Last July, we had the opportunity to launch SIDESTEP in the Belgian market. The sneaker retailer - a part of the Foot Locker group - with more than 70 stores across Germany and the Netherlands, now wanted to open their first store in Antwerp: the fashion capital of Belgium.

*Flashback to T-4 weeks when we got a call to boost the SIDESTEP launch with a solid local amplification. We're always up for a challenge, and when it comes down to our HQ hometown, we wanted to show how much creativity Antwerp has to offer.

SIDESTEP is a sneaker retailer for all fashionistas and creatives that love to express their unique self through the lens of style. We decided to collaborate with the internationally renowned platform ENFNTS TERRIBLES, which has its HQ in Antwerp, to embody this mindset. Together with their team of creatives, we shot a campaign with 6 Antwerp creative trailblazers from different scenes: stylist Farah El Bastani, DJ Kevin Kofii, photographer Anton Fayle, videographer Charlotte Degreef, make-up artist Gladys Ferro and creative entrepreneur Dennis Van Peel. Each creative contributed to the campaign: from Gladys doing the make-up to Charlotte and Anton creating the beautiful visuals.

The campaign was published by ENFNTS TERRIBLES as an online editorial and used as local assets for the press announcement. But we didn't stop there. The photos were used for a guerilla banner campaign across Antwerp city, where local consumers could spot famous Antwerp faces across their favorite hotspots. Next to this, we also launched SIDESTEP's very first print magazine; "In My Shoes", which featured the campaign shots, interviews with the six ambassadors, and a map highlighting the favorite restaurants, shops, and museums of our newly invented "Antwerp 6".

On the night before the store's public opening, we hosted an event at the SIDESTEP store in Antwerp, where 50 Antwerp-based creatives and journalists gathered to discover the store. While they selected their favorite sneakers, they got the chance to get a sneaker headshot by Anton Fayle, sneaker-inspired nail art by Gladys Ferro, or enjoy a delicious cinnamon roll by Dennis Van Peel from his Vegan Cinnamon Rolls Shop “Have a Roll”.

During opening weekend, all customers were treated with a sugar rush provided by yours truly served in limited edition SIDESTEP x Have a Roll-boxes.To continue the buzz and connect with the local customers, each Saturday of the first opening month, we hosted special consumer events at the SIDESTEP store. Each ambassador contributed with an experience around sneaker culture, from Gladys's nail art to Farah El Bastani’s sneaker customization workshop to Kevin Kofii mixing the latest tunes.

Our hyper-local activation turned out to be a huge success, with the store opening of Antwerp being one of the most successful store launches of SIDESTEP so far.

I'm beyond proud of our team to pull off a project with so many layers within such a tight timeframe. It was amazing to see everything come together and to put our hometown in the spotlight. I also really enjoyed connecting in person again with so many Antwerp-based creatives at one of the first (covid-proof) events in over a year!

— Nada Klaps, Communications Advisor