What inspired you to create your own label?
There’s been many inspirations along the way but it just came to a point in Trinidad where all my peers were wearing Aeropostale and Hollister and I told myself I can produce something “flier”. I firmly believe that someone needed to represent the Caribbean/West Indies in streetwear, on Supreme stature. There are all these companies that claim and propel their cities/countries whether it’s NYC, LA, MIA or Australia, England etc. but there’s no one holding it down for our side of the hemisphere. It’s not a predominant part of our culture but that doesn’t mean it can’t be recognized and respected.
On your website it says ‘JIVE’S MAIN GOAL IS HIGHLIGHTING AND INTERTWINING OVERLOOKED CULTURE & INDIVIDUALS ACROSS THE GLOBE STARTING WITH TRINIDAD.’ How are you achieving this goal?
Through skateboarding first and foremost as that’s the passion which allowed me to even think about starting JIVE. The all-star team also includes surfers and bmxers, and will include more sports I cherish as the time goes by. JIVE’s mission includes upholding artists and musicians and athletes who reside in countries that are overlooked due to the same culture they represent, which ironically hinders them, whether it’s in the form of resources or plain and simply encouragement. JIVE is ‘A World Yet Discovered’, home to individuals deserve an equal opportunity to display their passion on the stages of the entire world.
How did you get involved in skateboarding in first place?
In my head, I’m picturing Tony Hawk of course but also Bob Burnquist and Rune Glifberg and Jake Brown. Xgames is legendary. It would show on cable in Trinidad. Seeing Vert skating was maybe the best thing I’d seen since Rooney and the Red Devils. I played almost every sport you could think of and some you wouldn’t. I was a gymnist for a brief second (laughing). I wanted to go the Football route, play for a club, travel to Europe for tournaments, college scholarship etc you know? But it just phased out and skateboarding saved my life. My first board had like those old Powell Peralta shapes but it was a no brand with a rat surfing in the ocean and his surfboard was pollution. Red deck with fluorescent green wheels. I went to London and got a no brand board over there too and went to the skatepark, first thing I tried was dropping in and I ate shit. I literally sat and just pree’d the whole scene after that for a while and then just went back to the crib. When I got back to Trinidad, I found this local group called Influence Riding Society, skateboarders and flatland bmxers. My mom took me to meet up with them and the rest is history. Big up Jauff, Anton, Kwesi, Kestrel, Kern, Drew, Nako, Odell, Lunchie, Johan, Sherwin, Ken, Rixon, Stefan, Adriel, Matthew, Ralph and Rondell. Wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. Even Wilky too (inside joke). My first proper complete was a Mini Logo with Silver/Blue Indys and Pink Ricta Wheels. Big up my dukes.
JIVE’s mission includes upholding artists and musicians and athletes who reside in countries that are overlooked due to the same culture they represent, which ironically hinders them, whether it’s in the form of resources or plain and simply encouragement.
Are you still actively pursuing a skateboard career, or do you focus entirely on Jive?
This is good question… I wish! I never had a skateboard career per say, I dreamed about one somewhat. I’m super blessed to have had some great sponsors over the years and being able to fully indulge in the sport and lifestyle. What I wanted to be was team manager to be honest, so I’m stoked I get to have that role with JIVE right now. I spoke to Scuba, one of Nike’s TM’s. Dope dude, he was motivating. I do give JIVE my all and more. I live and breathe JIVE. I design, source, market, retail, wholesale and even fulfill and print at times. It’s been like that since I’ve started. It’s becoming a bit beyond me right now though, I’m thankful for my brother Aaron who has come clutch for me too many times to count. My brother John too. Hopefully I can set up shop and have an office back in Canada in due, Godspeed for that one.
As per linkedin you manufacture in China, Canada, United States, Pakistan, Peru and Indonesia. How do you find them and how difficult is it to manage them to get the products that you want?
The internet is your best friend when it comes to finding information, so that’s how I look for manufacturers. Sometimes I may get a referral. It’s not difficult to manage them, the important part is sampling product which is costly but integral. I wear test majority, if not all of my product for 6-18 months depending on the end use.
‘The La Foucade Lo’s is a full circle moment mixed with spontaneity. It wasn’t planned at all.’
You latest products are shoes. How difficult was this to realise from when you had to idea until those shoes arrived in your warehouse ready to be sold?
The La Foucade Lo’s is a full circle moment mixed with spontaneity. It wasn’t planned at all. With that being said I gotta give massive thanks to Ivan at Betta for giving me creative direction in its entirety and believing in my vision overall. I’m not a sneaker head, so the shoes weren’t inspired by anything other than myself. Honestly, I’m surprised they did better than I expected, due to the sporadic release. Shoutout everyone who purchased a pair, they helped create history. Big shoutout to my family Leo also, if it weren’t for him people wouldn’t even have the shoes in their possession right now. I gotta visit Peru eventually, we got a team rider out there, Joakin Goto, absolute menace on a skateboard. He rides for Adidas. (laughing)
So, you produce your shoes in Peru? How long did it take you frm the sporadic idea until you sold your first pair?
If not 2 years, maybe a year and change. The first shoes I designed weren’t even the La Foucade Lo’s. They were a different model etc. Then when I got the 1st samples of the La Foucade Lo, I skated and rocked them for 8-10 months before the official release this past May. The first guy who bought the first pair is a Trinidadian, that was dope. A fashion forward sneaker head, Robert, pree has a page @catchyuhkicks
As per your website your superpower is Color Forecasting. What does that mean?
Color coding comes natural to me. It’s one of my strongest assets. Maybe I got it from my mother. Color is important in life, and it’s one of those underlying tones – no pun intended. It surrounds us and also resonates with emotion. Quite integral in branding too, if you ask me. I decided pink would be the color to represent JIVE in years ago when I launched my new logo campaign. Nowadays, pink is every single where like never before. Even Young Thug is running a pink campaign at the moment, with his musical and fashion creative direction.
What plans do you have with Jive?
I won’t say I make plans or have plans, just goals. And the ultimate goal is to become more and more of a household name in apparel and accessories over time while maintaining the true essence of JIVE. There’s no limit to where JIVE can go so, I truly look forward to seeing the brand get there.
Do you have other things on your wishlist?
I wish Trinidad gets a well-built skatepark, and soon. Other than that, I have dream collabs if that goes as far as a wishlist. #1 would have to be a JIVE UMBRO or JIVE CARHARTT line. One day I wanna make JIVE Washer/Dry Set. I’m thinking Whirpool for some reason but whoever’s down at the point I’m with it.
‘Color is important in life, and it’s one of those underlying tones – no pun intended. It surrounds us and also resonates with emotion. Quite integral in branding too, if you ask me.’
Breaking into the household goods market? You would take general concepts of branding to a whole new level!
Yeah, household goods are great to me. Cause not everyone will always wanna buy clothes, however mugs, pillows, bean bags, rugs.. those are things we utilize in our everyday lives. They’re norms (laughing). My thing has always been producing what myself or someone may need.
Last question: If you could interview one person, who would it be and why? What would you ask?
Another good question… I been wanna ask Drake what it felt like the first time taking his friends on a private jet (laughing). Sounds cheesy but it’s something I wanna do and I fuck with Drake’s work ethic a lot. I don’t have idols or role model’s or anything of the sort but I definitely want have a conversation with him. The level of success he has attained, and how it was attained is far deeper than passion and talent. I believe I can learn a few things from the 6 God. On a different note though, I’d want to ask Christopher Columbus some questions too.