Tag Archives: Interview

Concept by Cruise meet Ouigi Theodore of The Brookyn Circus

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CNCPT: Hi Ouigi, pleasure to meet you. We’ve been fans of the brand for a while now but for those just discovering The Brooklyn Circus can you tell us a little about the label?

Ouigi: The Brooklyn Circus was started in 2006 shortly after I closed another boutique I opened up with some college friends. The goal was to open up a new shop concept but with a global focus. A focus to bring the Brooklyn of my childhood to the world. A circus concept of community, entertainment, quality and moving history forward. #100year plan.

What was your earliest experience of fashion and how did this shape/influence The Brooklyn Circus?

I grew up in a family of women in Brooklyn with a mother who had a very strong sense of self and who travelled a lot. I also saw my grandmother and later grandfather preserve the old things they had which looked even better year after year.

What sets The Brooklyn Circus apart from other Americana/Heritage inspired brands?

Our goal was never to recreate America’s past, it was and continues to be to use it as a foundation to build our take on yesterday, today and tomorrow.

We hear you’re an avid collector of heritage clothing, starting out with Ralph Lauren. How far has the collection come and are there any obscure brands you have picked up and discovered through collecting?

I don’t consider myself a collector, but I do have quite a few things that I’ve kept along the way. I’ve also sold a lot along the way. I look back sometimes and wish that I did not sell certain things but I guess it’s part of the game. My reason for keeping certain things is because I want to wear it, love the way it looks folded or use it as inspiration. I love to live and be around beautifully made things.

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Any tips for budding collectors?

Don’t call yourself a collector, it gives you reason to form an expensive habit with no end. Make it a business of your interest to want to be surrounded by something you love or want to collect. Don’t just collect to collect and share stories with other nerds *laughs*.

What’s your personal soundtrack at the moment and how does it affect the design process of The Brooklyn Circus collections?

My soundtrack for the last 10 years has been pretty much the same. It’s a combination of the same artists and genres. Lots of Studio One reggae, Fela Kuti, James Brown, Mos Def, 60s Soul, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke.

We read in one interview that your New Year’s resolution was to wear more suits and travel in the name of Style and Character. How’s that going and what made up your resolution outfits?

I’ve been doing really well with that and oh, that will also be my resolution for 2015!

If you could pick a representative for the brand – alive or dead – who would wear the collection day in, day out, who would that be?

Andre 3000, Mos Def, Black Thought from The Roots, Jonny Depp, Marcus Garvey.

Care to elaborate on The BKc’s 100 year plan and what you hope to achieve?

The world has a perception of how casual American men dress but when you look at our past we are far from just casual. I was very inspired by a book called ‘Freedom: A Photographic History of the African-American Struggle’ By Manning Marable on Phaidon Press. It shows that even at our lowest social points as a country our men looked dignified.

And on that note, what’s your expectations for The Brooklyn Circus beyond the 100 years?!

Ha good one! To repeat it all over again.

BUY THE BROOKLYN CIRCUS HERE

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Concept by Cruise Meets Johan Lindenberg

Johan Lindeberg | The Style Raconteur

Concept by Cruise recently grabbed an interview with Mr Johan Lindenberg of BLK-DNM, scan your peepers over the inverview below:

CNCPT – Hi Johan, pleasure to meet you. You’ve got an impressive CV in the fashion industry with most of us are familiar with your iconic J. Lindeberg line, but for those of us just discovering BLK DNM can you tell us a little bit about the label and how it all come about?

Johan – BLK DNM is a manifest of my entire career, there are pieces from my time at Diesel in the early 90’s, in jeans, leather jackets and also the way I packaged Diesel. J. Lindeberg was a lot of tailoring, which is now something that is very important at BLK DNM for women as well as men.
After leaving J. Lindeberg I worked on other things like with Justin Timberlake for a while on his brand and as his personal stylist, then I went through a separation after a long marriage in March 2010 and it was the hardest period of my life so far. I decided to used the energy of that change to create a new project and I wanted to make it something very personal. In this stage of my life, I felt a need to express myself in a deeper way, so while the name BLK DNM is more generic, I am more pure in my taste than ever. Somehow there’s just a constant flow of ideas inspired by things I feel deep inside myself.

What was your earliest experience of fashion and how did this shape/influence the way you design?

I grew up in the south of Sweden in a university town that was politically engaged. I remember the student protestors wearing denim and leather as a symbol of freedom, it is something that always stayed in my mind. I also like sharp shapes as it shows confidence and strength. I always went to Copenhagen for vintage shopping, that is where I found my first leather jacket that I adjusted the length of. My first girlfriend and my sister were also both designers. Every label strives to develop and progress, to capture and hold our interest.

What is your vision for the future of BLK DNM?

