Tuesday 17 November 2015

Chris Stamp on Embracing Modern Youth Culture and Collaborating with PUMA on a Dope Collection

PUMA collaborated with luxury street wear brand Stampd on a collection that is inspired by performance and designed with a cross function of performance and style. Below is a Q&A with Chris Stamp. Chris is an ‘Avant street influencer’ and he founded Stampd in 2009. Stampd embraces a modern youth culture, which, along with its timeless appeal, creates high quality streetwear product mixed with simple forms for the everyday consumer.

Stampd is a mix of street culture and fashion. Can you tell us more about your creative process and your fashion influences?
I guess you can say my creative process is rather unorthodox. I’m not one to just sit down think of an idea and act on it. Creativity for me is something that can hit at any moment, and some times at random. I constantly take notes and jot down ideas here and there, and usually fill in the blanks once I’m back to my studio. I find design cues coming from anything from modern architecture to classic Southern California surf culture.

Recently I’ve been really influenced by fine art, acquainting myself with sculpture artists. This changes from season to season, as there is always a range of mediums getting my mind going. Sometimes it’s just a good conversation with a friend or creative that will spark something. With information being shared so quickly and regularly now, it’s necessary for me to strip it all back and look at things more one dimensionally with as few distractions as possible.

We know that you are athletic and passionate about surfing, does this influence your design and creative process?
Being in the ocean and staying active is equally as important physically as it is for me mentally. I’m able to conceive a moment of clarity and think in a way that I usually don’t when I’m in my office or dealing with the day to day of my company. Some of my best work has come from ideas envisioned while in the water. Growing up in Southern California and being around the ocean is second nature when you’re young. Through high school, I was surfing on a daily basis and the lifestyle became engrained in both my personal aesthetic and design taste.

How would you define your brand?
Stampd is a lifestyle brand synergizing contemporary luxury with modern ‘high’ street culture.

How is it different from the others?

What is the main difference between your collaboration and your regular collection?
I wanted this collection to be the athletic version of what we offer inline. This is what I want our guy to wear, whether it’s to the gym or after a surf. We focused on tech fabrics and detailing, along with simplifying some of the classic PUMA footwear models introducing the idea of Stampd Athletics by PUMA.

How has streetwear changed over the last couple of years?
There has been a shift in the styling of classic streetwear, where customers are pairing things like snap backs and sneakers with luxury denim and outerwear. It’s an evolution of the two segments becoming similar in turn opening the ‘High Street’ market. We’re now at a time where the streetwear markets boundaries are constantly being pushed to keep up with how the new demographic of kids want to dress.

What do you think the future holds for street culture and footwear in particular?

I think street culture is still on the rise. Remembering back to my earlier days in college, when I was just getting into fashion, online publications like Hypebeast were just getting started and the addition of a blog to a website was still fairly new. Now we’re in a day where more than half of my customers are purchasing straight from their phones. The evolution has been inspiring and it makes me want to push my company in a direction where technology is an emphasis. Essentially this was birthed from the idea of coveted sneakers. When people really started caring about their whole outfit, their footwear was the starting point. Outfits were based on sneakers first.

Tell us more about your relationship with PUMA?
What’s your connection with PUMA?

PUMA gave us the opportunity to create an athletic collection based on our DNA. We took the chance to combine our various patterns and cuts with more technical fabrics and athletic inspired detailing. This initial collection was a chance for us to show our customer how we would want to wear things at the gym or more on an athletic atmosphere.

What was your relationship with PUMA before the collaboration?
PUMA’s were my first pair of shoes I wore playing soccer when I was 8. From that point on I always had a pair in my closet, with Clydes usually being my go to. After a trip to Paris with Ronnie Fieg for his COA collaboration with PUMA, I was more inspired by the direction that PUMA was taking in regards to their Select and lifestyle programs. What Ronnie did with the Disc, and that project as a whole, opened a new avenue for designers like myself to think outside of the box when it comes to collaborating with PUMA. I’ve always looked at PUMA as a classic athletic brand that has been a leader in footwear and athletic apparel since I was a kid.

How does your vision come into play with PUMA? How is it in- novative?

We took our predominantly monochromatic color palette and incorporated some of the PUMA technology in both footwear and apparel construction. We used more modern patterns, combined with PUMAS ability to execute highly through technical fabrics and trim details.

How does sport influence contemporary sneakers and fashion?
I think a lot of contemporary sneakers have been based on the idea of classic sportswear sneakers. Inspirations have been drawn from both vintage silhouetting and pattern makeups to the upper construction and detailing. Classic running or basketball shoes have become household staples within the fashion world, completely outside that of the sport. People now see these shoes as more fashion over function.

What is your definition of style?
Style is the ability to feel comfortable and confident effortlessly.

What advice would you give to the next generation of designers?
Work hard, enjoy the journey, and trust your instincts.

This PUMA collaboration is one of high drive, infused with Stamp’s vision and creativity and PUMA’s technical expertise. It is available at PUMA SELECT stores in Cape Town, Bree Street and Johannesburg, Braamfontein, as well as X–Trend and Lyme.

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