16 March 2006

Exclusive 8five2 Interview

This is a Exclusive Interview with the man of 8five2 - Julius Brian Siswojo.
Make sure when your in HK you check out this fresh boutique.
Thanks again Brian.

When was 8five2 established and why did you decide to start a skate boutique/shop?
It started in 1999 as a distribution company called 8FIVE2 Distribution. Because of the lack of good skateboard/boutique shops in Hong Kong, 8FIVE2SHOP was opened in 2001.
We wanted to present brands in their full line which was something that hadn’t been done in other shops yet.
I’ve been skateboarding since 1988 and it’s a lifestyle for me. It makes a lot of sense to open a shop that I’m very familiar with instead of many that are trying to front without knowing nothing about the culture and the background. We want to make sure that Hong Kong has a world class skateboard/boutique shop to offer, not only to Hong Kong people but to all people in Asia.

You have a collaboration shoe with Lakai - how did that come about?
Oh, a good friend of ours is the head designer of Lakai (Aaron Hoover), we both have mutual respect and literally love each other (not in the gay way). Also, I know Mike Carroll and he’s an amazing person. He will always be my favorite skateboarder, period. That’s how Lakai Carroll 4 x 8FIVE2SHOP shoes came out. Straight up, my favorite skateboard shoes designer/brand + favorite all time skateboarder + favorite shop equals to my favorite sneaker. Plus Lakai makes super good skateboard shoes. Also, not only for skateboarding, with their SELECT line, Lakai is ready to be taken seriously as not only a skateboard shoe but shoes for everybody. Everybody who wants to look good and feel comfortable.

Do you have any plans to start a clothing line in the near future?
Oh, we have our clothing line called Know1edge. This Summer 2006 is going to be our 5th season. It’s becoming stronger and stronger. We have a full line; tee shirts, jeans, (very good jeans), caps, jackets, bags, belts, watch and so much more.

What are your current views on the HK skate scene?
It’s growing, still very small but growing. We never stop promoting and pushing skateboarding in Hong Kong. Thank GOD now we have a Hong Kong official skateboard national team. We can’t enjoy it ourselves as much but, to see the young generation reap in the benefits we planted for so long, makes us really really happy.

Top 5 Albums?
Nas (Illmatic), B I G (Ready to Die), Outkast but, these days I’ve been listening to a lot of Al Green, Jill Scott, The stylistics…

Top 5 Skateboarders?
Mike Carroll, Julien Stranger, Marcus McBride, Sean Young, Sean Sheffey (5 ALL TIME)
Alex Parker, Dennis Busenitz, & Brent Atchley are the 3 that I’m feelin right now.

If we visit HK what should we check out?
Definitely 8FIVE2SHOP and so many more. The routine; here we go, hotpot to have a good warm dinner, Hoi Lau Shan to have the illest fruit desserts and then foot massage. We call these 3 the GOLDEN TRIANGLE. The next day, we walk around Causeway Bay, check out some ill high end fashion stores (good inspiration) then we go to Mong Kok for some grimmie shopping, Victor Lee ( no doubt, fo sho), then if some of you fools are horny mofos, we go to the underground porno DVDs joint (USD12 for 6, what????) It’s the best gift to blaze your homies, forget about keychain’s, lighter’s or fan’s saying “Lost in Hong Kong”, Porno DVDS make them happy plus, if they are your homies, you can use it first then blaze them! You know what I’m sayin? Also, if some of you are still feelin the sneakers out here, I got mad spots to show you all. Of course, some toys, lots of toys! Also something to check out is definitely Michael Lau’s studio, pretty Bangin. There’s so many more, it’s ridiculous. Oh yeah, if you want to see the most ugly people, you can also go to Hong Kong Disneyland.

What's next for 8five2?
Same thing, promoting skateboarding, showing the dopest street fashion out there, collaborations with amazing artists/brand, some tee shirts line and so many more. We’re always keeping busy and coming up with new ideas.

Thanks Brian - Anyone you would like to thank?
So many people, it’s ridiculous! Most definitely my beloved wifey, Annie Lee Siswojo, Mom and Dad, brother and sister’s. They are the most amazing people on this earth and all this wouldn’t happen without their support!
Also, Alyasha Owerka Moore, Todd Shimabuku (In4mation) and his crew, Eric Haze (always super dope), Eli Morgan Gesner, Peter Huynh (UXA) and Arai (Hex) that helped Know1edge since day one. All of our distributors (you are all the best), LoDown Magazine, Friday Magazine, Touch Magazine, Milk Magazine, I love them all. I will always remember, always. Also, to lots of heads (they know who they are) who help me out along the way, those that support 8FIVE2SHOP and Know1edge, I can’t thank them enough everyday!
Thank you!

8five2 is located at:

2/F Rm 3 United Success Commercial Centre
506-508 Jaffe Road
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
T: (852) 2573 9872
F: (852) 2573 9873/2881 6110

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