Tuesday, May 29, 2007

2000 words with Emmanuel Labor

Emmanuel Labor

2k: state your name and your game and where you represent?

EL: Emmanuel Golden aka EL or emmanueLabor from Seattle, WA

2k : whats coming up for you this year?

EL: I'm just trying to build on all the great stuff that happened for me in 2006 and 2007 thus far. I'm trying to continually push the limits of what customizers do and see if I cant make all the crazy ideas I have in my mind become a reality. I'll be participating in an art show put on by the guys from Above the Clouds at the end of June down in Portland OR. Other than that, I have a few things cookin that I'm working on behind the scenes that I cant really talk about just yet. If they do pan out, it'll be a pretty good look for me. I might do some stuff with a few stores....a lot of stuff is still up in the air though. We'll see where it goes

2k : most famous client you worked with/for?

ummm....I guess I'd say Cam'ron and Juelz Santanna were the most famous? They were probably a lil more famous at the time than they are now though lol.

: does being from Seattle make things harder for you as opposed to being from cali or nyc?

nah not really. You'd think so, but that hasn't been the case as far as I can tell. I'm not sure my amount of orders would dramatically increase if I was in NY or Cali. I might have more exposure because those areas seem to get more sneaker related events, but I'm not really hurting for orders these days(that sounds kinda cocky huh? maybe I should erase that lol). I mean I stay pretty busy with the orders I get now, so being in a bigger market wouldn't change much cause I could only do so many shoes. When I 1st started out doing this, I was pretty much the only person in the area. I was working for a local store so people had to go there to get their shoes done. and nowadays, with the internet being a part of everybody's lives, I do shoes for people all over the world. I rarely do anything for people locally. it was funny, after I had a pair of shoes make it in Sole Collector, some people around here were like amazed that I was from Seattle.

what dislikes do you have about street wear/sneaker scene?

EL: buying off hype is corny, for both shoes and clothes. It makes no sense to me to buy something cause a bunch of other people say its hot. If YOU like it, buy it for that reason. if you don't, leave it on the shelf. Dont' get me wrong, I'm not anti-hype, but I am anti false hype. All these limited amounts of Brand X Hoodies and these insincere collaborations between certain companies.....c'mon man. I like stuff thats limited for a reason....like its for charity, or there are a limited amount of supplies or its something old, and not many are left around. THATS limited. Just going to your t-shirt printer and getting 24 shirts printed instead of a couple hundred does not make that shirt limited in a real sense. I mean I cant get mad at the companies that do it cause there are cats out there that buy into it, but if the average consumer would use their head and not feed into that, I think things would be for the better. I cant lie, I've played into that. I've done shoes that I didn't really care for, but that I knew people would go for just because of the hype around whatever the theme or subject matter was...and that was corny of me.
as far as the customs scene(you didn't ask specifically, but I'm on a roll lol) my gripe is that there is still a huge amount of people that wont do it themselves. They wont go through the trial and error that a lot of other people have. They want directions and supplies all neatly package in a box for them. Wheres the fun in that? We might as well start making paint by number shoe kits.(hmmmmmmmmmm) I know myself as well as a number of other customizers have butchered countless pairs of shoes. I did it cause I wanted to know how to do it on my own. You get so much better at things if you learn on your own as opposed to having someone give you directions.

2k: who would you like to thank for where you are today?

EL: so many people. I gotta say Methamphibian 1st off. I mean I don't know the guy at all, but his work really inspired me to go beyond coloring swooshes with graff markers. Steps he took as far as working with stores I think paved the way for a lot of us customizers getting to work with stores....
To any of the cats I've traded stories with or techniques and materials. Cats I've met at various events and through message boards. Dudes that said I sucked or said I was great. People that have felt my work enough to wanna work with me or give me a lil shine, or just say they respect what I do. People that didn't hassle me about my prices LOL basically anybody I've come into contact through doing these shoes...I thank them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

2000 words with Mache275

i recently pried Mache275 from his custom lab for a quick interview. For those who don't know him, wake up.

state your name, game and where you represent

Mache275: Dan Gamache but best known in the community as 'MACHE'. I was a New Yorker all my life then moved to CT last fall. Pretty much I'm a guy with a graphic design degree who got bored with what was out there in terms of originality in the sneaker game and decided to to my part to try and help it. Like most of us customizers, my first customs were just basic colorway flips and as I got more comfortable, I decided to move to the more artistically challenging designs which have now become my trademark.

2k: whats comin up for you this year?

Mache275: 2007 has been a big year not only for myself but for the whole custom sneaker game as a whole. I was featured in the special AF1 issue of Sole Collector for the Rasheed Wallace AF1's I did....I got lots of attention for those and since then, I've done a collab with Adidas and the NY/NJ Red Bulls of the MLS and did a few pairs of kicks for them for a charity event they co-hosted at Webster Hall in NYC...Just recently I hooked up with a new store/boutique opening up down in Fla. called 'Neck Breakers'....I'll be doing a lot of collab work with them in the future...Shout outs to V and Brian.....I can't forget the Int'l Sneaker battles, I'll be in a few of those this year to defend my title that I won last year for 'Best Themed Custom'

2k: proudest moment as an artist to date....

Mache275: Probably seeing Sheed holding my kicks in the SC Mag.....that was just craziness for me. Just to know that he was feeling my work great me a great sense of accomplishment.

2k: what dislikes do you have about streetwear/sneaker scene?

Mache275: The fact the people are really turning into sheep, it seems like very few cats can dress themselves anymore. They need to wear whatever they are told is 'dope' right now. It's so dumb what hype has done to the culture. My word to the 'Beasts- "Don't Believe the Hype"....wear what you like, not what everyone else tells you to.

My other big gripe is the fact that kids (some, not all) will want a custom pair for me and don't realize how much time is involved to make them. My prices are soley based on how much time is needed to complete the design plus the price of the base shoe if I end up supplying them. They'll tell me that they want like the Sistine Chapel on an air force one or something and I'll tell them it will be in the ballpark of $300. They then will proceed to tell me that my price is too steep and lowball me with an offer for like $100. Keep in mind that the AF1 alone is like $85. They want to pay me $15 for the 20+ hours I spent to make your shoe?! Get out of here. They have no problem going onto eBay and dropping $300 on some Spizikes or SBs that everyone and their mom will be rocking until that next limited, quickstrike thing drops next week....why not spend your hard earned money of yours on something that actually will SEPERATE you from the crowd and can say that is the only pair in the world and they were made just for you? I don't get it. Like I said I'm not saying all the people, just the few who can't appreciate what we customizers do.

2k: what company would you love to do a collaboration with and why?

Mache275: I just want to go somewhere where I can do what I love for the rest of my life and continue to make a living off of it. It's the american dream. It's doesn't matter what company, of course the big boys (Nike, Adidas, Reebok) would be high on the list....but to be totally honest, just as long as my artistic integrity wasn't comprimised, I'd work with anyone, I'm not exactly in a position to be picky right now....haha.