Q. Hello Steven, Be yourself, somewhere else – a typical Black Lodges set.
S. Absolutely. I am the biggest misanthrope among all. No, leave me alone! The constant struggle I lead. I always like to capsule myself. Zero on something else. And especially when I released that streetwear book back then. Respectively Thames & Hudson had brought it out. That went through the roof, 120,000 books were sold off. It came out in 2006, since I had already finished with this topic. At the time, the streetwear boom ebbed away as this whole menswear story popped up. And now it’s the big issue again. Did I miss the boat for 20 years? What’s going on here?
Before that, I worked for streetwear today and I did a street culture exhibition in Berlin with the two guys. From 2003-2005. Thames & Hudson came around the corner, giant publisher in England, and asked if I wanted to write a book. I wrote this book quite innocently. It was much too successful then, it went so far that people had stopped me on the street. In NY, in fuckin LA, and I did not realize it at all. I was still young, 26 years old. And I was like this: Nah, that’s not mine. And then I withdrew. Then I started working for my agency and worked in the background for Burton, Carhartt, Edwin, Levis etc. Ironically, the brands had only hired me because of the shitty book. They wanted to have a fuckin poster boy, who then creates the credibility outside. What I never understood and never wanted. After eight years, I finally pulled the plug and said: Nah, fuck off! I just want to live in peace. Then I came from London first to Cologne, then Berlin and then to Hamburg. Because I knew that I could work internationally and earn the money, but still live anonymously.
Therefore, maybe this misanthropic, because I just do not bother to people who find hype cool. Yes, ok, it’s part of business, but I’m not into it. I’ve never seen a job in there. I did it because I think it’s cool. Then I worked in a skate shop in England just because I enjoyed it. And then it started that people found you cool, just because you wore the right T-shirt. That was exactly the reason for me to say, after this streetwear book, that I have no interest whatsoever and I’m not good at it either. I want to design my stuff, and you’re done. I want to walk through the streets without anyone wanting something from me.