Happy Trails: Teki Latex, Harnessing the Abstract Flow of Energy
Part of Sneaker Freaker Issue 45's 'Happy Trails' expedition, Julien Pradeyrol, better known as Teki Latex, is a Paris-based DJ and music impresario with a serious case of the hots for tech outerwear and trail-busting footwear. You might not find him hauling ass on La Grande Traverseé des Alpes anytime soon, but Teki is a passionate brand savant with a mountain of Japanese secondhand vintage expeditions behind him.
During the quiet times of lockdown, Teki started documenting his daily rotations via tekilatex, where he fine-tuned his colour-matching skills and developed a unique approach to layering incongruous apparel. As he reveals in this thoughtful interview, dressing for the Great Outdoors is about harnessing the abstract flow of energy.
I have always been attracted by the aesthetics of outerwear, the jackets, shoes, straps and futuristic style. Aside from rap, Armand Van Helden videos and the whole Japanese hiking vibe, maybe it subconsciously comes from the toys I played with when I was a kid. M.A.S.K and Star Wars action figures have that multi-pocket look and the idea of different outfits serving different functions. G.I. Joe had ninjas, tactical gear, snow stuff and camouflage, all inspired by the military obviously, but with a degree of fantasy that elevated and separated it from boring old soldiers. Starcom’s toy packaging design is kind of similar to Polo Sport – the little American flag is insane.
Do you remember the obscure Rock Lords toy line from the 80s, where the robots transformed into plain rocks? I look back and they instantly make me think of multi-layered jackets and ACG shoes. The rock parts are similar to the rugged earth-tone exoskeleton of a shoe or the solid aspect of an outer shell, while the robot parts and technology hidden underneath the rock make me think of the neoprene booties in outdoor shoes and the pops of colour on the lining or inner layers. I guess that clash of technology and nature left a big impression on me.
I like to tap into an ‘abstract flow of energy’ when I put together my outfits, which is a bit like a chef who sits in front of his pans and gets an idea for a new way to assemble ingredients and create something better than the sum of its parts. Same with selecting tracks from different eras that complement each other nicely when I’m DJing. I try to lure people in then surprise them with something they don’t know, highlighting common sonic traits which come from very different places while maintaining a certain coherence.
I also try to do the same thing when I select an outfit, finding one detail that calls back to another completely different piece from another brand, another era or world. I’ll look at something and ideas will cascade. For example, I’ll look at a shoe with a set of colours and that gives me a blueprint, then I’ll keep that in the back of my mind when assembling my outfit...
To read the rest of our up-close with Teki Latex, be sure to grab your copy of Issue 45 now via the Sneaker Freaker shop!