The Brilliance!

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#INTERNET Ah, we're back! Like we said, we were just "chilling out" for like 3 years. Feels good to have the team back writing. Still us three: Chuck, Benjamin, and Virgil. Got new interviews coming up, and hopefully we'll be posting on a regular basis, who knows. We also interviewed each other, check: CHUCK, BENJAMIN, VIRGIL...

Interview! > Jason Bass of JB Classics!

We caught up with Mr. Jason Bass of JB Classics out in beautiful San Francisco, California to chat about all things JB. Referred to by many as the "Modern Cobbler", Jason is a one man show that many have tried to match and copy but never quite succeeded. Covered in artwork - locusts, flamingos, guns, Jack the Ripper, watch faces, and more - these shoes fly off shelves and online suppliers in limited runs. Jason also chats up about MOTUG, his recent shoe with Futura, LASE, Obey, and many other NYC graff legends. Check it!

TB! > So for those that don’t know (but should…) - tell us what you do. JB Classics in a nutshell…

JB! > O.K. “NO”.. IT’S A PERSONEL VENTURE TO CREATE A FOOTWEAR LABEL WITH “NO MONEY DOWN” FULLY OWNED AND OPERATED BY MYSELF. THE ENTIRE BRAND AND ALL DECISIONS WITHIN THE BRAND ARE HANDLED BY ME…SIMPLY PUT: IT’S A DESIGN DRIVEN ONE-MAN-BAND SHOW WITH A LOT OF GOOD FRIENDS HELPING ME ALONG THE WAY !


TB! > Give us some background on yourself. Not necassarily JB/footwear stuff, but you…The real Jason Bass - from hobbies to education to anything else…

JB! > I GRADUATED WITH A MASTER DEGREE IN DESIGN /FINE ART ABOUT 3.5 YEARS AGO NOW! BETWEEN DESIGNING,ILLUSTRATING,PAINTING,ETC…FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS.

I GUESS ALL I DO .....IS WORK..ITS LIKE BEING EVERYWHERE AT ONCE….BUT I ENJOY WHAT I DO AND THE FOOTWEAR PROJECT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING…MY LIFE IS ENGULFED BY CREATIVITY. I CAN APPLY MYSELF TO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING AS LONG AS I DO NOT FIND MYSELF CHASING CLEINTS OR SITTING AT A CORPORATE CREATIVE THINK TANK SESSION IN SOME STALE CUBICAL SIPPING TEA, AND TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE’S SHIT… I’M COOL…..YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN…!! NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT….JUST A LITTLE TO RESTRICTED FOR MY TASTE.


TB! > Now give us some background on JB Classics and the whole shoe thing. You are doing something that is virtually unprecedented and remains that way. How did you start? How did you grow? How will you continue to grow?

JB! > JB CLASSICS WAS FOUNDED BY “CHANCE” ....I NEVER DREAMED THAT SNEAKERS WOULD BE SUCH A POWERFUL VISUAL OBJECT….IN THE STREETS/FASHION/DESIGN/MARKETS….I ENJOYED COLLECTING THE ORGINAL “WEAPONS” FROM CONVERSE AND ALL THE JORDANS ETC….BUT THAT WAS THAT….IT WAS JUST TRUE SPORTMANSHIP FOR THE RESPECT OF AN ATHLETE I ADMIRED ...AN NOT BECAUSE IT WAS A COOL ..TO SHOW UP AT THE BLAH BLAH ART SHOW WITH MY MATCHING THIS AND MY MATCHING THAT…WITH THE LIMITED JAPANESE THIS, WEARING A COLLECTABLE U.K. EDITION THAT..ETC..ITS CRAZY….NUTS…..RIGHT…HOW THINGS ARE NOW! IT’S COOL FOR THOSE…WHO ARE INTO THAT!

AS FAR AS GROWING THE BRAND…ITS ORGANIC SO…ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER AND ANOTHER ,AND ALL THESE LITTLE DOORS LEAD TO LARGE ROOMS, SO…I’LL JUST CONTINUE TO GROW BY STAYING FOCUSED AND CONTINUE TO COME CORRECT ON MY VISION,WHICH CHANGES DAILY WITH NO BLUEPRINT.


TB! > Tell us about The KDU and your relationship to Mr. Dave Gensler.

JB! > NUTS….THE KDU IS TOP SECRET….THERE LOTS OF NUMBERS IN ISLAMIC MATHAMETICS. INVOLVED…DAVE AND I GO BACK ALMOST 15 YEARS…TO A SIMILAR UPBRINGING…WE BOTH SKATED THE SAME STREETS AND PARKS…AND MADE A LOT OF MAKE-SHIFT BOMBS IN THE COAL REGIONS OF NORTHERN P.A.


TB! > Tell us about Triplewide. What is it and what role do you play?

JB! > SHAUN ROBERTS IS THE CAPTAIN OF TRIPLEWIDE,WE FOUNDED THE SHIP TOGETHER IN 2001. WHEN WE WERE ALL IN SCHOOL, LOTS OF VIDEO DOCUMENTARIES AND ANIMATIONS IN THE PIPELINES, SHAUN AND I WORK TOGETHER AS A CREATIVE TEAM, EITHER FILMING,STORYBOARDING,EDITING,ETC…IT SEEMS LIKE OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS TRIPLEWIDE HAS BEEN POSTIONED AS A VIDEO MEDIA HOUSE. WE HAVE COMPLETED DITHERS 1 ( AN URBAN ARTIST DOCUMENTARY) WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON THE SECOND INSTALLMENT. LOTS OF WORK FOR SHAUN. HE HASN’T SEEN THE OUTSIDE WORLD IN WEEKS….....YOU SHOULD DROP SHAUN A LINE…ONCE IN A WHILE AN LET HIM NO WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK IT IS.


TB! > Ok, so now that we’ve gotten the basics about JB Classics out of the way - let’s hear some details. What’s the process that goes into developing a shoe from start to finish?

JB! > LOTS OF WORK: FOR EXAMPLE THE LATEST PROJECT WITH “MOTUG” WAS CRAZY…..I WAS APPROACH BY “LASE” THE FOUNDER OF MOTUG TO PRODUCE A PROJECT IN LESS THAN ONE MONTH…...LASE GOT ALL THE ARTISTS,ALL THE GRAPHICS/ARTWORK, LAID OUT IN VECTOR FORM,THAN PICKED THE COLORWAY, ETC BACK AND FOURTH FOR A FEW WEEKS ON MATERIALS,ACTUAL SAMPLES, UNTIL ALL WAS UNDERSTOOD WELL, THAN COMES THE DEVELOPEMNT IN THE LAB…...SHIT!!!! IT WAS REALLY NUTS TO HAVE SO MANY TALENTED WORLD RENOWN ARTISTS ON ONE PAIR OF KICKS IT WAS ALSO A LOT OF WORK GETTING THE ARTWORK TO LOOK RIGHT… ON A CONSISTENT LEVEL,BEING THAT THERE WAS SO MUCH ROOM FOR ERROR WITH SO LITTLE TIME TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT FOR THE OPENING SHOW…ETC…OH YEAH !!THAN THERES THE SHIPPING BULLSHIT TO DEAL WITH, BUT ALL TURNED OUT WELL AND EVERYONE INVOLVED WAS HAPPY! THE PROJECT WAS ANOTHER TIMELESS ORGANIC MOVE FOR JB CLASSICS, AND I TRULY THANK LASE FOR SO DEEPLY BELIEVING IN THE INDEPENDENT MOVEMNT.


TB! > Real quick and real random - Lobster or frozen pizza? Chuck’s or Vans Slip-ons? LA or NY? Bapesta’s or Skechers? Range Rover or a Lotus?

JB! > FROZEN PIZZA….VANS…...NEW YORK…....NEITHER! ...RANGE ROVER….


TB! > Back to the JB questions - why www.suite2206.com? What is Suite 2206?

JB! > JB SHIT!!! AFTER ALL THIS TIME ....FINALLY!!!!!!SOMEONE ASK….!! ITS MY APARTMENT NUMBER!!! IN SAN FRANCISCO!!! WHERE: I’VE BEEN RUNNING THE ENTIRE JB CLASSICS OPERATIONS! ITS ALSO WHERE I STORE ALL THE U.S SAMPLES, DESIGN AND SLEEP,EAT,ETC!! I ATTACHED A FEW PICS.


TB! > What is your absolute most favorite non-JB shoe of all-time? Least favorite? What is your favorite JB shoe you’ve ever produced? Least favorite?

JB! > NON- JB FAV:THE FIRST JORDAN,MAYBE THE HI TOP VANS THAT WENT ALL THE WAY UP THE LEG AND FOLDED DOWN..WITH A CHECKERED PATTERNS!! I THINK THEY ALSO ZIPPERED OFF!! GOOD STUFF LOTS OF NICE THOUGHFUL COLOR OMBINATIONS.

LEAST FAV::ROUGH!!! REALLY ROUGH….MAYBE EVERYONE…I’M NEVER REALLY HAPPY WITH THE IDEA OF SOMETHING BEING FINISHED!!

MY FAV: THE JB X BEINGHUNTED MODEL DESIGN BY JOERG IN MY PERSONAL FAVORITE IN TERMS OF A PROJECT! PLUS THERE WAS JUST SO MANY JERK-OFFS THAT COPIED THE IDEA AFTER WE PUT IT TOGETHER, A TRUE FIRE STARTER IN THE THINK TANKS..GOT TO LOVE IT! HAHAHA


TB! > Who are some of the coolest people you’ve met on the “JB Journey”? Since you started - from artists to sneaker heads to magazine people…Whoever…Made any great friends because of what you do?

JB! > WOW!!! COME ON…. THERE’S SO MANY PEOPLE, EVERYONE HAS BEEN SUPER COOL…AND TOTALLY SUPPORTIVE….MUCH RESPECT TO ALL!

AN THOSE WHO FUCKED ME OVER ..WELL.THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION .


TB! > Is JB full-time for you?

JB! > YEP..7 DAYS A WEEK ....JB CLASSICS / THE KDU / TRIPLEWIDE../ & MY NEEDY ASS GIRL..HAHAA..OH SHIT!!! NO SHE’S A BIG HELP!


TB! > Tell us a few of your favorite brands. What are they doing right and why do they ‘just work’?

JB! > THERE JUST SO MANY…I LIKE SHIT THAT COMES OFF REAL OR SPONTANEOUS….YOU NO..WHAT I MEAN….ONE’S THAT TAKE CHANCES ...GRAPHICALY I ALWAYS LIKED THAT UPPERPLAYGROUND/FIFTY24 BECAUSE THEY WORK WITH ALMOST EVERYONE, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER…. I ALSO LIKE A BEARDEDMAN..!! WELL CUZ!! HIS SHIT IS FUNNY IN A DAY OF SOME SERIOUS HIPSTER-HOPSTER LANDSCAPES.I ALSO LIKE THE CABELLA’S SPORTING GOODS LINE, CAMO COLLECTION BECAUSE…THERE ALWAYS OUT DOING THEMSLEVES WITH FUNCTIONS, MATERIALS AND PATTERNS, I ALSO REALLY LIKE RECON STUFF…THE HOODIES ARE TOUGH….....PLUS THESE BLACK PUMA CARGO PANTS….THAT I WEAR EVERYDAY..


TB! > What are your least favorite brands and why are they so terrible? Do they have any hope? Name names!