I want to build a brand with a voice, to build the BLK DNM culture through images and to work contrarian to certain industry standards, using streets as the runway.

Blk-Dnm | The Style Raconteur

The creative process is well documented for being both cathartic and difficult. Which is it for you? Or is it a healthy mix of the two?

The creative process for me is freeing, it’s getting the pain out of my body. I go deep into my self to find what I really think, strip away the outside influences and try to go deep to really feel what I like and I don’t like.
The brand reflects the life I live. Our stores are as I like to live, BLK DNM is the most personal project I’ve done. I am using it as a vehicle to explore new levels of creativity. It is through BLK DNM that I found photography and I am also now working with film.

If you hadn’t found your way into the fashion industry, what else would you want to be doing?

Was there any other profession that appealed to you?
I just do what I like and follow what I feel intensely. In creating BLK DNM as such a personal expression I got really interested in film so maybe a director. But in the end, BLK DNM is who I am, I don’t see any borders of what to do. I can experiment and cross over in many different fields, I just want to create energy and inspire people.

What are your daily essentials that you wear/carry with you?

BLK DNM Jeans 25, leather jacket or blazer, silk scarf and I sleep with my Fuji X Pro 1 under my pillow.

Which city do you think expresses fashion in the best way?

I think it’s more personal but I like how you are free to be yourself in New York City as well as the energy downtown. And I’m always inspired by a chic Parisian twist.

What’s your personal soundtrack at the moment and does it affect the design process?

Thom Yorke, Thom Yorke, Thom Yorke. I just feel connected to his music like (the songs) True Love Waits, Exit Music For a Film and Street Spirit. I also listen a lot to Pearl Jam and I just think Black is such a beautiful song. Every morning to wake up my daughter, Blue, I play her Agnes Obel.

Buy BLK-DNM’s Spring Summer Collection HERE

Steve Van Doren Interview

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i-D Magazine has conducted and amazing interview with Steve Van Doren son of one half of the founders of VANS…..check it out below

With roots in old school, skate-culture California, Vans create timeless shoes. You’d find it hard not to find a pair of Authentics in any street-wise teen or twenty-something’s shoebox.

Started up in ’66 by the Van Doren brothers, Paul and James, as a down-town California quality casual shoe shop, Vans has gone through the motions to become an i-Conic household name with surfer dudes, skater kids and fashionistas alike handing over their P’s to get their hands on a pair of slip-ons, mid-cuts or high-tops, but forever and always Vans are Grounded in Boards and Bikes.

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Steve Van Doren, son of Paul was there to watch from the sidelines as the likes of Dogtown legends Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta skated in and out of the shop, as Sean Penn sent the sneakers viral after Fast Times at Ridgemont High and has been the brains behind the brand for the last 30 years, coining its counter-culture slogan ‘Off The Wall’. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Vans Half-Cab and Mr Van D is proud to present in collaboration with skater boy Steve Caballero, a new Anniversary Half Cab colourway each month of 2012. To top off the year, after a few stints here in the 90’s, the Vans Warped Tour is coming back to England this November, and is all set to see the do-it-yourself generation singing, skating and extreme sporting.

i-D online talk boarders, BMXer’s and California coastal cool with Steve Van Doren.

Have the majority of Vans shoes been designed with sports in mind or for everyday streetwear? Up till the mid 1970s our shoes were designed for everyday wear. Skateboarders wore our shoes because they lasted longer and gripped their skateboards better because of our special waffle bottom outsole.

The Vans brand over the years has become internationally loved. How do you believe Vans forged that connection with worldwide consumers? Time and Passion. You don’t make good wine overnight and you don’t make a great brand overnight either. My father, Paul, and his two partners, Jim Van Doren and Gordon Lee, put in years of passion towards making great shoes. Last decade, we were acquired by VF Corporation. They have injected us with many resources – greater global distribution, more quality designers and staff that have helped us grow Vans by geographically going where we’ve never been before.

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Would you say a great deal of the brand’s success came from Sean Penn wearing a pair of checkered slip-ons in the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High? I was 10 years old when my Dad started Vans in 1966. When Fast Times came out I was in my 20s and I had never seen so much excitement worldwide for our brand. Spicoli was a teenage icon: the cool teenage surfer dude and Vans fit him to a tee!

When did the Vans brand realize it had gained a following of skateboarders and why do you believe that was? We realized it in the mid 70’s. This was the time of the Dogtown skate legends. The local skaters would come into our Vans stores and buy our classic deck shoes. The skaters and surfers adopted us really. My father wasn’t much on advertising back in the day so we relied on our product and word-of-mouth.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? I look at feet all the time and teens everywhere. It was easy years ago when we had our own factories here in California. I could see thousand of ideas and if I liked something I would just make a sample. It goes all the way back before the checkerboard shoe was created. I saw many kids coloring their Vans’ white rubber around the shoes with a checkerboard pattern. So I went and printed the rubber with checkerboard on them and began offering this for custom-made shoes.

