Interview with The Annexe
We are Danny and Lance who have a YouTube channel called "The Annexe". It's called the Annexe because of where we film it in one of our houses. We were brought together through our 8 year old boys being friends at school, and we both share a passion for sneakers. We wanted to do something different to the usual YouTube reviews - make it more personal, less hype, more chat and not take ourselves too seriously. Danny is happy in front of camera, Lance would prefer to be behind the camera, but it has probably grown to be more than just that now, and is hopefully part of the charm and provides some unplanned mystery to the channel. The dialogue and banter between us is a critical element of our brand now and kind of defines The Annexe.
How long have you been collecting sneakers?
Lance: I’ve been collecting them since about ‘88. Ever since my first pair of Adidas kick that my mum bought me, I knew I wanted to spend my money on trainers when I started earning.
Danny: I’ve been collecting since about ‘99. As a kid I went without other things to have a decent pair of trainers, and when I got my first part-time job at 16 I used to spend a lot of my wage on trainers. Air Max 95s were one of my favourite pairs growing up in high school.
You seem to have a lot of Adidas - is that your favorite brand?
Lance: Definitely but not just sneakers. Love originals. Something about the trefoil logo that i fell in love with whether it’s on clothing, watches, accessories etc
Reality is my taste is changing because of The Annexe and because of Danny. I am still more Adidas and Nike but my new balance, Reebok, Asics and Diadora collection is growing. I still can’t do the Saucony, Hummel, Kangaroos thing etc but respect the quality and materials and originality they are offering.
Danny: I would say the same. Love my Adidas originals, especially the Spezial range that has been coming out the last few years. But I’ve always been into my Air Max too.
One of the best things about starting The Annexe is it has opened my/our eyes to a whole new world. We never really did social media, didn’t have Instagram, and just found out what was releasing by chatting to people. But this whole new world has introduced me to Diadora, Saucony (which I love wearing as it pisses Lance off) and an appreciation for other brands, even though I may not own them, yet.
What's the plan for the future?
Keep doing what we are doing. Try and get more content out and let it grow organically - not force it. The Annexe brand is starting to gain a bit of momentum we feel so really important to us to keep it authentic. Would love to do more outside The Annexe episodes, hopefully as the weather improves we will get the chance. We never started with a plan, however, we realise that as it is starting to make an impact and gather momentum, we need to think a bit more about what we want from it. But at the moment we just loving buying the shoes, filming the videos and sharing the content. The interactions with people is massively important to us, so the more videos, the more chat, the more comments we get, the better, as it brings our love of trainers to a wider audience.
What's your opinion on the sneaker community as it is today, both collectors and resellers?
Online availability and access to information is a positive step but we still love buying from a shop. The community seems to love the hype releases, and that’s probably good for The Annexe as we are not always that way inclined. So we can fill a gap for those who want the genuine passion and love for sneakers for what they are i.e. a pair of shoes that you like the look of and make you feel good wearing. We have no time for the reseller market. True sneaker heads should have a chance getting what they want at retail prices. Obviously we all love a bit of exclusivity every now and then but not at the expense of true collectors who absolutely crave a pair that are special to them but just can’t afford resell prices.
If you were to have your very own collab, which brand/model would you choose and what would it look like?
Lance: Not that creative really. Bizarrely it would not be adidas, it would be the air max 1 but every-time I think about colourways I come back to the Patta Chlorophyll which I think are perfect as they are. A bit of a rubbish answer I know.
I also think that ASICS are smashing out some amazing collabs but again I would leave it to the experts. They can design them I just love looking at them. You have to play to your strengths after all.
Danny: Similar to Lance, probably not Adidas. I love the Air Max 1 bespoke programme and would love to make a pair at some point. But for me the best ‘special’ collabs come from Diadora, Asics and Saucony. I’d love to make a Saucony x Afew (or TGWO) x The Annexe collab.
You can check out their latest video right here: