Over the years we have had a number of hits that have defined who and what we are, and those things should never change. I had an interesting chat with a friend of mine over coffee this week about this, and he was telling me what he loves about this brand, what he loves about that brand and what his favorite pieces are from each. The interesting thing is these brands stopped playing their hits, so to speak. I can understand this as a designer because some things from the past I want to move forward. As creatives, we live in the future, and that stuff is old news to us. But also as a creative, I think it’s important to put your consumer hat on for a second and take a step back and assess what the customer wants. I think one needs to strike a balance between offering new things, which is important to evolve the brand and push it forward, and staying true to the brand’s heritage, which is equally important. I liken it to Ralph Lauren. Imagine if one day Ralph woke up and was like we are no longer doing polo shirts anymore. People would get upset by that, and so it is with the brand.
I want to evolve, I want to create the future, I want to expand, but I have also come to realize working in the store what people like about the brand and what they want from us. People ask for the Knomadik stuff, they love the gym shorts, so I think it’s important to play our hits and reach into the archive once in a while. That is essentially why I created the Classics Collection - to have staple, iconic pieces that stand the test of time that people know and love and associate as “Daniel Patrick”. Forgetting this would alienate the fans that have made us who we are because let’s face it, who are we without our customers? Art, in essence, is a two-way street between the creator and the viewer or consumer. What I love about our classics is how rooted they are in simplicity yet heavy in small details, which hits the mark. So with the feedback of the customers in mind, I will continue to push the envelope and create the future of the brand. But I will also not forget to play our hits because those are what made us who we are today.
If you went to a Kanye concert, or any of your favorite artists for that matter, you would want to hear 808s & Heartbreak just as much as you would want to hear Donda, well I know I would anyway. On another note too, I love a retro Jordan or an Adidas Predator re-make of the original as well, and I like it to be exactly how it was when it was first released. It’s nostalgic and evokes that same feeling as a kid. I’m not a big fan of these re-makes with the new sole plates in the case of a Predator or even a Jordan with a Jumpman logo instead of the “Nike Air” that it originally came with. And I think they sometimes get these right too, but I like to create the product in its pure form as much as possible anyway. Some improvements can also be good because we have leveled up our details and quality since those products. So in essence, we should be able to make an even better version of it, as long as the ingredients that people know and love are still there. Here’s to the past, present and future and staying true to who we are and where we’ve come from and the people that helped get us here! Cheers.