JB! > NASCAR…MAYBE…SO FUNNY STUFF….I ALSO HATE THOSE “M&M” JACKETS AND ALSO THE ONE’S WITH ALL THE SPORT TEAMS PLASTERED ALL OVER THEM…..!


TB! > OK - so the big news lately is surrounding MOTUG (Monsters of the UnderGround). Explain.

JB! > IT’S AN AMAZING GROUP FORMED BY :NYC LASE…! HE HOLDS THE TRIGGER TO THE MOTUG NAME! I WAS BLESSED TO GET DOWN ON THIS PROJECT AND WIOULD BE A PART OF THE GROUP IN FUTURE PROJECTS.


TB! > So - 24 pairs!!?? To say that’s limited is an understatement. That’s like….I don’t even know…Way-mega-ultra-crazy-super-extra-damn-rare-limited. Why the short-run? Who are the lucky 24?

JB! > WELL…!! ALL I CAN SAY ABOUT THE 24 PAIRS….IS THAT’S ONE OF MANY DIFFERENCE’S BETWEEN JB CLASSICS AND THE ENTIRE FOOTWEAR WORLD!!! WE PLAY ON A TOTALLY DIFFERENT LEVEL..

AS FOR WHO GOT THEM, ALL 10 ARTIST’S INVOLVED GOT A PAIR(NYC LASE,FUTURA,EWOK,DIZMOLOGY,TKID 170,CES,GHOST,TOOFLY,SHEPARD FAIREY,DOZE GREEN),WHICH LEAVES 14 PAIRS LEFT, THAN THE GALLERY GOT A PAIR, LASE GOT 3 PAIRS, I GOT 3 PAIRS, AND “ONLY” 7 PAIRS WHERE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC!!!!


TB! > Do you have plans to do more with MOTUG? Another shoe in the future perhaps? Any other projects shaping up with that?

JB! > YEP….! THERE WILL BE SOME MORE PROJECTS IN THE FUTURE!


TB! > Ok - the colors. The colors are what make the JB’s stand out man…You and I both know it - you’re not going to find ANY OTHER SHOE COMPANY that is going to put snake skin, yellow, purple, and red on a shoe. But you will do it. I don’t know if I could rock those but the concept and originality is unreal. What’s the story behind the interesting colorways on everything?

JB! > I’M REALLY NOT SURE OF WHAT MAKES ME PUSH COLORS, OTHER THAN….I HAVE A UNDERSTANDING OF TRADITIONAL COLOR THEORY.

AS FOR THE: SNAKE SKIN-YELLOW-PURPLE-RED JIONT….!! I WAS INFLUENCED & INSPIRED BY: JACOB THE JEWERLY’S WATCH FACES & COLOR PALETTES!!....THE REST WAS JUST DETAILING,THEY’LL BE OUT THIS SUMMER IN LIMITED NUMBERS..I THINK 200 PAIRS GLOBALLY


TB! > Straightforward - did JB start the whole ‘artwork right on the shoe’ thing? In that patterned style you do? Or was that inspired from anything - maybe just a natural juxtaposition that just worked for you naturally…?

JB! > ITS ALL NATURAL, I’M REALLY NOT CLAIMING “ANY FIRST TO DO SHIT” OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT…BUT YOU CAN’T PUT A DOLLAR $IGN ON SOMETHIN LIKE THIS! THE BOTTOM LINE IS CREATIVE FREEDOM, JB CLASSICS PROBABLY SITS AS A SNEAKER COMPANY THAT IS DESIGN DRIVEN AND HAS A 100% CREATIVE FREEDOM TO DO WHATEVER IN THE MARKET PLACE. SO THAT’S WHAT KEEPS ME PUTTING OUT KICKS EVERY 2-3 MONTHS FOR THE LAST 4 YEARS .... NOT TAKING MEETINGS OR PRIVATE FLIGHT / LUNCHES TO DO SOMETHING FOR ANOTHER COMPANIES DIVISION..!


