Produced by DAN H.
Interview by Thomas Bradley
Photo by Nike SB
Barcelonaï¿½s Sants Station serves as both a national and international hub of commerce, servicing the city as a its largest train station. However, it also stands as an O.G. skate spot on the ever growing Barcelona skate scene.
T: Thomas Bradley
I: Ivan Jimenez of Nike SB
T: Describe the Barcelona skate scene and the energy it evokes.
I: For me, Barcelona is one of the best cities I have ever seen. Im Barcelona born and raised, so I suppose that counts. The Barcelona skate crew is pure energy. I have been skating since 1990 and there has always been a scene, and we have been mostly the same people. Itï¿½s all about the ï¿½SNTï¿½ crew mateï¿½
T: Sants Station figures prominently into the architecture of Barcelonaï¿½s skating community as well as the shoes meant to celebrate the location. What is it about the geography that invokes the spirit of its skaters?
I: Barcelona geography is kind of unique. Back in the begining of the 20th century this architecht called ï¿½Sardaï¿½ made the city in a square format, and renewed the city look. Later, in the 80ï¿½s the city suffered a big change with the importance of design in Barcelona, which made the city full of design elements and new plazas, more marble and squared ledgesï¿½ and Sants Station projects, that won a 1983 design award for its incredible and fresh conception. With all that in mind, imagine how good for a skater can be a place and city full of marble, open spaces and wonderfully designed plazas.
T: Though NIKE is a sizeable and bustling corporation, it thrives on the homespun ideals of its founding creators. Barcelona is a highly populated city of perpetual motion that is being driven to the forefront of the international skate scene by a passionate few skaters. What gave rise to the design of these shoes?
I: The SB euro squad met in USA like one year ago with the USA SB squad. We were talking about new projects and I came up with the idea of doing a shoe of my spot. I was the new guy in the group, and never expected to get the green light from the crew but everyone felt it was a good idea and that the spot deserved it.
Share a SNT skate moment that keeps you inspired and informs the design of the shoes. Everytime we have serious fun manï¿½ Think about 20 plus guys with skateboards laughing together anywhere, going to skate together, or just chilling in Sants having some funï¿½ All those moments inspired me to design the shoe. Its basically a homage to the place, the people, my homies, the skateboarding and everything that surrounds it.
We are finding that designers have begun to explore more of the shoes than ever before with their use of the soles, material choices, and inserts as opportunities for expression. Explain why you chose the image on the insert for this model and what moved you to incorporate the image in this way.
In Sants theres this roof with a metal cat on top, hidden. I wanted the insert sole to be hidden too. If you take the insole out, you can see the cat there too. Also, in the plaza, all the broken boards are thrown to that roof too. You can see that in the insert sole. Michael Hernandez shot a photo of the roof when visited Sants, and it came out prefectly in the insole. Thanks Michael.
On the same note, the flip-side of the tongue tag says ï¿½SNT-4-Ever.ï¿½ Sneakerheads and skaters must agree that the best design always comes as a surprise. That is a strong statement of loyalty not normally made in footwear. Explain how this spot has affected you so much.
The ï¿½SNT4Everï¿½ is something that I just knew had to use in the shoe. Well, think about growing up in a place surrounded by skateboards, learning to skate, meeting people, also shooting pictures like I did, making friendsï¿½ For more than 10 years. Thatï¿½s crazy uh? If I wouldnï¿½t have visited Sants one day, I have no clue where I would be right now. Sants and everything surrounding it has built who I am today manï¿½
I have had really good moments there, made good friends there, met my girlfriend thereï¿½ what else do you need to make it a ï¿½SNT4 Everï¿½? Also, note the lace tagï¿½it says ï¿½SNTï¿½, and this is because 5 of us have a silver custom made star with SNT on it, and this way a way to make it even more unique and crew linkedï¿½
T: What does the colorway effect about the skate spot the shoes celebrate?
I: All the colors evoke the plaza. Anyone that has visited the place will agree with me. The upper colorway is linked to the ground, the used marble benches with the grey colors by used grinds. The blue in the sole and inside sockliner reminds to the blue sky that is always on top of us. And the yellow patent leather in the swoosh connects with the ï¿½Barcelo-Santsï¿½ hotel letters that you see at night glowing. I wanted the swoosh to look like those PVC letter with inside lighting. And the laces are yellow and optional blue to match. The side ollie pad is not leather, is PVC to make it different. No other team edition had a plastic ollie pad, and wanted to try that material. Everyone that tried the shoe likes it so Im happy.
T: The shoes are a TEAM edition which immediately leads to the question of what teams are really running it over there and what names should we be getting to know? Skater names?
I: A lot manï¿½ Jose Manuel Roura, Cubanito, Raul, Sambo, Marcos, Moski, Xeli, Croco, Coth, Chicho, Berni, Kike, Tucan, Xavi, Pablo, Penyï¿½ man, a lot of people. And about teams, we really donï¿½t care about who you ride for, if you famous and all thatï¿½ so theres not really a ï¿½teamï¿½ running the scene right now besides Nike SB Spanish team jajajajajaja!
T: How have you tried to involve the spirit of Sants Station plaza in the shoe and how has the community received the idea?
I: I talked with some of the OGï¿½s and we all agreed with the design and the colorway once the shoe was designed. To be sincere, it has been an overwhelming good response. People just cant believe how someone could make a shoe based on a spot we have been chilling and skating foreverï¿½ Its kind of a shock you know? Even at the spanish offices when you say theres this shoe based on Barcelona Sants plaza they just trip. Its been real cool and I only expect the international response to be this good. Itï¿½s a really good skate shoe.
T: Whatï¿½s the tie between beautiful locations globally and sick skate spots? Is it just a coincidence, or what?
I: I have no clue man, but to be sincere, there are really good spots in small and hidden areas. Is just a matter of energy I assume. Travelling all over to skate and shoot pictures I have seen sick spots in strange places, but with a lot of energy. Maybe is coincidence, maybe not.
Its going to be a party Thursday May 4th at night and the worldwide release is going to be the 5th of May. In Trust Nobody shop (www.trustnobody.es) is going to be a launch party with free champagne and all the SNT crew, feel free to visit. Its going to be nuts.
Thanks to Chris, Sandy, Michael, Dan, Kevin, Hunter, Michael, James, Kaspar, Seb, Arnaud, Babbi, Bjorn, Gert, Martin, Mireia and everyone at Sants and in Barcelona repping the city. Thanks Dan H.!