Fortrove News

In an interview with HYPEBEAST, Luke Tadashi, Bristol Studio co-founder discusses his favorite Jordan model as well as his high-fashion influences in footwear.


When asked what started his obsession with sneakers, Tadashi said, "Basketball. I remember being in preschool and always shooting a little basketball on my mini hoop. Growing up in LA, Kobe was everything to me. I was coming of age as his career was happening and he was someone I followed closely. I wanted to emulate anything he did or wore. He was an adidas athlete first, and I was obsessed with his shoes, especially The Kobe and The Kobe 2 — even though it looked like a toaster!"

"As middle school came around, I started to obsess over things like shape, proportion and how pants draped over your kicks," said Tadashi regarding when he started seriously getting into collecting sneakers. "I was never intentionally amassing a collection, but I was quick to embrace the sneakers that I felt a connection to, not necessarily what was trending at the time. It started out with silhouettes like the Air Jordan 13, the Air Jordan 14 and all of Kobe’s models. Later on, I was heavily into Nikes. From ‘04 to ‘10 I remember being super into the Prestos and the first Flyknit kicks like the Trainers and the Racers."


When asked to describe what it was like when he first learned of the Air Jordan 13, a sneaker he highlighted in his Sole Mates selection, Tadashi said, "When I was around four or five years old, I remember going to a sneaker store with my mom and she let me pick out any shoe I wanted. I immediately gravitated towards the Air Jordan 13 “Chicago” colorway. It was the signature Jordan of that year and they just meant more to me than something you that you just wear."


Tadashi was also asked to describe his favorite parts of the sneaker model, to which he said, "I was obsessed with every part of them. The hologram is definitely an element that I’ve always loved and the materials also caught my eye. I love how the nubuck suede and smooth leather create a striking contrast. The pockmarked uppers are super interesting as well because I don’t believe that I’ve seen that on any other shoe. I also really like that 13s fly under the radar. I’ve always loved having a connection to things that don’t necessarily resonate with the masses. When I wore them I was saying something about who I am and showing my affinity for Michael Jordan."

When asked to describe the birth of Bristol Studio, Tadashi said, "MAASAI Ephriam [Bristol Studio co-founder] and I go way back. We knew each other from afar through the Boys & Girls Club that we grew up going to in elementary school, and when sixth grade rolled around, he came to my middle school. We were the two best basketball players in our grades and ended up playing AAU ball through middle school. We have these hilarious hoop mixtapes that we made of each other with our old camcorders.


We reconnected post-college, when I had already started Bristol Studio and flirted with the idea of what a basketball lifestyle brand would look like. Around 2017 I did one collection — which looks very different to what we are today — but it had hints of blending high-fashion influences and unique design with a basketball lens. The brand caught adidas’ eye because I styled the collection with the Kobes I mentioned earlier, and they’d never seen anyone interpret their products in that way. The timing of that aligned as well because MAASAI had asked if I wanted help with Bristol [Studio] since I was essentially running around doing everything myself. He came on board and the rest is history."

Information originally sourced from HYPEBEAST.