That's Why You're Never Too Old for the adidas Yung-1 | Grailify
That's Why You're Never Too Old for the adidas Yung-1

That's Why You're Never Too Old for the adidas Yung-1

An adidas shoe from 1996 that easily fits into 2018 and a culture bearer, streetwear legend and vintage connoisseur from pre-1997 who is still pushing his creativity and style far beyond 2018 - let's talk about the adidas Yung-1 and Jens aka DJ JNS. In 1996, as the adidas running team regularly ran through a small village called Falkendorf, they finally came up with the perfect name for their new innovative and technology-driven shoe: the Falcon Dorf. What the team didn't know was that 20 years later, the same shoe with which they set another milestone in running would cause a stir at fashion weeks around the globe, as the Falcon Dorf is relaunched as the Yung-1.
Staying true to its origins but also riding the wave of modern style are the keys that make the Yung-1 a perfect sneaker for today's bulky-dad shoe trend and also a true gem for nostalgic collectors and vintage lovers. Combining a love of the past with new influences, trends and youth movements is also part of DJ JNS' lifestyle and mindset. Just like the shoe, DJ JNS is a "Yung 1" who couldn't have been better suited for our report on the secret formula and mindset behind timeless style.

Hi Jens, can you please briefly introduce yourself and your diverse creative hustle and bustle in Berlin?
Well ... my name is Jens, but most people know me under my Facebook aca Brad Pitch or under my stage name DJ JNS. Some of the older sneaker collectors and hardcore kids - who are not kids anymore - also know me under the name Gallo. So you see, I'm a man with many names, hahaha. And I do quite a few different things too. I've been DJing for over 10 years, mostly electronic music, but a bit of hip-hop or indie here and there - and I'm still eager to play as much as I can. My main job is at Overkill, Berlin's finest and one of the biggest and best sneaker stores in Germany, where I am Head of Marketing and Content Manager of the in-house blog. And yes, on the side I run - together with my buddy Micha - Strassenmodekultur, a German-language community and magazine for streetwear and everything related to it. In this context, we publish a print magazine every month, of which I am the editor-in-chief and which I also design. But at the end of the day, I'm just a guy who has been passionate about subculture, music and fashion since he was young. And that's a fire that still burns.

You just moved to Berlin and have already spread your name and talent all over the city. How would you describe your restless attitude? What keeps you from taking a break, Jens?
Well... as I said, I'm very passionate about the things I love and do. And I think that is the most important point. It's not about money or the aspect of making some kind of career (although of course these points are nice side effects) or some dubious internet fame. I really enjoy being with like-minded people who inspire me or whom I can even serve as inspiration and share my passion with.
You know there's a reason why you and the Yung-1 are in the same article. Unlike some rather dour OGs, your style and mindset always stays on the contemporary and younger side - with a mix of some nice vintage vibes, of course. So what's your secret recipe for staying young at heart, Jens?
I don't have a formula, a master plan or anything like that to stay young at heart. It's simply a question of attitude. Not a conscious one, but one that comes from deep within. Passion and love for the things you do. And being curious! Yeah.... Being curious and open-minded really helps a lot. Take off your blinders, think outside the box. And always do what you like. Listen to the music that touches you the most, even if it might be unpopular. Dress the way you feel and don't care about hypes and trends. Just be yourself and be real. Maybe that is the formula.

Looking again at the Yung-1, we see a vintage silhouette that still fits perfectly in 2018. And yet there's an individual and elegant way you manage to wear vintage clothing in a very modern way without looking like you're on your way to a fancy dress party. How do you do it, Jens, and what can we learn from you?
It may sound cheesy, but I just feel it. Look ... I've been dealing with the question of how to dress "properly" since I was a metalhead at the age of 13. From then on, I stumbled through various subcultures, of which hip-hop and hardcore were the most prominent. I always had a deep interest in what the essence of each subculture was - its inherent thoughts, but also the style codes that served to distinguish it from the mainstream. As I got older, the desire to belong to a particular group naturally disappeared more and more, but the experiences gathered over the years and the memory of all the styles have remained.
Since I grew out of the classic subcultures in the early 2000s and no longer dressed "scene-typically", there were always these moments when I... well, had some kind of intuition or desire to wear a certain piece of clothing or a certain way of wearing it. And they're all inspired by the things I've already experienced in my life in these youth cultures. Back then, I was always a bit ahead of my time. People used to say, "If you want to know what's trending next year, look at what Jens is wearing today." No kidding! But that was before everything exploded and even the most absurd microtrend found its way into children's rooms in seconds via the internet.
That's not meant pejoratively at all, but nowadays it's become incredibly difficult to stay ahead of the curve because everything goes very fast and spreads instantly. But I still have those moments when I think, "Ah.... a cholo-style Ben Davis chino would be just the thing right now!" and then I just put it on. I also like to wear OG pieces, which some of the current styles are based on. Like, "Hey, you paid a ridiculous resale price for this jacket from hype brand XYZ and you're just one of a bunch of kids copying that piece. I only paid a few bucks for the original at a local thrift shop - which is way cooler because a) I saved a lot of money to spend on more clothes, and b) I'm probably the only one who owns this thing." And even though the word is worn out and I can't hear it anymore, it's about being authentic.

