PEOPLEText: Bastiaan Rijkers
The ultimate in cool these days are the re-introduced Quickies, after a 10 year absence the one and only Dutch sport shoe is back. More old school and with more history than Nike or even Adidas is the Dutch original sports brand Quick which was established as early as 1905 by Sir Herman Jansen.
The story goes that he open-end his shop in Hengelo, Gelderland with a small stock of only six pairs of sport shoes and 150 empty boxes… Using his only actual models as window material. From there on it took another twenty years before Quick would become seriously big. In 1928 with the coming of the Olympic Games to Amsterdam Quick introduced its first running shoe, and in the thirties their star was rising and there was no looking back. At this point they’re life long mascot was introduced, Pilly Pil, who in fact today has been reinstated as the brand’s iconic figure from the past.
We’ll make a small jump now into Quick’s ever so bright future. In 1965 QUICK celebrated its 60th birthday. With its unique block stripes on the shoes, Quick introduced models which turned out to be inimitable. Quick really started making it big when big soccer players started wearing their shoes. Famous players like Lenstra, Wilkes, Keijzer, Swart, Suurbier, Nanninga and probably the biggest player ever, Johan Cruijff, were playing with soccer shoes from Quick. At the same time many professional soccer teams hit the fields with Quick functional sportswear. Sparta, GVAV, Den Bosch, Ajax, De Graafschap, NEC, DS ’79, ADO and even the Dutch national team was powered by Quick.
Quick ended up introducing the lightest soccer boot of Europe. The Supercup. In this period the Supercup, Starfighter and the Typhoon became their absolute pride and joy. The seventies and eighties gave birth to the Topstar. Next to the other great Quick soccer shoes there was no match for the Topstar. This shoe celebrated endless pleasure and success. What’s in a name, but wearing the Topstar some players believed they became one. Optimal touch, super fit and the first totally black soccer shoe. Even today this shoe is remembered as a timeless classic.
In the mid-eighties though Quick missed out on some big opportunities that the changing sport shoe market provided. Due to miscalculations and mismanagement Quick goes bankrupt. Only after an order from the Dutch army for 100.000 pairs of soldier sneakers Quick bounced albeit only for a short period of time. Quick golden days seemed to be over when in 1992 the factory had close its doors once again what this time seemed to be forever.
Until… Well, until last year, in 2001, two big Quick fans managed to get Quick back on its feet, literally. Slowly production is gaining some momentum but even now only very limited supplies of ‘original’ Quickies are available and can be only be found in selected stores. With some unique new styles combined with the original models Quick is starting to make the difference once again, mostly due to its subtle and cool branding and its high level of dedication and quality. With a new campaign and smart styles Quick is now ready to start conquering the rest of the world as well, after all Holland is rather small when you think about it.
I’ve been told an update is on the way so bear with them for the time being… Enjoy.
Text: Bastiaan Rijkers
Photo: Courtesy of Quick