When it comes to street wear there are a handful of names that repetitively eclipse the competition. Patta has established itself as one of the top shelf brands releasing seasonal street wear collections and copious amounts of renowned worldwide collaborations with the likes of Levis, Stüssy, Nike, Pigalle, Huf (and a future collaboration with Jacker ? One can dream..) since Edson Sabajo and Guillaume Schmidt opened the business doors back in 2004. While we were in Amsterdam taking in beautiful surroundings and getting purified by some of the latest strains the beautiful city has to offer, our feet directed us with ease towards the flagship store located in Zeedijk where we had a moment to chew the fat with Patta on their views of street culture and success.
Jacker / For the readers that do not know the history of Patta, can you drop a little history lesson and the relationship with Dutch artist Parra ?
Patta / We opened our shop back in 2004 and in the original location, the Patta store was on the first floor and the office was on the second floor, and Parra has his office there as well. He has been a good friend of ours for a long time and basically he made the script logo and the block logo for Patta.
J / How was it in the beginning ?
P / I think that for every company that starts and has a specific idea, the beginning is the hardest, you know, because it was new, at least in the way we wanted to do it and the way we envisioned it so it took some time for us to get recognized, but we got a lot of help from our surrounds and the culture that we are from. We were always involved in the music scene, we worked at Fat Beats and from Fat Beats we threw a lot of parties and we always tried to be a part of anything creative that happens in the city, so with that backing, in the end, we got our name out and that helped us to establish Patta for what it is now.
J / Is there a specific instance that really put Patta on the map ?
P / Well, when we started out we really made a big name for us with the collaborations ; I think that was the first step. The second step was when we got our own clothing line. Those were the two big stepping-stones for Patta as we all know it now.
J / Nowadays, street wear is changing on the regular, how do you feel about it ?
P / I don’t mind the change. Everything changes right ? Street wear, your own life, so change is not something I can describe as a negative thing. We have to stick to what we do and what we like and if we stick to that path, whatever else happens around us is going to happen anyways. For us we stay close to our own identity and know what we can and what we want to do.
J / Street wear used to be influenced by hip hop, sports, and the urban subculture but now we can see that the street wear industry is headed on a path towards high fashion. What is your opinion on this, and what are your influences ?
P / High fashion has always been inspired by luxury, street wear is what people actually wear so for me, I think it is more embraced now, people don’t see it as something strange, it’s a normal thing I guess. It would have happened eventually anyways, only now it is been recognized. Now because of the information, when you look at websites, blogs, information travels fast.. people are more aware of everything that happens so you can see the connections more clearly and they have to speak up about it. There will always be an influence from the streets because this is where, for me, real style comes from. Real style, real looks that’s what I love. Wherever it will goes, I don’t know, fashion goes in a circle and when you see that certain things are going to happen, it’s already too late to get into it, I prefer to just dig into what I like and stick with it and that changes just like your pallet changes. Today you eat Surinamese and then the next day you need to get some Italian food you know ? Everything is a cycle in the end.
J / Can you tell us which music, sport, and street artists you would like to collaborate with in the future ?
P / Music wise, I would say Gucci Mane for sure, sports wise, Zinedine Zidane or Mesi and in terms of a street artist, let me think about that, that’s a hard one.. deceased ? Living ? [Laughs] I like Mike Kelley a lot, he did so many different things in his lifetime, I would have loved to have done something with him, he had such a wide array of mediums and I liked his approach to his work, it was really dope.
J / Based in Amsterdam, the land of copious strains that are easily attainable, what is your opinion on marijuana ?
P/ My opinion about drugs in general is that if you like to use them, use them [laughs]. I don’t really mind, as long as you’re happy with it and you do not disturb others I’m good with it. Personally, I’m not a big smoker but I have friends that are, it’s not a really big thing here.
J / Any antinodes that happen at the shop or with the brand in general ?
P / I mean not really, but we always have something with murphy’s law, we always have certain things that we think will work out perfectly but then in the end there is always some crazy shit that happens... like a glitch in the matrix for us but that happens all the time and we just have to laugh it off and fix it. No one else sees those moments, but there is a lot of time, effort, and struggle to get what we like to the people.
J / Can you explain your strategy of small distribution ?
P / Since we are a brand with a specific thought process and we have a firm backbone in music and other creative outlets, we think our surroundings for our brand are super important, people have to believe in the surroundings, it says a lot about the quality, the thought process and it’s just a matter if something fits.. I don’t think that oversaturation is a good thing, it’s not personal. We want to concentrate on opening our own stores worldwide and in order for that to happen, we like to keep control of our distribution.
J / Any last words ?
P / Big shout outs to the supporters man ! All the people that support Patta, whether they buy it, check our stuff out, like it .. hate it.. all of them are Team Patta for real.. we good.