Not only do you mix historical pieces with new influences in your outfits. You also bridge the gap between generations with your own magazine and community, Strassenmodekultur. Can you please tell us a little about the community and the magazine behind SMK?
Strassenmodekultur saw the light of day at the end of 2015 and started as a German-language Facebook group for streetwear and the associated lifestyle. I was accepted into this group at the beginning of 2016 and after initial scepticism, I quickly realised that there were some nice people with the same attitude hanging around. Enthusiasts, collectors, creatives, people from the industry - and many of them with their own authentic style. It was and still is a lot about posting your daily outfits and discussing the latest trends and drops, upcoming brands and so on and so forth. I felt comfortable and actively participated, which led to the founders (including Micha) asking me if I wanted to be an admin. The rest is history, haha.
Back then there was already a round-up, summarising the most interesting topics and outfits of the past month and introducing some news. But back then it was just a PDF with a handful of pages. As more and more people joined our small community, the round-up got bigger and at some point we decided to do something special for the community and printed our first magazine. That was two years ago and we still publish it every month.
The community has grown in the last two years, but in a healthy way. The tone is mostly decent and there is a really good and relaxed atmosphere. I think this is also because we have a strict no-selling/buying policy. It's just about good content, sharing thoughts and having a good time.

How important do you think it is to educate and enlighten the younger generation about the origins, subcultures and people behind trends, products and hypes? Or rather, why should young people also listen to the "Old 1s"?
That's a question I'm a bit ambivalent about. On the one hand, I think it's important to know the roots, and it's a shame that so few kids these days are interested in history and origins. In hip-hop there is a golden rule that says: "Each one, teach one" - that's enough! Or as it said on one of my first Stussy t-shirts, which I bought in 1992: "Knowledge is King!" I mean, if you live a certain lifestyle and have a deep interest in certain things and even collect them, how can you not be interested in the origins? I never understood that! But on the other hand, I'm not sure anymore if you really have to teach the kids; isn't it better to be the authentic and cool guy who inspires them to develop their own interest in history and roots? I don't want to be the streetwear teacher. I'd rather be the one that kids look at and say, "Wow, I didn't know this design wasn't from Supreme.... I want to know more about that." But I love talking about the subject anyway, so I'm always open to a little chat and imparting some knowledge, hahaha.
Some OG's have a really hard time saying too many good things about today's scene, social media and "the game". Since we have you here, a real OG and "Yung 1" at the same time, I would like you to please tell us what is so incredibly exciting and enjoyable right now. What are the modern or futuristic things and movements that still make you like being part of this scene?
The rapid availability of information that I just mentioned also has many positive aspects, of course. It has never been so easy to exchange ideas with like-minded people worldwide, which leads to many friendships, but also to enormous synergy effects. You don't have to slave away for years to present your creative work to a certain audience. And this opportunity spurs many to creative excellence. Of course, there is also the other side, where everyone who has ever printed a design on a standard T-shirt or scribbled on their trainers with a marker thinks they are the new Virgil Abloh. Even if not everything that is produced is for me, I love this fresh DIY attitude. Kids are sewing straps and pockets on their jackets, mixing materials and patterns and just making something. And that's something that's really exciting. Giving the new generation the space and opportunities to be creative is the best thing that can happen. Just look at the emerging Asian brands - the stuff is insane!

And what comes next, Jens?
Wow ... that's a difficult question. Everything is changing so fast and the boundaries are pushed further every day. But one thing is for sure: I will continue to mix contemporary and modern styles with some beautiful vintage pieces. And I will always wear what I feel at the moment and not care about what is trendy or not. And hopefully I will always stay young at heart!
As you may know, I'm not the biggest Adi fan on this planet, but what they did with the Yung-1 is awesome! The design is just awesome and so close to the original Falcon village - great job! I'm looking forward to the revival of the ZX running silhouettes, especially the ones with the four-digit numbers like the ZX8000. But since I always have a soft spot for the obscure and unpopular sneaker models, I would love to see a revival of the adidas Lexicon. Yes ... that would be nice! 

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