Check out HUF team rider Joey Pepper's recent interview in the Sidewalk Skateboard Buyer's Guide. In the interview Joey discusses drawing up sketches and testing materials during the design process of the Pepper Pro, as well as the reception from the skateboard community on his first pro model. Below is a preview of the interview, click here to read more.
How do you feel about the reception of the Pepper Pro?
So, far so good: It feels pretty great seeing young rippers and older dudes skating in a shoe with my name on it.
Did any classic skate shoes or sneakers have an influence on the design?
Yeah, well maybe not directly, but I’m sure subconsciously all of my favourite shoes from over the years had an influence. I just wanted to keep it simple.
How involved where you with the design of the shoe? Did you go through drawing up sketches and testing materials – taking the hands on approach?
Very involved. I sketched up a few basic outlines as best I could, and the designers at HUF had some samples stitched up based on those drawings. From those, I picked my favourite, tweaked a few things here and there and then picked out materials and colours. A few months later I saw the first samples.
Were there a few samples throughout development or did it mainly stay true to your vision from the outset?
No. The basic design of the shoe was done and hasn’t changed since the first samples.
You have always had a heavy hip-hop influence in your skating and apparel choices. Does this manifest when creating products with HUF and Expedition One? Outside of skateboarding what else do you find that influences you?
I never really saw myself as a hip hop guy. I have heard that before though. Maybe it comes from the ‘Ryde or Die’ Aesthetics days and my association with Wu-Welsh and KT “the God” Taylor. My clothes used to be a little baggier but that was just the look back then. I’ve actually always been more of a classic rock person. This definitely plays in my influence to the brands I work with. I prefer things a little more organic and on the blue-collar level try to push that look whenever possible.
You’re also into woodwork I believe, have you always had a big interest in design?
I’ve always had an interest but never any formal training or education. Over the past few years I’ve had a little more time to flex my creative muscles. I’ve been having a lot of fun learning new things and seeing where they lead. It feels great to create something from nothing. Very gratifying.