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You all know Tyshawn Jones story, a tiny Bronx kid who took to skating the Manhattan streets in search of a skateboarding career. Forever keeping his eyes on the prize, he has not let any temptation get the better of him. Firmly in control is how Tyshawn feels and off the back of his insane 2018, a year where he dropped the last part in Supreme's Blessed and got Thrasher SOTY, his value just went up again as he launches his first signature shoe with adidas Skateboarding. In his own words “I’m just getting started”, Tyshawn has already built an insanely healthy career both on and off a skateboard, and remarkably, he’s done this whilst keeping the same level headed mentality and approach as if it’s his first day on the job. It’s both exciting and kinda scary what we’ll see from Tyshawn in years to come, the world is there for him and he ain’t going to waste any time in taking it.
You’ve had the Supreme video, then came Thrasher SOTY and now your first signature shoe with adidas. You must be pretty stoked of late?
Yes, I am very hyped on everything I've achieved so far, but I'm just getting started.
Does it ever trip you out coming from where you did in the Bronx?
Making it to where I am now definitely seems surreal. But, with hard work and dedication, I believe you can make it to wherever you want to be, no matter what your circumstances are.
"With hard work and dedication, you can make it to where ever you want to be."
How much do you think NYC has shaped both your personal style and your outlook on skating in terms of trick selection, do you think that years pushing blocks has given you the power and pop you have?
I honestly don’t know, I don’t think that deep, I just do my thing and have fun being me. I feel like that translates best.
We’ve often heard the term that you take care of business, you don’t drink or smoke and are really professional in the way you go about skating. Is this just how you are or are you conscious that this will only last so long and you wanna do the best job possible and set yourself up good?
Whether I skated or not I still wouldn't smoke, drink or party. Those are all just a momentary enjoyment in my eyes, it's pointless to me. I like to stay focused and strive to do better each day, I feel that stuff would hold me back.
Speaking of taking care of business, how’s restaurant ownership going with Tastes So Good?
Tastes So Good is doing well, it has been open nearly a year now, 10 months, and it’s carrying itself, no out of pocket costs anymore. That's a blessing for me and something that doesn’t usually happen with a restaurant business so soon after opening. I’m very pleased with my investment and that the community I grew up in has a place with good food now. I get to supply my family and the locals in the neighbourhood with jobs.
Moving onto the shoe, did you know for a minute that you were getting a signature shoe and you’ve had time to fully think about what you wanted?
Yes, the team manager told me I was getting a shoe a year or two ago, so I'd started to map out what I really wanted. I always had an idea in mind about what I would do were the opportunity ever presented to me.
You went to the factory in Asia I believe to check out the production of it, how was that?
It was definitely an experience, I would never have imagined getting to see the process of how they make the shoes, it was insane.
Designing a shoe is a long process and quite drawn out waiting on changes and samples, of course, you want the best result possible, but were there any times of stress when you thought it might not be perfect like how it was in your mind?
Not really, everything went pretty smoothly. Actually, I didn’t like the tongue at one point, that was the only problem that we had to fix.
The shoe has plenty of basketball and hip-hop DNA baked-in, was this your inspiration and a design move on your behalf?
Yes, I got a lot of my inspiration from those aspects. It all turned out well, it translates well into a skate shoe and also as a casual shoe for all.
Given the shoe is a mid-top and whilst it’s certainly not bulky, it’s also not so slim. Was this you wanting to take a fresh direction in skate footwear design and usher in somewhat of an old- school hi-top vibe? It kinda reminds me of a new take on a sneaker you’d see on NYC B-Ball courts in the 80s.
I don't like to follow trends, usually, when someone is presented with a shoe the first thing they think is low and plain so that people who don’t skate will buy it, they try to be the next Janoski and it fails.
I've made something that's true to my identity and what I represent, if you know me you'll know the shoe is very me, that's all that really matters. If I like it, and made it genuinely, it will translate better, and I’ll sell more shoes than if I’d tried to make something a consumer would love over something I believe in.
"I am only wearing my shoe, nothing else is touching my feet."
A lot of pro skaters with pro shoe models don’t always wear them 100% of the time, but I feel you’ll rep this hard?
Yes, I am only wearing my shoe, nothing else is touching my feet.
What would be your dream situation from here, for this to become a skate staple like a Busenitz Pro or Half-Cab, or do you want to work on more models and we’ll see the Tyshawn 3 and 4 in many years to come?
If it became a staple it would be dope, because then I won on the first try (laughs). I don't know, I'll be stoked with whatever cards I’m dealt.
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