TB! > Tell us some of your favorite artists and designers.

JB! > THE LIST IS ENDLESS CHUCK…..I’M DOWN WITH ANYONE WHO MAKES MARKS….AS LONG AS DO IT EVERYDAY!!


TB! > Favorite city in the US and then favorite city in the world. Where and why?

JB! > TO BE HONEST….I THINK MY ALL TIME FAVORITE SAFE HAVEN BUNKER IN THE WORLD IS SWEET ARROW LAKE IN NORTH EASTERN. PA. ...I ALSO ENJOY STAYING OVER IN EAST LONDON…REAL GOOD ENERGY!!


TB! > You call San Francisco home. I had the chance to go there for a week and a half and it is a beautiful city. Would you ever move anywhere else?

JB! > YAH, I’M LOOKIN TO MOVE INTO SAFER SPOTS AS THE YEARS GO BY….THE LESS DRAMA I’M AROUND THE BETTER! AND MORE FOCUSED I CAN BE..


TB! > Give us a rundown of who you have collaborated with.

JB! > BEINGHUNTED,TRUE,BRAD DIGITAL,RICKEY POWELL,UPPERPLAYGROUND,TRIPLEWIDE,MOTUG-LASE,DIZMOLOGY-FUTURA-TKID 170-TOOFLY-GHOST-CES-EWOK-DOZE.GREEN-SHEPARD FAIREY,RIDE SNOWBOARDS- AND A FEW NEW ONES IN THE PIPELINES LIKE DC SHOES,SNEAKER PIMPS PETE, KID ROBOT ..


TB! > Who would you LOVE to collaborate with?

JB! > ANYONE MAN….I’M OPEN TO WHATEVER AS LONG AS THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO GET DOWN DON’T PULL A PRO-WOLF JERKSTER PLAN… & UNDERSTAND THAT MAKING A SHOE IS ONE THING BUT GETTING IT OUT THERE IN THE MARKET IS THE BOTTOM LINE!


TB! > Where exactly do you work out of?

JB! > I’M ON THE MOVE FOR THE MOST PART….MAINLY, I’M IN SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON /NEW YORK LIKE EVERY OTHER MONTH AND NOW STARTING TO GO DOWN INTO L.A. A BIT.


TB! > Do you have any advice for someone out there who may be interested in getting involved in the kind of thing you do? Is it possible to just start-up a shoe company? I’d imagine you have to know some people…

JB! > WELL…FIRSTLY GOOD LUCK…IT’S A LOT OF WORK AND BE READY FOR TONS OF STRESS…SURE- IF I DECIDED TO GET INTO, BEING TV REPAIR MAN, AN ASTRONUT, A RACE CAR DRIVER, IT ALL COMES DOWN TO DEDICATION-DRIVE AND CHANCE…AN A BIT OF TALENT RIGHT..!


TB! > What are you wearing today? In a non-creepy-internet-weirdo kind of way.

JB! > WHAT??? BLACK….HAAHHAH


TB! > Any parting words? Some random comments here? Maybe some words of wisdom or inspiration? Maybe some words of despair and discouragement????

JB! > PLAY THE CARDS YOUR DELT…!! LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPEND ON IN! AN IF IT SMELLS WRONG, LOOKS WRONG….THAN ITS PROBABLY WRONG!


TB! > Last question - if I came and burnt down your house and your office - what 3 things would you make sure to save with time to spare to come beat me the hell up?

JB! > MY GIRL, MY HARD DRIVE, AND SKETCH BOOKS!!!!!!!! MAYBE A PAIR OF KICKS…AHAH


TB! > OK - this is the real last question. What do you think about THE BRILLIANCE!!??

JB! > IT’S CLEAN…..! CONGRATS…. Thanks Jason!


End.

> Website: http://www.suite2206.com/