SELECT 1 on 1: Stash on His Reebok Question & More
To simply refer to Stash as a legendary graffiti artist would be greatly understating his influence on so many other different mediums and subcultures. Yes, it all started with graffiti, but since his early ’80s days painting trains in NYC, he’s gone on to apply his talents to a wide variety of creative projects and products with an eclectic cross-section of brands. From Burton to Nike, to his own apparel brands, Subware and Recon, to his work with Bape and WeSC, and most recently, Reebok, Stash has demonstrated a keen ability to navigate back and forth between the street world and the corporate culture in a way that few of his peers have been able to master with their credibility still in tact.
Along the way, he’s managed to transition his artistic vision across to corporate partners just as seamlessly as he would his own personal projects, and without sacrificing his creative integrity or playing by anyone’s rules but his own. When it comes to footwear, at this point in the game for Stash, it also helps that he’s been on all sides of the industry: from a kid obsessed with sneakers, to a retailer who sold them, to a part of the creative process that brings the shoes to life.
Thanks to two of those résumé points, Stash is an undisputed icon in the sneaker world. Not only has he designed some of the most revered sneaker colorways of all-time, but he also owned NORT, one of the pioneering NYC boutiques to help lay the foundation for the current wave of sneakerhead mania seen today. Like many of the other shops of its ilk and locale, NORT is no longer around to reap the benefits of a movement they helped to spark, but the man behind it has weathered the storm and come out the other side still a force to be reckoned with.
Stash’s most recent forays into sneaker design have come by way of an ongoing partnership with Reebok and some crowd-pleasing one-offs for Packer Shoes, but the latest brings some added firepower on account of the also beloved nature of its subject, the Reebok Question. By taking the Allen Iverson classic and draping it in his own signature color scheme and some primo material choices, Stash has created another memorable moment for himself in sneaker history as two icons of the culture come together in perfect harmony. Continue on for our exclusive interview with Stash, and a detailed look at his Reebok Question, set to hit retailers this Friday, June 27th.
SN: You’ve done quite a few projects with Reebok over the past few years. How did this ongoing partnership come about?
Stash: Ryan Cross approached me years ago about doing a project, but it wasn’t until I did a collab for Packer Shoes celebrating their 100 years that I first touched Reebok product. Later to revisit the conversation with Ryan.
SN: Your instantly recognizable color palette is revered in the sneaker world and it seems that you pick your spots carefully in terms of when and where to use it. What’s the criteria for a shoe being worthy of the signature Stash color scheme?
Stash: Not really. If I think it will lend itself to the model or whatever the medium is it’s being applied to, then I am all for it.
SN: The color scheme goes without saying, but can you give us a rundown of the materials used on your Question and some insights into why they were chosen?
Stash: When I look at the Question, I like the obvious construction and all the parts which make up the shoe, so as I chose the color for each part of the pattern, I did for fabric as well. I like using leathers, suedes, and nubucks when I work on basketball shoes.
SN: When it comes to designing sneakers, what part of the creative process do you enjoy most?
Stash: I like sampling, for the simple fact that you go from seeing a 2-D flat to a 3-D object, and then you can really define the final product, not to mention I happen to be sample size!
SN: Is there a Reebok model you haven’t worked with yet that you’d love to get your hands on for a future Stash collab?
Stash: There’s a few performance pieces, more technical in fabrics and construction that I MAY be working on…
SN: Do you have any other upcoming sneaker projects currently in the pipeline, and if so can you tell us anything about them?
Stash: I am working on a few, but one I can share is a new Pump that we are building a capsule collection around.
SN: How often do wear pairs that you’ve designed, and what shoes are in your current rotation nowadays?
Stash: To be honest, I wear mine once in a while. I like field-testing future models that I am either working on or would like to!
A big thanks to Stash, and be on the lookout for his Reebok Questions hitting select Reebok retailers this Friday, June 27th.