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The story behind artist Cassius Hirst’s unique Prada collaboration


We discuss to the artist about reinventing Prada’s most iconic sneakers in his signature type and gaining a cult following of well-known followers

Artist Cassius Hirst – who goes by the moniker Cass – has at all times been drawn to sneakers as canvases on which to specific himself. The distinctive sculptural qualities of trainers mixed with their wealthy evocations of in style tradition; their standing as objects of design added to their ubiquitousness as on a regular basis articles of clothes make them compelling cultural artifacts. “Trainers are amazing to work with,” he tells Dazed. “Mostly because they have so many layers and so much depth.”

He was 14 when he first painted a pair of trainers. He gave them as a present for his father – artwork world luminary Damien Hirst. “Those shoes were so different from what I’ve been making in the past few years,” he recollects. Since then, his follow has developed and Cass’ customised, hand-painted sneakers have achieved a cult following amongst a number of the most influential figures from the worlds of trend and music, together with the likes of A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Offset, Rihanna, AJ Tracey, and the late, nice Virgil Abloh.

Now, the cutting-edge artist has partnered with Prada Linea Rossa to reimagine their iconic America’s Cup sneaker in a restricted version vary of particular items, every pair completely distinctive with labels that includes the artist’s distinct signature. The co-branded Prada field is hallmarked by the Cassius Hirst emblem – a scan of his mind, a logo which holds vital which means for Cass.

“The brain scan represents hope and knowledge in a world of shadows and uncertainty,” he explains in a press release from Prada. “The brain is where the thoughts happen – for me it all became about creativity and the creative process. I’ve learned that sometimes we have to look inside ourselves to see what’s really going on. We shouldn’t be afraid of that.”

Taking their names from musical terminology denoting the ‘life’ or ‘evolution’ of a sound, the gathering contains 4 distinct designs: ATT4CK, D3CAY, SUST4IN, and REL3ASE. In every expression, Cass shows his advanced strategies of portray footwear – from the textural innovation of ATT4CK, the layered, distressed type of D3CAY, the intense simplicity of SUST4IN, and the pure neon two-tone spray paint of REL3ASE.

He loves the immediacy of spray paint – the way in which the paint “moves through the air” and the rapidity at which it permits him to work. Music can be a seminal facet of his follow as an artist, touching each a part of his inventive course of. He composed the soundtrack which options on the marketing campaign accompanying his Prada collab – a shocking, conceptual sequence of nonetheless and shifting picture shot by Axel Morin. “I wanted everyone in painted masks to keep the focus on the designs, the shoes and the amazing Prada outfits,” Cass recollects, describing the one-of-a-kind painted masks he created for the shoot. 

Take a glance by means of the gallery above for a glimpse of Axel Morin’s marketing campaign for Cass x Prada. Below, we discuss to Cassius Hirst about rising up on the unconventional vanguard of the British artwork world, his relationship with the legendary America’s Cup sneaker, and the way he reconfigured this iconic design for a brand new era of Prada wearers. 

Please may you start by speaking us by means of the gathering? 

Cass Hirst: To me, the entire sequence appears like a show of the evolution of types and strategies I’ve learnt in my very own exploration of portray footwear. ATT4CK is my approach of increasing the shoe and creating additional texture for the paint to work with. D3CAY is a lot of my strategies layered on high of one another after which blended collectively by means of distressing. SUST4IN is the highest level of the sequence in my eyes, like flying by means of the clouds and attending to the clear skies above. It has easy, vivid colors with white on the edges and is certainly one among my favorite designs. REL3ASE appears like the right place to finish the sequence… pure neon two-tone to indicate off the natural form of the America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup sneaker is such an icon of design. What appeals to this coach specifically? Does it maintain particular significance for you in any approach? 

Cass Hirst: The significance of the America’s Cup sneaker has solely turn out to be obvious to me by means of the method of portray, I didn’t know a lot in regards to the shoe earlier than this mission. Looking on the footwear from a purely visible perspective helped me to make the best selections when arising with these designs. 

“I think growing up around art made me quite rebellious towards the art world” – Cassius Hirst

How did you strategy customising this design traditional? How did you start to reconfigure this design traditional for a brand new era of Prada wearers? 

Cass Hirst: My first strategy when portray these was to check out the strategies I used to be used to, and seeing how the outcomes differed from my earlier work. This course of confirmed me what labored finest and what didn’t work so nicely. In phrases of the brand new era of wearers, I needed to create sufficient colourways and types for everybody to search out one thing they like and to enchantment to a broad vary of individuals, fairly than creating designs that solely present one mind-set. 