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Has it been hard to design a versatile shoe that can withstand sports like skateboarding but also work for day to day use? No, not really. We’re not a running shoe company where you pound a shoe for 6 miles. My father and his partners were in the shoe business for 20 years before starting Vans and knew how important fit was.

What collection or specific shoe are you most proud of? And what are you most likely to be seen in? I am most proud that the original 1966 Vans Style #44 has lasted 46 years and is still our #1 selling-style today as the Authentic. I was always a Slip-on guy and 95% of the time I wear our Slip-ons. I also am as proud of our Vault line as they are pricy, but people all over the planet love Vans and want to purchase them in premium materials.

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Nigo Interview

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Hypebeast recently had the privilege to sit down for a free-flowing conversation with one of biggest luminaries in the world of fashion: NIGO. Having already created a successful imprint with BAPE, he has now moved on to his vintage, Americana-inspired line Human Made, which is certainly making more waves than ripples. Using prompted questions as a jumping off point, NIGO touches on everything from the Harajuku boom to his recent collaboration with :CHOOCOLATE.

If the Harajuku boom never happened… then it might actually be a good thing. Shops already existed way before the so-called “boom,” so the whole uprising was too unnatural to begin with.

The new COLDCOFFEE store provides… limited and handcrafted items. They’re the main factors behind the HUMAN MADE brand, as well as this new retail concept.

Vintage to me… is a lifestyle. Right now, I’m all into it. Cars, bikes, furnitures, vintage everything. For example, it’s pretty easy to catch a fish with modern fishing gear, but for me, I rather use the old stuff as they provide a certain challenge to the sport.

The recent workwear trend… is pretty interesting. There are a lot of variations in the market, but none really replicates the true silhouette, everything is too tailored down right now. I also noticed a strong following in Europe too, but not so in Hong Kong. Hopefully this is something Hypebeast can help with? (laughs)

The relationship with I.T… is going very well. I really respect them as they’re super efficient and they always provide me with new ideas to work with. Making the impossible possible.

The new collaboration with :CHOOCOLATE… provides a different take to the previous lineup, as this time we only incorporated Baby Milo into the fold. The two brands follow a similar aesthetic, so the merging was a easy process.

:CHOOCOLATE’s mass market appeal… is something that I admire. At this day and age, it’s really hard to have a successful and more importantly, sustainable business model.

The Chinese market… is a pretty hungry one. It’s like Hong Kong 10-15 years ago, where people are open to everything. Although it’s still at an initial stage, but it’s potential growth is unprecedented.

The power of the A Bathing Ape logo… is pretty out of control. To be honest, it’s more famous than myself (laughs). It’s amazing to see how people are still attached to the image, definitely something that I’m really proud of.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes… is not a bad film but I’m actually more of a Star Wars Fan (laughs).

Counterfeit goods… are beyond my control and it’s something that you can’t really stop. You’ll only see replicas of successful brands, so I guess its also a good thing.

Life after A Bathing Ape… it’s a good time for me as I’m in a transitional period, now I have more time to see my friends and this semi-break is a perfect opportunity to rest and think about new projects such as HUMAN MADE.

In 10 years time… I think I’ll move on to another project or brand. To be more realistic, I would think of it as “In 20 years time…” Because I believe each project takes 20 years to complete, like A Bathing Ape, we’re closing into our 20th Anniversary and it’s been a great journey. Looking at one’s life, it’ll be cool if I can reach the same level as BEAM’s president Yo Shitara, he’s 60 and he’s probably having the best times of his life. That’s exactly what I’m aiming for right now.

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Mr Marc Hare: Interview

In a short few seasons, footwear designer Marc Hare and his eponymous label Mr. Hare has made huge inroads in the world of quality Italian-made shoes. For Mr. Hare, despite the positioning of the brand amongst some of the footwear’s elite, the inspirations and background of Marc are decidedly much more humble and pedestrian.

The respect for the Air Jordan and the references to Wu-Tang paint a bit of a misaligned story as to how it all comes together through Mr. Hare’s footwear. Yet given the current generation’s openness to fashion and the ability to transcend numerous sub-groups, the once restrictive barriers offer great opportunity for those looking to flex their sartorial muscles.

An inherent interest in one of fashion’s footwear superstars led us to this talk, which speaks with the Jamaican and English designer about the inner workings of Mr. Hare as well as his impending collaboration with Britain’s Topman. Started by a man with no formal footwear training and conceived simply on the basis that no other current footwear offerings could hold his interest, we think the brand has pretty good for itself.

