Monday, March 20th, 2017 | T: Antonella Sonza
Berlin, the promised land. Where the nightclubs run underground, the abandoned houses are real masterpieces, and the cold is no excuse to not got outside and let everything flow. What harm could that do? When you are in Berlin there’s an underline promise that the most unexpected events can and will occur. lamono visited the German capital a few days ago, and the reason to do so couldn’t be better: the launching of the new Supra sneakers, the Skytop V, the silhouette Chad Muska designed along the brand more than ten years ago. An ephemeris worth to commemorate at the epicenter of Europe’s street wear capital, with an event where la crème dela crème regarding trends and urban culture was invited. Everything was orchestrated through a series of challenges we all had to overcome via Instagram. The real challenge was actually to keep up with all the madness. But don’t worry; nothing is impossible for this team that has conquered a thousand and one festive battles. Photos: Luiza Lacava Text: Antonella Sonza
Each one of us is the author of our own story, and along the process we are usually aware that some moments are more important than others; moments that define who we are or who we want to be, moments that become an inflection point and give us a pause to ponder upon the path we have covered, about where we are. When Supra does this, and hovers its gaze upon its past, it will find that its conception was like a perfect storm that resulted in a brand that had revolutionized the footwear scene, taking skateboarding out of the skate parks and sharing it with the world. One of the main triggers behind this perfect storm has a name of its own, Chad Muska, rider, artist, designer, musician and hustler, best known because of his restlessly creative soul, on and off the board. He was one of the sparks that detonated the Supra bomb, which exploded in the year 2006, as a response and vindication to the fact that skateboarding is not longer just a sport, but a culture with a highly determined style. So, if it is, in fact, a culture, why wouldn’t we wear skateboarding shoes anytime, anywhere, making them an integral aspect of the urban look? That’s the premise upon the conception of the Skytop, a silhouette created to break with the dull monotony behind the typical skateboarding shoes, everlasting ’til then: low, wide and thick.
Photo by Zach Surprenant @mightyprodzach
The Skytop are a creation of Chad Muska himself, alongside designer Josh Brubaker, and they broke all the existing rules with them: they became the perfect blend between the urban style and the skateboarding spirit, brought together in an elegant manner. Sneakers the skateboarders would wear to go skating but as well out partying; they became the symbol of a lifestyle within the skateboarding community, first in California and then in the rest of the world, taking Supra to excel as a worldwide brand. The rest is a successful history that brings us all the way to the year 2017, as we meet in Berlin to celebrate the fifth edition of this model. The Skytop V, the new baby of the family, brought in to celebrate the brand’s tenth year anniversary. So there we were, the sneaker heads and the cool kids from all across Europe, together to pay homage to the newborn. The party started with a presentation at Atelier, right in the middle of the Moritzplatz Station. It was just the beginning and everyone was dancing as if it were 5 in the am already. It could be said that they were ‘dance testing’ the Skytop V, and the result: an A+. At the venue, we could see all the new designs and available colors (white, black, green and pink), and had the chance of meeting Adam Contreras, the designer that has worked side by side with Muska to bring us these silhouette. Though Muska could not be physically present, he was everywhere: all of his creations were aligned on the walls of Atelier, starting at I, all the way up to V. This, the most recent one, is the most experimental of them all, according to Muska himself. On one side, the design, with futuristic and minimalist tinges, and on the other, the innovations and reinforcements on the toe area, which make them perfect for skating. This decision represent Muska’s paradigm: bet hard or not even play at all.
The vibe was great, very different to Paris. It was the classic party where everyone is dancing and having fun right away. The St Georg is underground and dirty, but is the kind of place that makes Berlin special – David Viegas, Party Animal.
After the party at Atelier, we had to face the first challenge: lamono had to choose the Party Animal of the night, the guy or girl that was rocking it all out at the dance floor of the St Georg: Berlin’s underground hotspot known for its savage rap and hip hop sessions. The ultimate test for our Skytop V came as we danced off in the front row, pouring ourselves to the Neverland Clan beats. After a monumental night that extended until dawn, it was time to choose that person that had conquered us due to its celebratory abilities: and the winner was David Viegas, journalist and photographer for the French lifestyle publication, Cyclone Magazine. Throughout brunch he told us that the best part of the evening happened when he was able to talk with Adam Contreras, and how, during the conversation, they had relived their days while in the Supra skate team. The good ol’ times.
Photo by Sina Lesnik / @hi_imsuperwoman
Our Party Animal. Photo by Sina Lesnik / @hi_imsuperwoman
For Adam Contreras, the Skytop are the materialization of a latent dream. He has always been passionate about creative artistry, so the moment when, being in the Supra Team, he got a call from Muska to help in the brainstorming to take the design further, something just clicked. His transition to the design team of the brand happened organically, since he has always been interested in all the silhouettes and innovations the brand’s had between hands, thus he knew exactly how to hit the spot. Today he is a senior designer, and season after season, each sneaker turns into a white canvas in front of his eyes, full of possibilities, but at the same time, facing the biggest challenge in his career: balancing functionality and aesthetics. The Skytop V is just another chapter for the tandem Muska-Contreras, which is destined to present us with other great innovations.
Saturday, the Day After –yes, with capital letters-, came along with another challenge: we had to cover Berlin by foot looking for the wildest photograph to celebrate the arrival of the Skytop V. Have you ever seen the movie Rat Race? Well, it was nothing like that; all together, we decided to go to one of the most kitsch places in Berlin, the Dong Xuan Center, a complex replete with Asian stores offering the widest variety of services, from street food to towels with little kittens, plastic flowers, fishnet stockings, and “Adicted” brand pants. A bizarre paradise where the mannequins have sinister faces and you can eat a Pad Thai while getting a hair cut. One of those hidden gems in Berlin, only known to the locals, a place worth visiting, church. There we let our competitive instinct guide us and we went looking for THE photograph; the quest led us to climb on top of an industrial container wearing the Skytop. An experiment that seemed way easier than it actually was… eventually, the winning photograph wasn’t that far: we snapped it in our own hotel room.
The Berlin Hilton was the chosen headquarters for the Supra Team. There, each day, an envelope waited for us, sent under our door, with all the required information for the next challenge. Saturday night was the chosen time for the last one, which consisted in simply enjoying of the company of those who had been the protagonists of this trip: all the people that carry fashion in their DNA and gave every inch of themselves in all the challenges, in every picture, in every party. It was an absolute pleasure building some Berlin memoirs with such a great and close team, coordinated by the Marketing and PR Manager in Europe for Supra Footwear, Stefania Marcuzzi, who organized an event that turned out superb. An event where we had the chance of running into a close friend, Oscar Candon, rider for the Supra Team, and with whom we had the chance in the past of talking in Barcelona during the launch of his signature shoes with the brand. And so, after an amusing dinner, between onion rings and French fries, we carried out a shooting, recorded a video and interviewed Adam Contreras; the perfect way to put an end to our journey. A flash expedition to Berlin that offered us one valuable lesson: the sky’s not the limit, but industrial containers are hard to climb.
Photo by Sina Lesnik / @hi_imsuperwoman
Photo by Sina Lesnik / @hi_imsuperwoman
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