The street culture scene is inundated with the hippest threads and the trendiest fads but after a while, everybody starts looking alike. We all want to be unique little snowflakes; we all want to stand out. Same as fashion labels; to be relevant, they need to be ahead of the competition.
sacai's own Chitose Abe collaborated with Nike by creating a new silhouette that's a fusion of the Nike LDV and Waffle Racer models. A highly sought-after model, the next sacai x Nike LDWaffle colourways—black and white—are rumoured to come out in February. The black version was first spotted at last year's Paris Fashion Week, with a black suede-and-leather with a nylon base, as well as, ribbon laces, all a departure from previous releases.
Another one of those labels that try to outdo itself is bizZzare. First appearing at the recent Culture Cartel, bizZzare is the brainchild of Messie Henson aka Le Messie, who is also the CEO of JUNTA!, a street culture agency. Limited-edition bizZzare t-shirts weren't sold at the con but they were only available in a raffle open to the public.
Now bizZare is organising another raffle, this time that lets you snag the sacai x Nike LDWaffles black and white colourways… ahead of its official releases.
We talk to Le Messie to find out more about bizZzare and about the raffle.
ESQUIRE: What's the idea behind bizZzare?
LE MESSIE: To juxtapose the bizarreness of our times—we live in an era where Trump is president, Ikea collaborating with Virgil (no disrespect to that—but odd nonetheless), where little magic black boxes we carry around that completely dictate our lives. I wanted to breathe life into a brand that would be just as bizarre—by printing tees inside out. Like your Supreme tees but with our logo on them. And then, we resell them.
ESQUIRE: Where does the sneaker raffle come in?
LE MESSIE: We raffle unreleased hype sneakers to get peeps to connect with our brand all while we spend more money on the brand than we make… Bizarre enough?
ESQUIRE: What's the significance with '222'? The raffle is available to 222 participants; it appears in some of your promos as a timestamp (2:22).
LE MESSIE: Numerology is life—I live a strict code of following repetitive numbers in my life. Two plus two plus two and you get six,] which is also my life number. The numbers are also represented as the 'ZZZ' in bizZzare.
ESQUIRE: Is it true that the brand was several years in the making?
LE MESSIE: I started in the brand game in the late '90s. Took a hiatus about eight years ago and for the past five, I've been wanting to relaunch something new—six tries later (that's my life number, yes) and boom. The previous five attempts were just [me] trying too hard but [they were very] much needed as they moulded what would become bizZzare.
It literally took a trip to Japan and a word with a prolific fashion icon to believe I was on the right path with my sixth try.
ESQUIRE: Could you talk about bizZzare t-shirts? What is unique about them?
LE MESSIE: I wanted to take things back to the small-batch super limited runs. For our first launch, we did a raffle at [last year's] Culture Cartel and the only way you could get a bizZare tees was to win them. We didn’t even think to sell [these t-shirts] and we got quite a few peeps coming up to us, straight asking to buy the tees. We didn't have any to sell—only just enough for the raffle winners. Strangely, this made the peeps want the tees even more.
It's a combination of things from how the brand's artistic direction speaks to people today to how it is put together. For our first batch, we simply printed the tees inside out and hand-sewed a custom created brand label made from canvas that some prolific artists (one of them being Futura) worked on, dripping paint, sweat and tears.
For our next launch, we are upcycling some real dope hard to get tees from Kanye West's "listening party invite-only tees" to Supreme to Kaws… we're turning these and more inside out and hand-printing our logos and hand=sewing more of that special canvas I was talking about.
I'd reckon what we do and how we do it will keep changing with each drop—keep things fun.
ESQUIRE: This weekend's raffle for the sacai x Nike LDWaffles is a marketing tool for bizZzare. What can we expect?
LE MESSIE: This weekend, the 18th January, along with the raffle for some unreleased Nike Sacai LDWaffles, peeps get to buy bizZzare merch this time around. We have 77 limited-edition tees split among four tiers.
Limited to one per person, each tee from each tier would get you anywhere from five to 20 extra raffle tickets to enhance your chances to win one of the two pairs of Sacais up for grabs and a few consolation prizes if you missed out. Although you don’t have to buy anything to enter the raffle—you just need to be at JUNTA! 18th Jan 9am and you get one free raffle ticket.
The raffle for the sacai x Nike LDWaffles takes place this Saturday at JUNTA!'s office (201 Joo Chiat Road) at 9am.