S.L.A.T.E. is officially over, and what an awesome show it was! So many dope brands and a huge crowd that came out really made this season special! Thank you to all who came, we rocked this place hard! More recaps to come later, reblog if you loved this week as much as we did!
One of the highlights of the show for all was PROJECT/reed, so we were so happy that we got a chance to talk to installation creator + curator Jeff Staple. Here, he discusses the inspiration for PROJECT/reed, his favorite pieces, why sneaker culture + the streetwear industry is unique, and where he sees streetwear heading in the future. You can read his interesting - and inspirational - thoughts below.
NB: The text below has been transcribed from a video interview and has been slightly edited for type.
So tell us a bit about the process behind making PROJECT/reed?:
Alright well about 8 months ago, Magic approached me about doing a curation of something. They kinda left it really open for me and they were like you know we have a space here we would invite you to use, and whatever you can think of let us know. So I started brainstorming about what I wanted to do and one of the things that I wanted to address in PROJECT/reed was really bringing the digital and virtual to the physical world. A lot of these things you see on websites or a magazine and you never get to see the real thing and I think a lot of the craftsmanship and the time and effort that it takes to make these things are lost. So I wanted that to be on display and to be blown away by some of the stuff that they see in real life. The other thing that I wanted to do was elevate this product that is normally just seen as just sneakers or just skateboards or just t-shirts, and elevate it to like a museum level quality of value, because thats what it has in our culture you know. These are artifacts of street culture so I wanted to exhibit that and anyone who’s not sort of educated on what we do - you know like a total off the street person who doesn’t know sees this and they’re like “wow, why is this baseball cap in a display case? Let me figure something out, let me learn about this?”. This will educate them on what’s going on. So those are like the touchpoints that I wanted to really hit on when I was curating this.
How was the experience of being a curator? Was it something you’d done before?:
I have a gallery in New York, we have a store and a gallery in New York. I love curating, I’m also an art director and when I art direct a magazine or a publication, I’m a curator as well because I’m working with different illustrators, different photographers, different writers and then its like you’re a DJ. You’re remixing everything together, you know, and it’s interesting because sometimes it’s just because let’s say you have two great photographers, it doesn’t mean they’ll work well together or it doesn’t mean they’ll look good together. Sometimes someone has to fall back for the greater good and so when I was curating this I got a lot of great submissions, worked with a lot of great artists, brands and designers. Obviously there’s a lot of space, so it’s my job as the curator to sort of say what goes in what, what direction does it face, all these things. I spent two days prior to Magic opening to really make sure everything was buttoned up and dialed in you know?
What’s your favorite piece here?:
I would say the most special one has to be that first Nike snowboarding boot that a brand called Complete Technique did and Osa, who’s the founder of that brand really graciously donated with that one of one boot that was made and I remember it comes in this pelican flight case that you would ship literally a nuclear warhead in and then you open it up and there’s like a sign that says “do not touch without gloves”. You looked up the sign and there was two gloves there. You gotta put the gloves on to handle this thing and shipping that from New York to Vegas and then back to New York, yeah it’s pretty special… and everyone loves that piece, you know?
Where do you see streetwear going in a few years?
Well, the other thing I wanted to accomplish out of this was for the brands that have contributed and participated in this, I want this to be like the bar being set. This is like a stake in the sand, this is where we’ve been, this is all the great stuff that we’ve done. Now its like where are we gonna go in the future, how are we gonna progress? So it’s kinda like an open question to the whole culture, like where are we gonna take this now, you know? We’ve done great things definitely but now lets elevate and keep going forward.
Any other projects you want to talk about besides Project/reed that you’re doing at the tradshows?:
We’re also showing our holiday collection for Staple Design, we’re showing in our booth here. We’re very heavily entrenched and influenced by what’s going on here and it’s still, I mean, it’s great. Our booth is right there and the exhibit’s right over here so I can work on both pretty much at the same time, so its just really great working with the Magic crew.