Don C is probably best known for Just Don and its luxury treatment of sportswear items such as jerseys and hats. He also just released his second Jordan Brand collaboration to much fanfare — people waited outside in the blizzard for days. The Daily Street recently spoke to him about his new pair of Air Jordan 2s, reselling and Michael Jordan himself. Read through to see a part of the interview and click here to view the full post.
What was the creative process behind making the shoe and did you go to Portland to do it?
Definitely, when developing the shoe we took quite a few trips to Portland and we were inspired by references of a lot of luxury goods that I had consumed throughout the years and brought them for the meeting as well as a lot of vintage Jordan stuff. I think the II was really a good shoe for us to do because the original II was produced in Italy and it was like the original luxury sportswear item in popular culture, period. So I think because luxury sportswear is such a key point in what my brand represents it ended up being really appropriate for our shoe to be the Air Jordan II silhouette.
Were there any differences from the time before, with the blue one?
Oh I was talking about developing the blue one, oh okay I’m sorry, developing this one particularly then… this real light creamy colour was one of the original colours that I referenced and I thought it was so appropriate as it makes the shoe look even more luxurious. I thought that the veg tan leather added another kick that a couple luxury brands might use for trim on something and it gives a good feel when it ages. It’s gonna age well.
Was the Jordan II your favourite growing up?
Oh no, that wasn’t my favourite Jordan. No, my favourites are the IIIs, IVs, Is, VIs, and Vs and IIs. It wasn’t my absolute favourite, but Air Jordan I through VIII I’m like I pick ’em pretty much when it comes to those silhouettes.
This is the second collaboration you’ve done with a sportswear company having previously worked with Mitchell and Ness with Just Don. With that in mind, which teams do you support?
The Bulls. I’m Chi Town all the way. It starts with the Bulls in basketball but I’m also a Lakers fan, I like the Warriors and I like LeBron so I like the Cavs too, but it’s hard to like the Cavs because I’m such a Bulls fan. [laughs] I was just playing, I don’t like the Cavs. You know man, I just be repping Chicago. I try to rep it wherever I am, even while I’m out here in London I’m repping my Michael Jordan jersey.
Do you have a football team? You would call it a soccer team…
Yeah I like a few different football teams, or, nah I take that back I like the aesthetic of a few football teams logos and uniforms, so I’m not really that familiar with the teams. I’m familiar with a lot of footballers but not the teams as much. I’m starting to do a lot of research on football teams because I do want to branch out and do caps for football clubs. I’ve already started in America with the MLS so hopefully we can branch over here one day.
So what do you make of trainers becoming more of a commodity and a reselling culture? When you see your trainers on eBay for large amounts of money, how does that make you feel?
Oh man it’s part of the culture. It actually kind of makes me feel good because it shows what the market value is for a product, you know? I love the way how commerce affects products and prices and stuff like that. I think we as producers of products have to be thoughtful of the secondary market – it’s such a culture that we have to think about it when making products.
Oh, so you try to bear it in mind when you’re designing the shoe?
Yeah I love it. I come from the culture – I used to stand in line and buy twenty or thirty pairs of shoes and sell them. As a matter of fact I have a story about one of my buddies that was at the talk – Brad – I knew him from when I used to buy sneakers from him and he used to get UK releases and I used to get US releases and we would swap them. I would ship them over here and he told me he said “Man I never forget all the first sneakers that you used to send out here to me used to always have Kanye’s mixtape in the shoes” he said “I never heard of the guy and then one day I saw him on TV like ohhh this is the mixtape guy” and he just told me then so I thought that was a cool story.
That’s a great story! We just had London Collections: Men in town – do you follow high fashion as much as streetwear?
I’m inspired by a lot of young designers, like just people that I’ve never heard of that I see items that they design and I’m really seeing that with a lot of young British designers. I’m really, really impressed with the pool of talent that’s here in London, with the young kids it’s especially amazing. It’s probably the best I’ve seen throughout the world. I think that the young kids in London have the aesthetic that’s probably the coldest in the world.
Can I put you on the spot and ask you to name a couple?
I don’t want to do that because then… ah, the reason that I don’t want to name them is I don’t want to put them on blast too soon or I might want to work with them and want it to be a surprise. So I don’t want to put nothing on blast, but I’m watching.
Yeah totally. Obviously Michael Jordan is a legend – do you think there will be another NBA superstar like he was?
Absolutely, you mean like better than Jordan? You know how people always say that as the world revolves somebody is always going to be better than you… Man I really don’t see too much closer in our life time than someone being better than Michael Jordan. Of course you always want to progress, so hopefully somebody could be one day because that means that the next generation can experience moments that’s even greater than the ones we did, but I just can’t see it because it wasn’t just on the court, it was his cultural influence off the court, and at that time you know it was pre-internet that Michael Jordan had this influence on the world. I don’t think that anybody else could do that because the internet allows us to consume so much so immediately. I don’t think that we appreciate what we consume. So it’s not like Michael Jordan where we really fiended for those clips and stuff, so maybe somebody could be a good basketball player, but never another Michael Jordan.
It’ll probably be somebody who has a totally different style as Mike that could be considered as the best, but I don’t think that anybody trying to be like Mike will ever be better. You’ve got to have a different style of game to even try to be… I would guess, I don’t know though.