Bodega and Reebok have stitched up one of the year's freshest collabs with their new AXT beige burner. Little known though is the pivotal role played by Bodega's new four-fingered intern Terry Blay in the shoe's development. Avenue Q superstar and notorious sneaker head Blay is the most powerful bath mat in the sneaker game today, shaking up the scene with his behind the scenes power plays. We caught up with Blay and the Bodega team to find out more abut the Muppet behind the myth...
Terry Blay, thanks for taking the time to sit with us. So, you seem to be a sort of enigma. Why don't you tell us where you're from and your background?
TB: For sure! I'm from the Fitch! Fitchburg, Mass - home of the famous actor Bruce Gordon who performed in the epic movie Ishtar. We came from the same neighborhood called the 'Patch.' Bruce was my main inspiration in wanting to become an actor when Parsons didn't work out. That's how I ended up on Broadway in Avenue Q.
How did you get into Parsons?
TB: My dad owns a dealership.
Umm, okay... So, Parsons didn't work out for you?
TB: Yeah, nah. I got sidetracked while in school. One night, my boy Aiden was throwing a three keger [sic] in his dorm, and I blacked out. I woke up the next morning in someone's closet surrounded by kicks. It was an epiphany! I pretty much spent most of 2006 chasing hype releases like the 'Shake ‘n' Bakes', the Crustaceans, PBR's, and the Arafats. My life had new meaning and purpose.
But things started to get real bad when my grades started slipping, and that's when both my dad and step mom Janice cut me off. I ended up baying [sic] my whole collection of kicks. When that money ran out, I got this paid walk-on roll for Avenue Q. I killed it that first night, so they kept me on as a regular. Things were chill until some bogus accusations arose with a fellow female puppeteer.
I ended up on the 'Left Coast' doing impromptu street art performances and giving blood for money. Things were a real grind from what I remember of that time. I was traveling around non-stop just straight hustling for jobs. One day, some friends invited me down to the Burning Man Festival. I'm not sure what exactly happened - we got ripped and when I woke up, it was 2010. Thats was when I realized I needed to get my life in order. Wanting to head back east and focus more on the shoe game, I answered an ad on CL Casual Encounters for an internship at Bodega.
So, that's how you ended up interning at Bodega...
TB: Well, not really. My request for an internship was denied. But, I just started showing up everyday, hanging out front at the Bodega. I would take it upon myself to organize the line out front at every major release they had. One day, I'm hanging around the shop, and I see them dudes out front working on these AXT designs. So, I start to tell them how I had the 'Tennis Balls' from way back when and what they needed to do to make the shoe hype. I'm not sure, but at times, they seemed to get aggravated with me. But when you know the game like I do, it's hard not to be opinionated. I felt the internship was pretty much on starting that day. They just recognized the talent and pretty much let the kid take over, so I stayed on designing shoes. Those AXT's were all my idea!
Bodega, is this account true?
Bodega: Well, Terry is a very special person. Here at the shop, we realize every individual is filled with infinite potential and purpose. We allowed Terry to perform simple tasks such as breaking down boxes, taking out the trash, stocking the fridge, etc. etc. Unfortunately, Terry has some learning and social disabilities, so these tasks proved rather difficult for him. I think, ultimately, we felt some sympathy for Terry and allowed him to nickname the shoe. Oddly enough, the name he gave seems to be a personal reflection of his awful habits.
So, Terry what did you name the shoe?
TB: After a typical heavy design session, I get a bit parched from getting my mind open - so, I named them the "Cotton Mouths." Bodega let me throw in some of the essentials needed by every good designer with every pair.
Bodega: This is actually true! Each pair of Reebok x Bodega 'Cotton Mouth' AXT's will come with a variety of Terry's essentials - while supplies last. The essentials consist mostly of his favorite mug, mints, the 'Terry Blay' ashy lip balm, imposter designer cologne, and the 'Terry Blay' Kolor form dress up sheet. The official release date of the "Cotton Mouth" will be Saturday, March 12th 2011 at the shop here in Boston and on our online store. Box price always $135.00
Terry, any last remarks?
TB: I would like to give a shout to Sneaker Freaker, Bodega, Reebok, White Lion, and 'the game' - it is that serious...