In what direction the industry (street culture & fashion) is going with these worldwide changes?
There is no doubt that this past year has changed our lives, our habits and even our way of thinking and these changes have impacted our industry, which is based on relationships, events, meeting people but what is, and was, the fuel of our industry can’t be stopped, creativity will not be stopped by this virus.
What is changed is the goal. Brands need to be more than hype or good design, they have the responsibility to bring a message. Sustainability, gender equality, racism and many other topics are more and more on the agenda of the biggest players in the industry
Brands need to decide where they want to stand and take action: not taking any decision is not an option.
What cultural / subcultural movement has influenced your life the most?
As Generation X, I have been fully influenced by friends, sport and athletes. Those were among the limited accessible sources of inspiration since internet was not a thing yet. We spent hours listening to LPs of any kind of music, rock, punk, heavy metal, dance, hip hop, French house and even classical music.
In sport I loved athletes such as John McEnroe, Michael Jordan, Airton Senna, Maradona all athletes that in their sport have changed the rules of the game.
What do you collect and what’s the most important piece of your collection?
I collect sneakers, books, vinyl toys, modern art paintings, anything that can inspire me, sometimes is the artist others the artwork itself. The most important piece? Difficult to say, I love them all.
What athletes/artist you would’ve liked a face-to-face conversation with?
I always get inspiration by talented people and still today I learn from anyone, from a young kid to an old man. If I could choose I would love to have a conversation with Hiroshi Fujiwara, Thinker Hatfield and Wonderwall founder Masamichi Katayama, a Japanese interior designer known for its unconstrained approach in actualizing design concepts, three super talented people who anticipated the future with their way of thinking.
Black Box and Urban Jungle always focus their communication on storytelling before products, do you think, in the today era, the new generations are interested in that or they only want to buy the products and not what is behind it?
Internet has made everything fast and accessible, you do not need to travel to buy a Japanese book or see the store of your dreams; you do not need to do a camp out in a cold and rainy evening for your desirable sneaker, today everything (or almost) is a click away.
This has contributed to create the Hype Culture and an army of Hype Beasts that populate our stores and stress our websites with all sort of new technologies.
Urban Jungle and Black Box are projects with a clear mission: spread our heritage, passion and knowledge to our community, and for that we are recognized as OG by many brands who teamed up with us for collabs.
We know that 7 out of 10 customers looking for a hyped product will end up reselling it but we constantly evolve to make sure that the real sneakerheads, those who share our passion will get to the products, those customers will always have a fast-track with us.