Converse x Patta x Deviation
Appropriately, they are teaming up with Patta— the guys at the apex of Amsterdam streetwear— and the legendary London club Deviation. These two might not be in the same city, but not much else separates the brands. This club is full of cool kids, whose closet is complete, courtesy of Patta. Now, they can add Converse.
office spoke to Patta’s Cofounder Gee Schmidt, and Deviation duo Benji B. and Judah, who chatted about the collab, the international club scene, and the collection that can vicariously create those vibes for us, far away in NYC.
When did you meet?
Gee Schmidt I know Benji for quite a while, cant exactly pinpoint when we first met. All i know is that he used to couch surf at Edson's (co-founder) when he was in Amsterdam… We clicked right away. I got to meet Jude later, more gradually. I like his sense of humor, and overall aura… the man knows what he is doing.
Benji B. I’ve been wearing Patta for well over a decade… I would always go straight to the store when I touched down in Amsterdam. I first met Edson in the Fat Beats era, and probably met Gee about 10 years ago… I can’t remember where, but we are family now. I have been DJing on the same bill as the Patta extended family for years, in particular Vic. There has always been a synergy between our brands as we have grown and developed over a similar period, and share very similar references in music and culture.
Judah I first met the guys from Patta when they played at the legendary Plastic People, over a decade ago.
You’re far away from each other, geographically. How do you feel you are aligned or connected by the work your brands are doing within a cultural context?
GS Far away? Actually I think we are pretty close. A couple of hours travel and you’re in London from Amsterdam. There is a Patta store in London with its respective staff having an ear on the street. And if I don’t run into Jude or Benji in Amsterdam, we always run into each other on other places in the world. It’s a small world, and also, from the perspective of the digital age, it’s quite a micro cosmos.
BB …Amsterdam is also the one city that I travel to more than any other every year, I’m usually booked to DJ there at least 6 times a year. I’ve been traveling there every year since the beginning of my DJing life. DJ, and travel-wise, its a second home at this point. Regarding the brands and culture, we are connected on many levels and share many of the same passions, interests and reference points. We also have a foot in each others cities; Patta have stores in Amsterdam and London, and we have done many Deviation events in both places. I think there is a lot of mutual respect between the two cities of Amsterdam in London, whilst we have a lot in common, we can also learn from each others culture too.
J On the contrary, we are closer than you think geographically. A trip to Amsterdam for Londoners is a rite of passage from an early age. London for some reason is a hub when it comes to street culture so with these same interests in music, art etc. it was a natural friendship. Patta are genuinely part of Londons community that it made total sense to open a store in Soho.
What was the deciding factor for the palate in your collection?
BB The same factor as the way we program and create our club night. The mission statement with the club was always to create the night that we would want to go to. With his collection, it was to create the clothes that we would want to wear. A collaboration that represents more than just one element of our taste, whilst representing the look and feel of what both Patta and Deviation stand for.
J It began from a conversation with Gee about how we, [at Deviation] have matured and the appreciation the HighLow aesthetic. My job as tailor lends a great deal to having knowledge about fabrics, thats where the idea to use Castentino wool for footwear and from there we built the concept upwards.
What is the role of streetwear in club culture?
GS Streetwear would be narrowing it down… but clothing and nightlife are something that go hand in hand. I cant really separate it in that sense.
BB Not sure if the word streetwear means what it used to, so hard to say. But its definitely true that clothing and nightlife have always gone hand in hand over the years and decades, and music and style have always been very closely linked. I can’t ever see that changing.
Do you think that other cities can relate to this line, do you see it speaking to NYC streetwear and nightlife?
GS I don’t see this collection having a limit to where it can work. I think there is something in there for everybody. But most important its really us so if you dig that you can feel it regardless where you from....
BB One hundred percent. This might be born of localized scenes, but it’s a language understood by a global network of like-minded people.
For Patta - what is your favorite thing about London? Deviation- what is your favorite thing about Amsterdam?
GS London is just such an energetic place, a beast of a city and at the forefront of all things culture, fashion, music etc....It’s so inspiring. You have to know this is one of the few places where there are always new things and inspirations. It is very special.
BB Amsterdam, where do I start? One of my favorite cities on earth along with London and New York. There are loads of great things but my favorite would be the music (and culture) element. The standard of DJs in Amsterdam is next level. Some of the most skilled and musically knowledgeable people in Europe or the world. Great record stores, plus an amazing selection of venues and clubs, not to mention festivals. You will nearly always play to a clued up crowd there, and the passion for music is second to none. There is also a cross pollination and appreciation between different scenes too, which I respect a lot.
J What I appreciate is firstly the landscape, the river and cycling culture also when it’s comes to nightlife they know how to party.
How will you celebrate the launch of your collection? Which city will you be in?
GS We are going to celebrate this one in London...it’s the Deviation 10th year anniversary so it’s only right to do it there...
BB We are celebrating in London on the 21st with a very special event in a little known warehouse in the east of the city. It’s going to be very special.
J By having a good ol’ London knees up, it’s also deviations 10th anniversary so this collab comes on a perfect timing.