DJ Goldie on the FW 2017 adidas SPEZIAL Collection | Grailify
DJ Goldie on the FW 2017 adidas SPEZIAL Collection

DJ Goldie on the FW 2017 adidas SPEZIAL Collection

When we travelled to London for a chat with adidas SPEZIAL mastermind Gary Aspden, we also had the chance to chat with his good friend DJ Goldie - who features in the latest SPEZIAL FW 2017 lookbook. From his beginnings as a b-boy and graffiti artist in the 80s to pioneering drum & bass a decade later, to starring in a James Bond film and being awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire - this man has come a long way and left his footprints in a variety of different fields. Throughout all these years, Goldie has always maintained a natural passion for street culture and fashion in particular. He's a long-time member of the Stüssy Tribe, still wears 24 gold teeth and, of course, has been a fan of the Three Stripes since his B-Boy days. Time for a tête-à-tête with a legend.

Goldie, do you remember when you first met Gary?
I had heard about him for a long time before I actually met him. Michael Kopelman, who brought Stussy to the UK, talked about him all the time. He said, "Gary is very serious. He's a very serious character." I've met a lot of serious figures, but I'd never met him. That was in the 1990s. And he had already heard of me, back when I was a B-Boy.

We all know that b-boying was an important part of your life. And finding the right sneakers and clothes was an important part of that. How hard was it to find stuff before the digital age?
Oh man, it was so hard to find out the source of something. And b-boys had a code - if you knew where something came from, you didn't tell anyone. The whole thing about withholding style was as important as owning it. We used to wonder where you could get fat shoelaces. And then we found out that we had actually been looking in the wrong place. You had to go to a haberdashery that sold material for fucking sewing classes for women - and then I would buy it and not tell you where I got it. You have to find the shit yourself!

Now we're in a very different time and you can order almost everything online. How does that change the game?
You can order it on eBay or wherever and get it. You can pay silly prices and queue up. And you can buy third party stuff from Supreme and pay ten times the price.... I get that! But there's something collectible about the things we can't have, and sometimes I think the things you don't see on the internet are the things you want, even if we have everything at hand.
Outfit: adidas SPEZIAL Beckenbauer Tailored Jacket / Beckenbauer Tailored Trackpant Sneakers: adidas SPEZIAL TRX SPZL

So supply and demand is still the key, isn't it?
I saw a man the other day who had a brand new Range Rover Velar. His wife is the owner of Storm, the biggest modelling agency in the world. Tim, the husband, has a brand new Velar; he's the first person in West London to have it. And I look at this car and I say, "I've never seen one like this. Amazing. Why do you have it?" And he says, "Well, I just wanted to be the first. I'm selling it next month." And I think that's something I'll never get rid of.

It sounds like hunting, only without the meat on the grill, doesn't it?
Yeah, it was definitely like hunting the prey. But what I'm saying is that I like the whole B-Boy ethos and the idea of something that comes from the terraces. B-boy culture was sort of developed as an outpouring of people who had had enough. If you've seen the documentaries and read your history bibles, you know what the whole gang thing did to New York. It tore people apart. So we're very lucky to have this mixture of fashion and despair. And that's what I like about the culture, man. For Gary and for us, street culture became our parents. Because the fathers were too busy being alcoholics and weirdos, the terraces were our fathers. And the art, graffiti and breakdancing became our mothers.

As someone who witnessed the rise of all these cultures, what do you think of the SPEZIAL collection, which in a way tells this story from a contemporary point of view?
I look at it this way: sometimes you like the retro look of a piece because it meant something back then. But you don't want it the way it was originally. Because maybe the shape wasn't perfect or the material was shit. SPEZIAL is different because it has the quality. I took the top off the other day - you can feel the tracksuit and you can tell there's a bit more weight in it. And I also believe in the person who makes it. Gary's belief in the brand, after hours and off the payroll, is something that comes from pure passion. I also like the idea of something from the football terraces crossing over into B-Boy culture and becoming a collector's item.

How important is the past today?
You have to relate to the past! The most important things in life are love, time and memory. Because without these things there is nothing. You have to go back to move forward. Some of the best retro designs and some of the best car designs have proven that. Jaguar's E-Type is a good example of that. They tried to go a different way and create something new, but it didn't work. They had to go back to the original shape, but with a new idea.

Outfit DJ Goldie: adidas SPEZIAL Abenstein Jacket Outfit Gary Aspden: adidas SPEZIAL Kopelman Vest

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