– I was inspired by my city and the different styles you can see in the residents in one building. It’s something everyone can find themselves in, Upscale Vandal, author of PUMA’s unique collection of hats, said in an interview with Instabaks.
Upscale Vandal, one of the leading figures in street fashion, has created a limited-edition collection of hats for the PUMA brand called Hometown Heroes. Every detail is full of symbols – from the colors and pins, to the name of the group itself. What is behind it? It was revealed to us by the Creator Himself.
Upgrade your Vandal with a limited set of hats for PUMA
Who is the “hero of the homeland”? A loyal person to his community, he remains loyal to his roots – both athletic and artistic. This is the message the upscale Vandal wanted to convey in his original hat line – a tribute to PUMA’s rich artistic culture and sporting history. The three models of models are based on different decades of style: soccer from the 1950s, basketball from the 1990s, and competitive sports from the 2000s. Therefore, world stars of sports and art were invited to the campaign: football player Neymar Jr. Christian Pulisic, basketball player Kyle Kuzma and music artist Mike Towers.
– Hometown Hero is someone who acts selflessly for the benefit of a particular community. It shows and develops individual infiltration in a particular person, and above all, it builds personal bonds, which will pay off in the future – says Instabaks, a leading Polish sneaker and fan of Upscale Vandala. It is a stimulating factor for creating wonderful activities and projects. Once upon a time, for me, these guys on the football field were the best, but they didn’t turn their heads and share their advice with younger or less experienced people on how to be better. Currently, for me, they are designers, cyclists and people from the industry who, despite the strong competition in the market, are not afraid to offer their own workshop and dedicate their valuable time. Thanks to this, they infect others with their vision and passion so that they can create wonderful things and develop themselves.
Puma Hometown Heroes Collection
Especially for Noizz Instabaks, speak with the author of the PUMA Hometown Heroes group, Upscale Vandal, who told him how the hat group was created and what’s behind its name.
Instabaks: Hi Mike! Or should I call you Upscale Vandal? We are glad that you wanted to answer some questions for your Polish fans of your work.
Upscale vandal: Thank you very much and I’m glad I have Polish fans!
Can you tell us where your nickname, Upscale Vandal, came from?
It’s all about contrasts – high versus low. Where I come from, there are a lot of underprivileged, “basement” people who are trying to survive but at the same time yearn for the luxurious and totally expensive lifestyle. So I want these worlds to collide, I try to connect high and low in everything I do.
What are your beginnings in the fashion industry as a celebrity fashion designer? Do you have any tips for beginners looking to take their chance in fashion?
I am not a celebrity fashion designer. I’ve modeled for celebrities before, but that was only part of the creative process. My tips for beginners is to make sure it’s something you really like because it’s not an easy task.
I have read in many interviews that you have always liked to stand out in a crowd. I have the same. How did you deal with the criticism of others who glorified the classic style and the safe approach to the topic of fashion?
I’ve never really cared about criticism because anyone who has changed the world has been criticized is part of the way. I’d rather be with 10 wolves than with 100 sheep. Just be a wolf.
I have worked with many famous names. Who do you think really stands out in terms of style and approach to fashion?
Pharrell Williams is the greatest in all things lifestyle, so being able to work with him really shaped my approach.
Let’s talk about your collaboration with PUMA. This isn’t the first time they’ve worked together. Can you tell us more about how it all began?
I have been a member of the PUMA family for over 6 years and this is one of my favorite partnerships throughout my career. Emory Jones introduced me to the company about 9 years ago and always tried to add a little creativity from my perspective and over time I feel like I’ve become part of the material that has built the brand in recent years in terms of presence and cultural input. It’s a really great honor.
The best athletes appear in the global campaign. What is the discipline closest to your heart and why?
I would say football. I am Colombian, so football is part of my cultural acid. And my dad always wanted me to be a professional soccer player, so supporting my projects with them is a blessing that keeps the story closed.
Who was your “hometown hero” when you were young?
My friend D-Block was one of the first entrepreneurs I met and respected. I was fortunate to receive some of his guidance so early in my life. I feel this helped me separate truth from falsehood.
Where did the idea of adding staples to lids come from? Was it your initiative or the Puma brand?
I’ve always liked to spice up my personal hats with pins and studs, so when we started working on projects we thought it would be a good idea to give people a similar option.
Where did you get your inspiration for the Hometown Heroes collection? Each hat model is from a different necklace and has a different theme, so I guess you had to search really hard to find what you were looking for.
I was inspired by my city and the different styles you can see with the locals in one building on the property. It is something everyone can find themselves in.
How do you feel when you see one of the greatest athletes wearing the clothes you designed?
It is very surreal. I still can’t believe this is really my life. I consider it like a dream.
What are your favorite PUMA shoes? Do you prefer the classic versions or the futuristic ones?
I love a little bit of everything, I love innovation, but can something beat the classics? Personally, I’ve been wearing a lot of Slipstream shoes lately, and they’re my current favorite.
Remember your first pair of PUMA shoes?
Definitely! The first pair I bought with my money was the R698.
Sneakers or clothes?
You surprised me because you have a huge selection of sneakers with more than 580 pairs. Did you get into all of them?
I haven’t worn them all yet, but I’m trying! If I wore a new pair every day, I wouldn’t have made it even in a year. The problem is that I get a couple of new pairs every few weeks until the pile gets bigger and bigger. It’s a never ending story.
What’s the TOP 3 PUMA shoe in your collection?
My current PUMA TOP 3 shoe is the 2016 Suede Trapstar, Butter Goods Slipstream and of course my Velocity Nitro training shoe.