Meet Pins. He’s got a mad hankering for Krispy Kremes and even crispier kicks! The South London customizer has been whipping up delicious foot treats for over five years now – even Mariah and Usher are addicted! With a massive takeover in his sights, Pins has churned out a smorgasbord of sizzling apparel set to take his brand into the stratosphere. Dale Parr from SoleHeaven took ten out with the Donut master to ask the hard-hitting questions. As seen in Issue 19 of Sneaker Freaker.
Where does PINS come from?
The boring answer is that ‘pin’ is actually the middle part of my real name, which only a handful of people including the tax man know! The cool answer is that I’m sharp like pins and constantly seeking perfection. To add to this coolness, PINS is the acronym for ‘Pins Imagination Never Sleeps!’ and it really doesn’t!
What got you in the custom game?
So, there I was – Fashion with Business Degree in hand, parents happy and proud, everything seemed nice – it is at this point you think to yourself ‘Ok should I go get a full time job or take a gap year?’ Then one day, walking home after munching the phattest frankfurter deluxe with extra onions at Doughmasters, I noticed a new shop which just opened up in the ends stocking all the freshest New Era caps and I was like… Ohkayyyy! So I took a waltz in, had a look around and instantly had a thought: ‘Why not customise some of the hats with characters or graffiti lettering then sell them on?’ That kicked off my custom game way back in 2005. Throughout my five years hustling in the business, I’ve mastered various techniques from airbrush, hand-painting and spraycan art on to surfaces including clothing, furniture, exterior spaces and of course, sneakers. Previous clients include Mariah Carey, Usher, Kelly Rowland, Cheryl Cole and Sway to name but a few.
Nice work PINS! Is Krispy Kreme the biggest influence in your life?
Ha! No my mum has an over-ridiculous work ethic which I admire and got mad respect for! Regarding artwork, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali are my biggest influences, the bold and surreal and Krispy Kreme for staying true to the game after all these years providing possibly the most krispalicious donuts ever, the Chocolate Dreamcake. You could say Krispy Kreme donuts is to me what the Campbell’s soup can was to Warhol, a reflection of the consumer world we live in.
Any secrets or projects?
No secrets myself, but I know loads of other peoples, I’m that guy you can tell your deepest, darkest secrets to and I aint gonna tell no one, I’m cool like that, just call me Uncle Pins! As for projects, expect more personal bits ‘n bobs, more crazy sneaker concepts and more donuts!
Do you work with other peeps?
I love doing everything myself. It gives me a great sense of ownership and allows you to learn different aspects of the design game. To see a concept develop from an initial sketch, through to a wearable piece of art is a good feeling! Seeing it on other people is even better! I’m all for collabs, and would bang heads with like-minded peeps, but right now, I feel I need to set the pace and knockout fresh bits under my own terms.
What are your long term aspirations?
To be one of the coolest brands out there without trying to be a cool brand. To continue to display my imagination by any means necessary. To make people think and smile when viewing my work. To get the go-ahead from Nike and design the dopest collection of AM90s ever with matching apparel!!
So you’re a 90 man all the way?
I own Vans, Adidas, Puma, Jordans, Supras etc and have been drawn to them because of good design or colourways, but when it comes to good design AND comfort, I would have to say the AM90s are on-point! Love an air bubble! Thankyou Tinker Hatfield for exposing your air bags! But yeah, I love all types of fresh kicks, the smell, the taste and the whole 10 minutes it takes me to format the laces so they just drop right. It’s all about them droopy loopy loops, it’s a Souwf London ting from school days!