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FNG Real Talk: Brandon Babenzien

Brandon Babenzien from Supreme — Interview (English)

Words: Gianluca Quagliano | Photography: Valeria Picerno | versione italiana


Intro

You may know Supreme and you may be a fan of the brand, but still, you might have never heard Brendon Babenzien’s name. Brendon is a gentleman and a perfectionist.
When you’re Supreme’s creative director you can’t fuck around though, that’s why it was hard for him to find time to answer to our questions and let us take a few pics of him, but hey…we don’t fuck around either so, after 47 emails, here’s the interview to Brandon Babenzien, Supreme’s creative director. Enjoy!



1. What is your occupation and how long you’ve been doing it?

I guess you could say im the head designer at Supreme but there are a lot of people that are involved in the design process and who play important roles in all of the decisions we make, including James who owns the company. Its a serious group effort. I’ve been with Supreme on and off for a long time.

2. How did you get started? Which is your background?

I got started in retail when i was very young. I worked in a surf/skate shop at the age of 13 and worked there for 8 years. During that time, my friends and I got really into music and skating, surfing and snowboarding. This was kind of the intro to what later became a business of sorts. A friend of mine started a company when we were very young and made clothes that represented a life that we were living. It was called Pervert. It was one of the early kind of street brands I guess. I went to work with him and that was how i started really understanding the development of clothing.

3. How does the creative process works? You wake up, go to the office and…

Actually, before i go to the office, i go for a 12 mile run. That gets my body and my brain going. It sets me up to be fresh and ready for the rest of the day. Once I am at the office, much of the time is spent either planning the next collection or reviewing samples that have arrived. We have to make sure the colors, fit, buttons, graphics, etc. are all correct. This takes up most of the time.

The actual creative process is not a process at all. It occurs outside of the office during the rest of my life. You dont really think about anything. You just go about your business and then the things around you have influenced you. Once you sit down to develop the next collection, you just design the things you naturally want.

4. What does inspire you when you start working on a new collection?

Usually the inspiration is not so specific. We are generally inspired by NY and the history of NY, especially around music and the art world. This also brings in the history of skating, crime, politics, anything really that has had an impact on this town and feels like a cultural touchstone.

5. You’ve been working with different brands. From Supreme to Noah, Aprix and K-Swiss lately. Those are all quite different brands with their own approach to style. How do you handle it?

Everyone I have worked with, has been a natural fit for me. There is always something I connect with naturally. I have been lucky to have grown up in NY and had a very diverse life so i can work within a brand like supreme but also design things that are from a different area of my life like Noah, or even sports stuff for K Swiss. I dont believe anyones life is so one dimensional. If it is, they probably need to take a good look at themselves.