Welcome to Team Patta
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BRAND
GEE & EDSON
THE POWER OF COMMUNITY
THE EARLY YEARS
Located on the top floor of an old police station (hence the name), Precinct 5 was a concept store stocking high-quality streetwear labels like Neighborhood, Bedwin and the Heartbreakers, Nike NSW and Stussy. While idealistic in its pursuit of bringing these brands to the Amsterdam market, the combination of its hard-to-find location, the high price tags on most items, and several other internal issues made managing the two businesses separately very difficult. In 2012, as a last-ditch effort, the decision was made to merge the two companies and run the Patta store from the Precinct 5 location. Unfortunately, when Precinct 5 declared bankruptcy several months later, the Patta store was forced to close as well.
THEN AND NOW
Without a store to make any money from, we ran the webshop from a small stockroom provided to us by our friends from Ben-G. At the same time, we looked around for a new location to reopen the store somewhere in the centre of Amsterdam. While multiple options were available, the decision fell on a small rundown former barbershop on the Zeedijk in the Redlight District. We would need to do a lot of remodelling, but the location was perfect.
Around the same time that we founded Precinct 5 however, we made another investment, which was the founding of our own clothing line. When we started officially working with all of the big footwear brands, we started buying their products from them directly. But, this would make us very dependent on what these brands were offering us to purchase, so our independence would greatly diminish unless we became a brand ourselves. This is how the Patta Original Clothing label was founded. Starting with a small collection for Spring Summer 2011, both the production, logistics and distribution proved to be challenging new ventures, but they were vital decisions in the long term. Over time, we learned from the process and the many mistakes we made along the way. So when we reopened the store on the Zeedijk in late 2012, the clothing line was starting to get up and running and was ready to pave the way into the future.
Since then, we established flagship stores in London (2016) and Milan (2019) without any outside investments, and we opened pop-up shops in New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok and Shanghai to expand our unique retail experience across the borders of the Netherlands. We founded the Patta Running Team to promote running as a means to achieve and maintain physical and mental health within ourselves and help teenagers do the same with an endeavour called Patta x ROCva Youngsters. We collect all of our musical exploits under one Patta Soundsystem banner to effectuate projects that profess our undying love for music. We collaborate with museums like Het Hem or OSCAM to encourage and promote the importance of the arts. We do independent lectures and organise the Patta Summerschool (with OSCAM & MadiZO) to guide young adolescents in entrepreneurship and talent development. We established the Patta Foundation to raise money for charities and organisations that fight against social or economic injustices that are near and dear to us. And we’re nowhere near to being done.
It has been a recurring theme over the past couple chapters, but our independence is one of the most important aspects of our business. After Precinct 5, the team, led by Edson and Gee, vowed to prioritize the protection of that independence over anything. And while we have expanded over the years, growing from a two-man squad to a diverse team of 50 people, each one plays an integral role in the advancement of the brand, company and its positioning in this world. But as a black-owned company, being able to make our own decisions, to hire who we want, to fund our own ventures and expansions, to pick projects based on moral or environmental reasons instead of straightforward economics, these things mean the world to each of us. And it's worth the every day struggle for.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for taking the time to read all of the Get Familiar chapters if you did. We never took the time to actually write all of this stuff down either, so for us, it's been very therapeutic as well! We appreciate your patronage and your interest in the brand, and we hope to have informed you a bit about our story.