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25 Jul 2008

Industry News

Han Cholo Interview

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Customising and interpreting sneakers as a piece of art is nothing new to the culture, but when Puma approached L.A. jewellery kings Han Cholo to take on their own collaboration, no one could have imagined the “gold” they would produce. Possibly the most opulent sneaker to ever be created, Han Cholo took inspiration from the cases of jewels that adorn their shop floor along with the obvious influence of L.A. Cholo culture to create a jaw dropping showpiece for the feet. We chilled with Cholo’s Brandon Schoolhouse to get the 411 on how they came up with the “Goldie Han” idea, and how a jewellery store has found itself with its own sneaker!

Hey Guys, how has been business boomin’ in LA?
How are you? Business has been pretty good.

The store is about to drop the new “Goldie Han” First Round with Puma. Are you the first jewellery store to have collaboration?
I think we are the only jewellery store to have our own shoe with Puma.

When did you guys start fleshing out ideas to bring out a sneaker? How did you decide on Puma to collaborate with?
Well we started some collaborations with them already and a shoe just seemed to make sense. And we wanted to make a shoe that stood out like our jewellery. It took a while but we fabricated our own material, “the Gold Nugget” for the shoe.

The process of making jewellery seems much more painstaking than making footwear, with a greater sense of perfection and detail in every piece you make. Did this influence the process in making the “Goldie Han”?
Yes, I wanted to use all the elements I work with everyday such as Gold Nugget, and purple for Los Angeles with a hint of monster green for our own color. We also had to develop our own material which came out dope and screen-printed chains on the laces. We wanted to incorporate new ways of designing a shoe and not just pick a color way and throw our name on it. We made some changes to the First Round Puma Shoe that no one else has done before such as the purple satin material. Embroidered inside and on the tongue of the shoe is “Cuts of Diamonds and Gems” in gold as well.

Puma aren’t the first folks you have collaborated with. You hit up electro DJs MSTRKRFT with pendants and Han Cholo also had a helping hand in the amazing belt buckles from the Yo!MTV Raps collection. How strict is the store on whom they collaborate with, and what is your general checklist before diving into projects?
Yeah I usually work with people or companies I’m a fan of. Either that, or if it’s a challenge and something fresh.

The name and inspiration for the store is a mash up of the heritage of the L.A. culture with your love of Star Wars in all its glory. How have these two elements influenced every piece you drop in store?
Being from Los Angeles, I’m always influenced everyday in things around me. And being a fan of Sci- Fi comes out in my work.

What seems to be your best seller at the moment, on the jewellery tip? Has there been a boom in the market with the blitz on Gabriel Urist’s work and your store gaining a lot more attention with the sneaker colab?
Our best seller still to this day is our Open Space Ring; it’s simple but yet classy for men and women. I think there has definitely been a boom in the jewellery industry, which is very cool to see.

What are your thoughts on footwear brands looking outside the box with collaborations these days? Rather than joining forces with artists, musicians, and sneaker stores to promote their brand, they are now looking to other elements in the culture that have made an impact on the scene.
I think it’s cool that big shoe companies are collaborating with other artists and companies. But what makes it even cooler is if they give them free reign to do what they want and feel that represents them. And that’s what Puma did with us.

Where do you see footwear going in the future? Are we going to see more high end, limited sneakers created into pieces of art you can wear, much like the jewellery that Han Cholo creates?
I loved doing this project with Puma; it was something I only dreamed of doing. I hope I can do another shoe real soon.

When can we expect to see the “Goldie Han” on the shelves and will it only be available in store?
The Goldie Hans are limited to 150 pairs and are sold exclusively at our store and are available now.

25 Jul 2008

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