Magnetic Duo Build Their Own Empire – Crime London

  • Photos by:
    Kistermann Sisters - Crime London
  • Published on:
    June 19, 2019
  • Reading time by:
    6 minutes
Magnetic Duo Build Their Own Empire - Crime London

The magnetic duo; Lisa and Jessica Kistermann have been working on creating fashion-forward concepts since a young age. During their studies in London, the sisters realized that there weren’t many premium high quality sneakers for a reasonable price. Recognising both a challenge and an opportunity – Crime London was born. A sneaker that would bridge the gap between street-wear and high-end fashion.

Established in 2012, their brand Crime London has enjoyed immense success. Growing its wholesale distribution into more than 1,000 international stockists (including Luisa Via Roma, Farfetch and Galleries La Fayette) and trending upwards with a sell-through rate of 85% in just a short amount of years that leads them in selling out at more than 120,000 pairs per season.

From classic premium leather, to hi-tech waterproof neoprene, to silver metal studs and gems – the sister’s have captured the essence of fine luxurious Italian quality materials while keeping a lower tiered international price (€139 to €259).  An accented cosmopolitan feel that can be delivered to your door anywhere in the world. 

The Crime London Spring/Summer 2019 collection is available to purchase now at Crime London’s web store and select retailers.

Where do you get your inspirations for your designs? 

Our collection consists of a variety of unique and contemporary models. All of our products are handmade with great care in the Island of the Gods, Indonesia; using only the finest Italian materials. Staying true to our roots we also love to travel to get inspired by different cultures and people all over the world. 

We get our inspiration from music mainly, this is why we opened a store in Ibiza. We’ve been exposed since our childhood to many different genres of music (classic, jazz, salsa, house). Groove is a rhythm, a sensual pleasure, involvement, a mix of cool & funky. Groove is the sensation experienced when certain music is listened intensely. It’s the capacity to feel the past, it’s like getting the shivers upon experiencing something for the first time – Groove is the sensation of Crime London. 

Being both hyperactive souls we are always on the look-out for an adrenaline rush. Our close friends call us ‘mercury sisters’ which clearly needs no explanation. As we bring our passions and inspirations to more and more places, Crime London is designed to become more than a sneaker brand only – blending culture into design. Creativity into spaces. This is what keeps us inspired while developing our collections. 

What is your background and how did you decide to get into this business? 

We are multicultural and have mixed roots of Italian, German, Greek and Jewish. We were born in Florence, Italy and grew up there. After attending the American school in Florence, we moved to London at the early age of 17 for college. During university, we studied International Business and Russian at European Business College. We loved London, and our independence. We fell in love with the alternative side of the city and the underground culture. 

Growing up our father always gave us a rational prospective which made us look into things very pragmatically and was never really attracted by the glitz of the fashion industry. However, us having a strong sense of style, which we definitely got from our mother. She always brought us to play around with clothes, trying to find something new, or to wear things differently from the conventional ‘fashion rules’. 

We realised there weren’t many premium high-quality sneakers for a reasonable price. Recognising both a challenge and an opportunity – Crime London was born. A sneaker that would bridge the gap between street-wear and high-end fashion. 

Describe your brand. 

Established in 2012, Crime London has enjoyed immense success. Growing its wholesale distribution into more than 1,000 international stockists (including Luisa Via Roma, Farfetch and Galleries La Fayette) and trending upwards with a sell-through rate of 85% in just a short amount of years that leads them in selling out at more than 120,000 pairs per season. From classic premium leather, to hi-tech waterproof neoprene, to silver metal studs and gems – we have captured the essence of fine luxurious Italian quality materials while keeping a lower tiered international price (€139 to €259). An accented cosmopolitan feel that can be delivered to your door anywhere in the world. 

What sacrifices have you had to make during life to become the women you are now?

We started our brand at a very young age where its was difficult to balance work and personal life/fun. There were always many distractions and temptations we were exposed. London is a great city with so much going on all the time that you can find yourself in so many situations if you don’t have strong aims and objectives. We were lucky enough to travel a lot and confront ourselves with many people with different multi-cultural backgrounds and noticed the diversity of approach in life. We had a strong sense of challenge and trying to succeed stating from small short-term goals that put together at the end of a whole year when you look back shows you the results of achievements. 

Having to move from several cities, sometimes even without our will, was hard (especially initially when you have to readapt to the place and routines) but at the same time was one of the things that helped us stimulate this will alongside our innate sense of responsibility. Being women in the business environment is actually a disadvantage. I don’t want to sound feminist or sexist but people do tend to look at you with an inferior eye. But this is not something that should push you down, but actually give you more strength in showing your skills. 

Share two advices for female entrepreneurs 

– Risk taking. Don’t be afraid of perusing an unexpected path, obviously by still having concrete goals because things don’t happen overnight. 

– Research and understand your market. Starting a business is exponentially harder than another other job. You need to operate well across a variety of functions: sales, marketing, finance, operations, HR, etc. On top of that, creating an enterprise from scratch requires creativity, persistence and continuous learning. 

What 5 steps would you advise and give our ladies who start their own business? 

– Do work you care about. Running a business take a lot of time and the only way to be satisfied in your life is to do work that you truly believe in. 

– Believe in yourself. Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses. 

– Take action. The world is full of great ideas, but success only comes through action. The easiest way to get started is to quit talking and start doing. That’s true for your success as well. 

– Manage energy, not time. Your energy limits what you can do with your time, so manage it wisely. 

– Build a great team. No one succeeds in business alone, and those who try will lose to a great team every time. Build your own great team to bolster your success. 

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