The story behind the "Berber Adidas"
Every story starts from somewhere and the best way to learn is the hard way.
Once bitten twice shy, and sometimes you hit the jackpot when you least expect it.
Our company, inchcomb, decided in its wisdom to buy its leather products from Morocco, since Moroccan leather is famous for superb quality and the local expertise has long traditions. So we rushed straight to the heart of Morocco, into the Marrakech medina.
After a few days of running here and there, we bumped into a gentleman called Abdullah. Our quick interrogation revealed that Abu had been in the circles since the 1970s, rambling the labyrinths of Marrakech with Led Zeppelin and others. He took us to the best workrooms where we did some quality comparison and ended up acquiring our leather products from Yossuf & Youssuf.
We told them what kind of shoes we wanted and how we wanted our company (inchcomb) logo to be printed. ”No Problem”, they replied. Yossuf & Youssuf also promised to send us a demo piece of shoes before the production would start. Our aim was to deliver the first 100-pair batch to the customers as soon as possible.
We returned to the European side to wait for the demo shoe that, for one reason or another, never arrived. On Christmas eve the phone rang. It was Abu calling his trusted business partners for Christmas wishes, just like the Moroccan people tend to do. During that call we finally got to ask him ”where’s the shoe?” Abu proudly announced that they were ready to leave and asked for our shipping address. His word THEY got us on our toes as we realized there was no ”demo” whatsoever.
The shoes were ready! We wished him a Merry Christmas and asked for a picture of the shoes before transferring any money. When the picture popped on the computer screen, our hearts stopped beating for a moment. Instead the fancy logo of our beloved company, there was the word Logo written in capital letters. But soon we bursted into crazy laughter: how is it possible that still today, in our over-efficient and productized
Our first reaction was to let the Moroccans keep their shoe. But as we laughed this funny coincidence to our friends, it quickly dawned on us that everyone who heard the story, wanted their own Logo shoes. We called Abu and told him to send more shoes as the market was on fire! The first batch sold in a minute, and for a while we had nothing to sell.
This epic Logo shoe tale got sequel when we tried to meet the growing demand by ordering a new batch of Logo-texted ”Berber Adidas” from the heart of Marrakech. Apparently the boys at the shoe factory had been thinking that the first shoe batch didn’t quite hit the button since a rumour spread in the factory that there was something wrong with the Logo they had embroidered on the shoes. But we wanted to order more of similar leather shoes with Logo logos, to cover the demand bigger than expected.
For one reason or another, the factory sent us a slightly customized batch of shoes. This time, without any prior warning, Abdullah’s boys had printed TWO logos on the shoes. One in black and the other with slighty smaller white letters.
Trying to understand where on earth this stroke of genius came from, we realized that during our phone call to Abdullah, we had underlined that we want our shoes with a similar logo, ”with your logo logo, not our company logo”. Following this logic, our order was perfectly completed. These super rare double logo shoes were marketed with a slogan TWO LOGOS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE. Once again, the shoes were sold in a minute.
Just when it started to look like we would soon list ourselves on the stock exchange, Abdullah disappeared. We had bought him a brand new mobile phone in the hope of better communication and told him that we would soon come to Marrakech, but Abu vanished like a fart in the wind. Perhaps he was scared that we were coming over to complain? But we lost the footprints of our legendary shoe factory director.
Since it was clear that the next shoe batch would sell briskly as people got to hear the story through the grapevine, we started to think how to continue with our hit product without its original maker. The pressure to change our shoe supplier was high, but in our crisis meeting we were unanimous that fake is fake and has nothing to do with our genuine Logo shoe. Besides, all this had happened because we had let things happen.
Nearly 4 years passed by until the phone rang out of the blue. Following the Abdullah style, no expanation was given. He just continued our previous discussion by eagerly explaining where the logo should have been printed in the first place. There was not much choice for us, so we hopped in the Sprinter and took the car ferry to the African side. After an another legendary trip, we returned to Europe a trunk full of brand new logo shoes.
Dear friends - Feel the charm!