Please may you inform us about your follow? Do you may have any inventive rituals? How and when do you’re employed finest?

Cass Hirst: It appears like I’m wired to work in a specific approach. I usually get up and go straight to the studio, just about every single day. I largely simply gas myself with tea and cigarettes and eat a lot lower than I ought to. Definitely not the perfect rituals. 

Growing up surrounded by artwork should’ve given you such a singular perspective. In what methods do you assume your background has impressed your curiosity in trend? And how do you assume this has knowledgeable this explicit collaboration? 

Cass Hirst: I feel rising up round artwork made me fairly rebellious in direction of the artwork world. When I used to be youthful, I hated artwork and thought it was silly… in all probability as a result of I used to be being dragged round artwork galleries rather a lot. But these days, I get pleasure from all the pieces much more and I really feel like that detrimental power has turn out to be constructive. In trend particularly, I discover myself asking a variety of questions like, ‘Why didn’t they only do this?’ And this collaboration has been a chance to have my enter and create a remaining product I’m pleased with.

What’s the attract of trainers and why do they make such an thrilling canvas to work on? 

Cass Hirst: Trainers are wonderful to work with largely as a result of they’ve so many layers and a lot depth. They’re all so distinctive and it appears like each time I paint a pair, I be taught one thing new. 

What appeals to you about working with spray paint as a medium? 

Cass Hirst: Spray paint is my favorite medium for therefore many causes, it was so enjoyable for me at such a younger age, largely due to the bottom you’ll be able to cowl in such a brief house of time. I at all times hated how a lot time you must put in when drawing and portray… a lot time to doubt your individual selections. With spray paint, it’s all very fast-paced. I additionally love how the paint strikes by means of the air – the REL3ASE sequence is a good show of that, it’s a method that’s just about not possible with another medium.

You first customised a pair of trainers aged 14, as a present in your father. Please may you inform us about your reminiscences of those footwear and your inspirations again then? 

Cass Hirst: Those footwear had been so totally different from what I’ve been making previously few years, they had been fairly hilarious, to be sincere. If I bear in mind appropriately, they’d funky lettering throughout and little drawings masking the shoe. I used to be in a completely totally different world again then. 

“In terms of the new generation of wearers, I wanted to create enough colourways and styles for everyone to find something they like and to appeal to a broad range of people, rather than creating designs that only show one way of thinking” – Cassius Hirst

Please may you elaborate on the picture of the mind scan and why that speaks to you as a motif?

Cass Hirst: I prefer to hope the mind scan speaks for itself, merely as a picture. I’m glad I made the choice to make use of it in my work as a result of I favor utilizing a picture to current myself fairly than phrases. 

Your trainers have acquired a cult following amongst a number of the most excessive profile figures within the present second of in style tradition. Aside from these wonderful people, who else would you most like to see carrying your paintings? 

Cass Hirst: I don’t assume there’s anybody specifically in the intervening time, it will be superior to see the fellows from Slipknot carrying them. Would be nice to provide them a few of my work as I’ve loved their work for many of my life.

The assortment is showcased in a nonetheless and motion-image marketing campaign by Axel Morin. Could you inform us about this? How did you and Morin collaborate? And what was your imaginative and prescient for this facet of the marketing campaign? 

Cass Hirst: The marketing campaign was an excellent alternative to showcase a number of the visible concepts I’ve had on the aspect, whereas portray footwear. I needed everybody in painted masks to maintain the give attention to the designs, the footwear and the wonderful Prada outfits. Working with Axel was wonderful, and he did an excellent job at displaying these concepts and pulling the entire thing collectively. 

It looks as if music is a vital a part of your follow as an artist. Could you inform us a bit about how music feeds into your work?

Cass Hirst: I’ve been engaged on music on the aspect while engaged on this mission and it’s naturally turn out to be a giant a part of my work. One of my objectives has been to have the ability to use my very own music inside movies as a result of selecting songs for these sorts of issues is at all times difficult. It’s fascinating engaged on music as a result of it’s much more difficult than anything I’ve concerned myself in. It’s only a case of spending as a lot time as attainable studying as a lot as attainable.

In what methods do you see your follow creating sooner or later? What areas would you most like to maneuver into?

Cass Hirst:  I’d like to put extra time into video work and 3D design. It’s positively an amazing concept contemplating how a lot I’ve needed to put in direction of music to get to the place I’m at, however I’d positively like to get extra concerned in these mediums. 

The Cass x Prada assortment is an version restricted to three,000 pairs globally, offered by means of a collection of Prada boutiques and through prada.com




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