If you look around, it seems many who have come through the ranks of men’s fashion inevitably had some initial love with sneakers. Regardless of age, should sneakers be embraced as a sort of gateway item into more mature footwear? 
I get asked these existential type questions a lot where shoes are concerned and as much as I am tempted to come back with some Obi-Wan type answer I will say this, if you are a gummy bear in trainers, you will probably be a gummy bear in shoes too. It’s like sex really. Something your parents should give you a proper sit down talk about, just to lay down some ground rules. Invariably they leave it to you to experiment. Some people end up very straight and some very casual. I personally swing both ways.

Are we in a point in time where fashion no longer needs to follow one particular angle and people can just as easily keep a pair of Air Jordans alongside a pair of Mr. Hare Fitzgeralds? 
Totally! You only have to look at the public outrage caused by the hacking scandal or the sheer groundfire speed with which the Arab spring spread to see that people are not going to get with such archaic and grossly intrusive notions. People forget, but in my lifetime you could be refused entry to a club just for wearing sneakers. But since the emergence of help groups, like Hypebeast, people have been able to be more open about their chausseral persuasions.

How would you define your approach to footwear design?
Wu-Tang y’all. Proteck ya neck bitches. I bring tha rukkas!!!

Where do you find your inspirations?
I tend to visit all the big trade fairs look at what is happening in the market, visit all the stores, gather all the trend reports, print images from the blogs, then me and the team will collate and burn all that stuff in a huge bonfire, break out the peyote and mescaline and drum and dance to the shoe gods. After three days of orgiastic reverie, we make whatever anyone has managed to scribble down.

Despite British heritage, you’ve manufactured the Mr. Hare line in Italy. What cements Italy as the world’s greatest footwear manufacturing country and why couldn’t the UK provide what you were looking for?
To be honest my two biggest considerations were climate and food. I have to spend a lot of time on factory visits so a good Fiorentina or spaghetti scoglio followed by a branzino al forno under a Tuscan sunset had me swayed. Both regions have long traditions of fine shoemaking. Britains is welted and heavy. Italy’s is every other construction and lighter. One day I will make a British shoe and hopefully never be asked this question again.

What is it like working with a different culture and what have you learned to integrate into your own workflow through your Italian experiences?
I am half English and half Jamaican so literally everything I do in life is with a different culture. I have always been a firm believer in having August off, so there are as many similarities as differences. At the end of the day though, my whole crew knows the sooner the shoes leave the factory and the fewer that come back, the sooner and more often we all get paid yo.

There has been talk of efforts with fellow designer Andrew Bunney. Aside from accessories, what else can you envision designing?
I have often envisioned designing a Mr. Hare Bristol Beaufighter, but this is the first time I have put it out there. Generally though, I am not one of those meglomaniacs who thinks the world would be a better place, the more products that have my name on. I am very happy with my little company making little editions of elegant shoes.

Your collection for Topman is meant to coincide with the brand’s Rock n’ Roll AAA range, how easy was it to integrate your own aesthetic into the line?
It was easy. Mr. Hare shoes are generally designed in a “frontman” frame of mind. For AAA I just had to think about what the drummer, the bassist, the lead and rhythm guitars and roadies might want to wear. The hardest part was getting Topman to agree to my rider.

The usual retail price for a pair of Mr. Hares is several times that of your Topman collaboration. Was it difficult to make the offsetting changes required to meet the particular price point?
For anyone who might be confused, at Mr. Hare we choose the best materials available and let the price dictate itself. At Topman they choose the best price and let the materials dictate themselves. As long as I remembered who I was working for, it wasn’t so tough. LINK

 

Hint Magazine: Dries Van Noten

Hint Magazine gets their “One Sentence or Less” on with a designer interview. Dries Van Noten gets into form. The concept is simple. Keep it short and to the point. Starting off with “What did you do immediately before this questionnaire?,” Mr. Noten responds properly: “Dread its completion.” Read the full interview below

Dries Van Noten, Designer

What did you do immediately before this questionnaire?
Dread its completion.

What will you do immediately following this questionnaire?
Sigh with relief.

What is your idea of bliss?
Turning the soil or pruning a bush.

What is your idea of misery?
Bullied onto a path I have not chosen.

What is your proudest moment?
My 50th fashion show.

What is your greatest regret?
None so far.

What would be the first sentence of your biography?
Often taken for a world traveler…

What is your best personality trait?
Loyalty and perceptiveness.

What is your worst personality trait?
Reservedness.

What would you ask for if you were granted one wish?
That timidity be banished.

What is your greatest fear?
Fear itself.

What has been your greatest loss?
The death of my business partner and company co-founder Christine Mathys.

What historical figure would you most like to meet?
Queen Elizabeth of Belgium.

What have you marched in the streets for/against?
To get to Goosens, the great bakery in Antwerp, for their currant bread.

If you could live out one fantasy, what would it be?
That creativity is embraced as much in adolescents as it is in children.