Last year, our team of editors, writers and contributors alike took on the daunting task of listing the 100 most influential people impacting the HYPEBEAST world. The project itself started with the obvious question, ‘what exactly is HYPEBEAST culture?’ We discovered that answer is an always evolving definition. It revolves around the best in street culture and those from the arenas of high fashion and business who are directly inspiring and influencing the world outside of their respective circles. It encompasses the innovators creating simplified worlds through accessible technologies. It includes artists, musicians and designers alike providing social commentary as well as those able to help us uncover the hidden beauties we so often overlook. With fashion at its core, HYPEBEAST is a domain in which innovators from all realms of creativity are placed in the spotlight.
In the past few months, we saw the perennial give-and-take game being played between the worlds of street and high fashion, while hip-hop’s brightest stars blanketed their influence over our culture. Nestled in the middle, is an emerging crop of brands blending functionality with sophistication, while maintaining authenticity. Furthermore, the once uncertain and dying medium of print finds life through a growing circle of progressive imprints, while brick and mortars deliver new and exciting ways to bring consumers back to the traditional ways of retail.
Without further ado, we present our latest edition of HYPEBEAST 100.
If you ask me, there’s two types of collectors. Those with unlimited budget who can acquire just about anything without bothering about expenses and those who have to be creative and utterly dedicated to build a worthy collection over the years. Andre Ljustana aka CroatianStyle belongs to the latter category. Born and raised in a family of Croatian descent, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles, Hawthorne to be exact. Over the past 16 years, he has amassed a collection of sneakers worth several million dollars. When asked what he did before that, he couldn’t really tell, that’s how long he’s been in the game. In Primary School, young Andre was already exchanging kicks with his pals just for fun and so as to not having to wear the same pair day in day out. In an era where everybody can call themselves a “Sneakerhead”, partially due to the rise of the Internet and Social Media, we wanted to find out how things were back in the day, in the years ’00 when all you had to get in touch were forums (Nikepark, Niketalk…) and AOL Instant Messenger. His expo “RETROspective” at the Known gallery on Fairfax was the perfect occasion to ask Andre a few questions. His answers might come as a surprise for some.
Be Street: Over 3000 pairs gathered in 16 years… Do you remember the day it all started?
Andre: Wow 16 years… I can’t be that old now, right? Yes I remember the day crystal clear. Honestly I was always into shoes, we borrowed each others shoes when we were in elementary and middle school so we could wear more than just our own. We would try to get different colors of models. Never in a million years did the idea of keeping pairs brand new (deadstock) ever cross my mind during my teenage years. After the AJ 14’s came out, I was out at college and didn’t care for them as much. The white/red were cool but I felt they didn’t have enough red on them and feeling the new Jordans after that would never be the same, I just stuck to other styles and the pairs I still had from before. Then one day, I came back from a trip to Europe to visit the family in Croatia late ’99, my boy Jae told me he was at the mall and the Jordan 5 were coming back out again and I was immediately back on again, that damn pair I gave up for the first Reebok Pump, I could finally get it and the white/fire reds! Went over to a local shop I always shopped at since I was a kid and they had the retro card for the AJ 4s showing me the 5s coming and then I asked wait… this is a IV card? Where’s the IVs then? And that’s where it started… while I was out in Europe, the IVs dropped, I needed both especially the white/cement… me and my dude scoured everywhere: Mom & Pops, malls, swap meets from Compton to San Diego… couldn’t find a damn size 10 anywhere… other sizes but not mine and that’s where I found eBay, Nikepark, Niketalk… and the rest is history.
To read the full interview please visit www.be-street.com
Incase creates products to protect the technology that is essential to our lives. Designed to meet the needs of individuals across all interests, professions and passions, Incase products promote design simplicity while offering intuitive functionality and increased mobility for an enhanced user experience.
Find out more at: agendaemerge.com
BURLESQUE OF NORTH AMERICA
Burlesque is a multi-disciplinary creative studio focusing on graphic arts and high quality screenprinting. Headquartered in Minneapolis MN, the studio was formed in 2003 from the ashes of seminal and sardonic graffiti magazine Life Sucks Die. What began as a loose collective of graffiti artists, photographers, and illustrators transitioned into a group of graphic artists for hire including Wes Winship, Mike Davis, George Thompson, Todd Bratrud, and Aaron Horkey. While exploring effective DIY techniques for printing concert posters, Winship quickly found that screenprinting would also serve as a way to reproduce his and his friends’ other artwork, creating printed editions of art which could be sold at affordable prices.
After officially naming the studio Burlesque, the focus on screenprinting led the group to design and print concert posters while fine-tuning their skills and printing equipment with each project. As the workflow grew, so did the desire to learn more about all aspects of the screenprinting process. To this day, Burlesque continues to push the envelope by producing 10, 15, and even 20+ color screenprinted posters which capture astonishingly accurate details. In recent years, artists such as Ron English, Tara McPherson, Jim Phillips, Richey Beckett, and Tom Whalen have all sought out Burlesque for the screenprinted production of their artwork.
Press Check is a collection of screenprinted work spanning Burlesque’s entire career – from Wes Winship’s cut-and-paste Arcade Fire pastiche to Mike Davis’ clean but stylized vector illustrations to art prints produced for graffiti / graphic design icons 123Klan, renaissance draftsman Aaron Horkey, musician and fine artist John Baizley, Seventh Letter artists Sever, Ewok, and Vize, as well as work from David Choe, Ron English, Aaron Draplin, and more.
Current Burlesque of North America full timers:
WES WINSHIP: co-principal, graphic artist, print shop R&D
MIKE DAVIS: co-principal, graphic artist, public relations
BEN LAFOND: lead screenprinter, photographer
JODI MILBERT: general manager, artist relations
SARAH SCHATZ: screenprinter
BURLESQUE OF NORTH AMERICA | PRESS CHECK
The Seventh Letter Flagship Store and Gallery
346 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca. 90036
Opening Reception: October 16, 2015 | 7-10pm
On view: October 16 – November 4, 2015