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FALKE footprints

Fitting in Düsseldorf:
Teamwork with professional players

Professional soccer players need a pretty good reason to spend their only day off at the FALKE Fashion-Center in Düsseldorf instead of at home with their family and friends after a rigorous match the previous night.

Andreas Falke is visiting from Schmallenberg today and meeting three Fortuna Düsseldorf players: Julian Schauerte, Michael Rensing and Lukas Schmitz. They start off by discussing the previous day’s game against FC Kaiserslautern. It wasn’t easy by any means and was a gruelling match on the players. They chat for a while over espresso and water in the light-flooded loft. Andreas Falke listens closely to the young athletes, to what their concerns are. He is a football veteran himself and is clearly a good listener.

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With athletes for athletes

Michael Rensing: “About six or seven years ago, Andreas was standing on the edge of the field while we were training in Munich. We talked for a while, then he told us what he was doing there. Falke wasn‘t just his surname, but he came from FALKE, and was looking for young players to support. Everything went pretty quickly from there, and eventually we became friends.”

Michael Rensing is the tallest of the three players. He’s the goalkeeper and was once shortlisted by FC Bayern Munich. He knows the ups and downs of being a professional player. Today up, tomorrow down. What sticks is the way the fans respond at the end of a game. “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. You have to give it your all – you don’t have any other choice. Your fans will remain loyal to you, even if things don’t always end well. Thats why you keep on doing what you do.”

Andreas Falke invited the three players to try clothes on today from the new Spring/Summer 2017 collection before the clothing gets sent around the globe. Manuel Zimmermann, who has been responsible for the Ergonomic Sport System at FALKE for years, and Soran Mohammadi, the store manager here, start off with a small presentation. Everyone knows each other here, and because it’s such a hot day, they come dressed casually in shorts and t-shirts.

Michael Rensing is the tallest of the three players. He’s the goalkeeper and was once shortlisted by FC Bayern Munich. He knows the ups and downs of being a professional player. Today up, tomorrow down. What sticks is the way the fans respond at the end of a game. “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. You have to give it your all – you don’t have any other choice. Your fans will remain loyal to you, even if things don’t always end well. Thats why you keep on doing what you do.”

Julian Schauerte is the most reserved of the three, though that doesn’t translate to his presence on the field. He grew up in Schmallenberg and both his grandfather and his uncle worked for the company that now sponsors him. He likes to tell that story, you can tell it makes him proud to carry on his family’s legacy. Julian listens carefully to the presentation, how they talk about materials, the production and the physical character-istics of the new collection. He interrupts occasionally to ask a question. Their voices are quiet, the atmosphere is focused, like before a game. “Everything I wear underneath my jersey is from FALKE. They make the best stuff. You can feel the quality, that it takes some serious knowledge of fabrics and how to work with them. It’s important to know what the clothing will feel like against your skin, whether it can breathe or not.”

Everything I wear underneath my jersey is from FALKE

Lukas Schmitz values that a lot. “I am a bit of a golf fan. Wearing FALKE makes playing the game easier. The quality feels right and is leagues above other manufacturers. I make compromises elsewhere – not on my work clothes.”

Andreas Falke has good reason to be happy today. FALKE has been sponsoring athletes around the world for years, using the feedback or critic to improve the products. “FALKE can pull it off,” confirm the players unanimously.

Soran and Manuel are presenting the entire collection but the players’ patience is growing thin. They’re eager to try the clothes on themselves. It doesn’t seem to matter what they put on – they look good in it. Cashmere jumpers, breathable athletic sweatshirts, casual knitwear – they can’t seem to get enough. If a size is missing, then it will be sent to them. Soran vigorously takes notes the entire time.

“A pair of boots, jeans and something thrown over – it doesn’t matter what piece – it always looks good. Casual or formal.”

Andreas Falke is sitting off to the side looking pleased. He’s smiling. At the end of it all, they all sit together around the bar and don’t seem to be in any rush to leave. They drink another espresso and talk about things far beyond soccer and what is happening with their team here in Düsseldorf or elsewhere. They don’t seem to notice that we’ve already packed our things and are halfway out the door. Andreas Falke waves for us goodbye. He’s happy here with his boys.

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“A pair of boots, jeans and something thrown over – it doesn’t matter what piece – it always looks good. Casual or formal.”

Andreas Falke is sitting off to the side looking pleased. He’s smiling. At the end of it all, they all sit together around the bar and don’t seem to be in any rush to leave. They drink another espresso and talk about things far beyond soccer and what is happening with their team here in Düsseldorf or elsewhere. They don’t seem to notice that we’ve already packed our things and are halfway out the door. Andreas Falke waves for us goodbye. He’s happy here with his boys.