Distorting the dichotomy between politics and fashion is something many have attempted. Paris based "BLACKBOYPLACE" coalesce both into urban culture to create contemporary clothing that boldly flaunts its message. We at TENTH were lucky enough to speak to the founder, Mister Soul, on how he grew from a "one-man band" to a team of people who have seen "Black Boy Place" worn by the likes of Jay Z & Beyonce.
How did BBP (BLACKBOYPLACE) begin, who’s on the team and why the name Black Boy Place?
That's a tricky question because I think the idea was always in my mind, BBP finally came into fruition in 2007. When I started the business it was only me, Mister Soul. I played all the roles, I wore all the hats. Now after 10 years there are 12 people on the team, or I should say Family.
The name BLACKBOYPLACE came about because it is something we as humans can all relate to. Contrary to popular belief The term BLACKBOYPLACE refers to the dark side of man, NOT the colour of man's skin. As human beings we all have both a dark side and a light side; Ying & Yang; positive and negative. We can all relate to being in the dark, embracing your dark side, and balancing it with your light is a trick we must all master. But first we must admit that this dark side exists, only then can we embrace it and utilize its lessons properly. So BLACKBOYPLACE was a way for me to acknowledge my dark side and use what I learned from it to spread love and light in the world. Perfect balance.
BBP is described as “eclectic”, whats the cause of this?
BBP uses what happens in the real life to create. Our inspiration comes from everything happening to us and around us; art, music, war, politics, birth, death, love, hate. Everything about life.
What is currently inspiring this season of BBP fashion?
This season like every season we are inspired by what's going on around us. This season in particular though, I tapped into the 1960's and 70's; peace, love and unity. I think we have been fighting the same battles for a very long time. I truly believe that as an artist, it is your mission to spread a message through your art. The 60's and 70's were the birth of the hippie era. Fast forward to today 2017, we are in need now more than ever for the message of the Hippie era to be spread all over the world. PEACE. LOVE. UNITY. It is OUR job to heal the world. We can't blame society, we are part of the society. WE must make the change!
How did BBP end up in the hands of celebrities such as Jay Z, Beyonce and Les Twins?
I knew Larry and Laurent aka Les Twins for a very long time. They are like - my younger brothers - family. Thats where the connection with Jay and Beyonce came about. But its simple, its because of our messages. Real people like the truth, they see the truth and they respect the truth.
BBP delivers contemporary streetwear, would you like to be in Fashion Week, and if so how would your clothing change?
I think we have evolved from being contemporary streetwear, we are more of a hybrid between streetwear and high fashion.
Fashion week is great, but we are not focused on it yet. We are more focused on evolving ourselves, the world and the industry. Fashion Week caters to a specific dynamic. I want to break those barriers.
If you needed to collaborate with an artist, public figure or fashion label which on would you choose and why?
Anyone? dead or alive? Basquiat hands down! Basquiat embodies the essence of Art. I don't use the past tense conjugation when I speak of him because just like Michael Jackson, death didn't stop him. The message and energy he shared through his art is still seen and felt today. A collaboration with a man capable of single handedly revolutionising the art world would be astonishing.
What is the future vision for BBP?
Future? No one can give you specifics of the future, but what I can tell you is that it going to be tremendous! BBP will continue to spread a message throughout the world. I am lead by my passion, so nothing can stop me. I am either here to make a legacy or to inspire someone that will create a legacy, either way I've done my part. So the future is looking beautiful. For everyone.