On Tuesday, amidst digital shouts of "#FREEHYPE", Brandon Sales arrived to the greater Internet a fully formed being, a swag monster, the Michael Jordan of hypebeasting, our generation's preeminent "lifestyle terrorist" as we so affectionately dubbed him. The response was overwhelming. Some of you lauded a man with a sneaker collection lavish enough to feed a third world country. A few more of you brandished your torches and pitchforks. But most of you looked on, in shock and awe of a person capable of ruining Kanye West's mood with nothing more than a selfie. Regardless of how you feel about the "Stylist/Designer/Musician", there's no denying that Brandon is the kind of mind-blowing personality that represents Fashion 2.0's purest form of currency.
Our piece, which some went as far as to call "unprofessional", only represents one half of the story. As a website that trades heavily in strongly worded op-eds, we both acknowledge this fact and stand by our original assessment. With that said, it seems irresponsible for Four Pins to simply leave it at that—to put the metaphorical bow on the metaphorical box full of metaphorical Givenchy T-shirts. So, we reached out to Brandon and his "management" (for really real though, dawgs) to get his side of the story. I mean, even the man in the gallows is asked if he has "any last words?". Presented, unedited, is our conversation with Brandon Sales, the world's biggest hypebeast who's ruining everything.
You kind of broke the Internet yesterday. Were you surprised?
Social media is a crazy thing. In this day and age of networking and blogging, everything travels rapidly, globally reaching out to pretty much everyone. It really didn’t surprise me that it hyped up like it did.
The reception was all over the map. Is that typically the response when you post a new outfit to Instagram? It can't be love all the time, right?
Most definitely…I see the strongest reception to my stuff is in fact overseas (America and Asia particularly). People seem to be adapting to this lifestyle abroad, which is very exciting. I would on the other hand say the least love comes from the UK, which is pretty sad. London is a very competitive “scene” and only real recognise real out here. A lot are out to criticise through jealousy and misunderstanding. On a whole, pretty much every outfit I upload creates a major buzz, causing all sorts of supportive and critical opinions. I welcome both.
It seemed like you appreciated the promo regardless of the context. I believe you used the term "#FREEHYPE". Much like press, is all hype good hype?
Whether the context is good, bad or controversial it really doesn't matter, it still means that person is being talked about and their name is in your head. Look at all the negative shit that comes out about most celebrities these days - sex tapes, drug abuse etc. If my outfit causes people to want to speak about it, who am I to stop them.
Regardless of the final looks you put together, there's no denying your wardrobe game is pretty crazy. We've got to know, how do you afford all this stuff? Do you come from money?
Being brought up surrounded by fashion, I have always had some form of interest, particularly in the merging of different styles and expenses into everyday workable looks. In my early teen years I used to rock Bape, Supreme and Jordan’s and this was long before these brands were readily accessible to the European market. Soon my friends were asking me where they too could pick up certain pieces and that was when I got really involved with buying/selling rare items. From that day, I would take money I could get my hands on and place it into an account that was strictly profits for next investments. Next thing I know, I have all these items and it just progressed more and more overtime to build a crazy collection.
My family are comfortable but not to the point I could flaunt the fact I am wearing £2000+ pounds kicks to go pick up some groceries.
How would you describe your personal style? Do you have a name for it?
It's funny because I get asked this a lot...I have no name for my style, mainly due to the fact I can take from all era's and areas of fashion and bringing them together. My mum and dad, they were punks as teenagers and have progressed into different styles as they get older, it never stops. Having a sense of style gives you an avenue to mix expensive with less expensive, smart with casual, and so on.
I would assume you believe your style is more than just the multitude of product you own. What do you think makes your personal style special?
I see it like this, you can have the best paints and canvas around but if you can't paint it won't be a successful piece of art. Same goes for fashion, having the money to buy the best items to wear is a blessing that I have gained through having a business mind and strong amount of motivation and determination to be the best. My style is outstanding because I'm not afraid to wear what I like and have no worries about what people think for doing so. This is what people notice.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Anyone in particular?
My uncle had a big influence on me from a young age; he would show me the best skate brands or American sportswear items that at the time were so apparent in '90s Rap and Hip-Hop. I think the '90s was a great era of fashion and we can see things already going full circle with guys rocking loud Gianni Versace shirts and Coogi jumpers, paying homage to guys like Biggie.
More recently, conversations I've had with guys I look up to for one reason or another such as Will.I.Am and Dre have made a lasting impression on my perception of the industry, they are the folks that inspire me.
What's on deck for you? Can you tell us about your brand Luxuryexcellence?
Luxuryexcellence is my fashion and music movement involving a collective of individuals with similar passions and enthusiasm.
The team is in the middle of some very exciting talks; a lot of support was shown after I did the campaign with BeatsByDre out in LA. The majority of my designs at the moment are just passed to close friends and family, never to be released. Preparation and ensuring everything is done right is key. I would rather take my time and develop full concepts, rather than rushing something with the sole purpose of cashing in on certain trends.
We will break through with our projects when the time is right.
What about Brandon Sales the musician? Are you seriously rapping?
All I can say is, something will hopefully soon be out to help silence certain “artists”.
What music are you listening to? How role does music play in your style?
At around sixteen or seventeen I took a strong liking to Stones Throw Records, listening to the likes of JDilla, Madvillain and Strong Arm Steady. This then lead me to me to find a new appreciation for Motown. Only over the last 3 years have I really started to mess with some of the new hip-hop and trap inspired sounds that are really breaking through. At the minute I’m really into Action Bronson and Travis $cott. UK wise I have always been a fan of grime, with guys like Skepta breaking through into the mainstream.
What is the most covetable fashion piece you own? Why is it so special?
My Air Mags have to be at the top. I remember watching the Back To The Future movies thinking how amazing they were. When I heard they was releasing I couldn't believe it. I didn't actually manage to grab them at the time of the auction, but I was blessed with the opportunity of getting them through a friend.
What are your favorite brands and if you could only wear one what would it be?
That’s tough. I have those brands that supply daily essentials, then I have a variety of particular pieces they have done that I can never get bored of. For example the Kanye x Louis Vuitton collaboration sneakers are my favourite sneakers of all time. The quality and design behind them is unreal. I prefer quality over quantity.
I'm really into accessories/luggage and Goyard has to be my favourite designer in that field. If I had to wear one brand forever it would be Nike/Jordan on my feet and for clothing it would have to be Balmain, as it is high quality, plain and can be easily worked with accessories.
Do you hope to inspire people through your fashion? How so?
Inspiring people is something I try to do on a daily basis. By putting out my styles and ideas it is spreading my love and passion for what I live life doing. I hope the greater majority of my followers can take inspiration and be successful with their lives.
Finally, do you have a message for the haters?
Life is too short for me to care what haters have to say, I’m busy doing me. Love or hate me, you still know who I am.