces to match with their outfits.

What celeb(s) wear your brand best?
JK: Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and his beautiful girlfriend, Australian model, Frances Aaternir.
HG: Ariana Grande, her backup dancers and tons of European soccer players.


What trends are you loving right now?
JK: Sportluxe, I always forget to workout, so wearing my gym gear on the daily means I'm already halfway to potentially exercising that day.
HG: Athleisure. Basically an excuse to wear pajamas around town.

What's one trend you wish would go away?
JK: Selfies. I mean, let's be honest, everyone does it (even me and I'm not a hater), but I think overdoing it is a mental illness causing huge social problems. Not to mention the rise of digital narcissism and body dysmorphia, especially in young kids. Sometimes it's nice to just put away that phone and enjoy the moment.
HG: I would have to agree with Jamie on this…less selfies, more enjoying the moment.

Who dead or alive would you love to see wearing your sneakers?
JK: Steve Jobs. He's the reason I function on a daily basis. Without Apple products, our business wouldn't run as efficiently.
HG: Kanye West, although it'd be hard getting him out of his Yeezys!

What exciting things do you have coming up?
HG: Our next range of hardware pieces and some cool collaborations with artists/photographers.

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Finish the sentences below, Jamie:

Today for lunch I had…a bowl of pasta and a meat and cheese platter. We go all out every time we're in Italy.

The first website I log onto every day is…Google Analytics and the back end of our site to check what's been happening while I was asleep.

My usual Starbucks order is…can't say I drink Starbucks on the reg., but it would be a soy latte… all the way.

If I wasn't doing this job, I would…become a marine biologist and save the Great Barrier Reef.

My favorite place to visit is…probably Japan and Korea. They're just so ahead of the times!

List five things that are on your desk right now…my iPhones, laptop, iPad and Mac desktop.

The book I'm reading right now is…I'm obsessed with podcasts and audiobooks. Right now I'm listening to Tim Ferris.


Finish the sentences below, Herbie:

Today for lunch I had…a prosciutto pizza drenched with olive oil and then gelato.

The first website I log onto every day is…MARCUSHANUY.COM and then Instagram.

My usual Starbucks order is…not really a fan, but once a year I treat myself to a grande pumpkin spice latte with extra cream.

If I wasn't doing this job, I would…love to run a pop-up restaurant.

My favorite place to visit is…Mykonos and Sydney. Anywhere with a beach and a good glass of wine.

List five things that are on your desk right now…four iPhones, a calculator, my Bose SoundLink Mini Speaker, a cup of black coffee, and my grocery list.

The book I'm reading right now is…"The Desire Map" by Danielle LaPorte.

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