Stephane Ashpool Interview + Pigalle Basketball Video23/02/2012
Stéphane Ashpool is the creative brain behind Pigalle Paris, and also the Pain O choKolat co founder. In this new video directed by dutch film maker Paul Geusbroek, Ashpool showcases his local basketball team for whom he recently designed the outfits. This is part of the 'Amateur Basketball' project Pigalle Paris is starting, thanks to the support of Nike Stadium Paris and Bowery Stadium.
Christophe Victoor: What is the meaning of the 'Amateur Basketball' project?
Stéphane Ashpool: The meaning of this project is to support amateur basketball teams, these teams who by the end have a very strong sporting and social background. This time with the Barbès - Goutte d'Or team, I wanted them to have a first class sport equipment as well as a well defined graphic identity. Thanks to Nike Stadium for the support. Our sport, especially in Europe, really needs to improve its graphic and visual identity to be strong. This is how I feel USA does in term of sale. I want to be a part of this renovation of the European basketball aesthetic. It's a pretty big challenge.
CV: What is your personal connection to the Barbès - Goutte d'Or Basket Ball team and the Barbès neighborhood?
SA: I always had a lot of school friends living in Barbès, and today I play for the team as well. It's just two subway stations away from Pigalle area. I would say that Barbès has this unique energy of a multiracial neighborhood, it's like Harlem was for New York. It was important for me to light up this area, plus the team hasn't stopped moving up in the rankings. We're currently number one now in our level!
CV: Can you describe the Pigalle designed uniform for the team?
SA: We worked on a black and white oufit, and a bit of gold. It was the players' request. They came to me and said "We never play against a team dressed in black". It was the right time and a good occasion ! The base is a dry fit jersey, we actually work with the same typo as the Pigalle logo font, made by our graphic designer Ill Studio. We also embroidered on the heart, a 'Goutte d'Or' - which is 'a gold drop' and few other details.
CV: How do you connect basketball with fashion?
SA: I come from both worlds, so it's really spontaneous to me. I couldn't really explain it. Since I was 9 years old, I have 'decrypted' the style of bball players. From the pros to the playground, with various silhouettes in between. My current Pigalle Autumn / Winter season was actually inspired by the silhouette of playground player in Winter. I love both worlds, so it's normal that I want to connect them as much as I can.
CV: What are the next steps with the 'Amateur Basketball' project?
SA: I will always keep doing things related to basketball. We already have the Pigalle - Duperré court that we opened with Lebron James a few years ago. Then we created a basketball tournament called PXA. This tournament adventure already brought us to Amsterdam, Paris, Milan and Berlin, involving amateur players mostly from the fashion industry. My plans for the future will stick to this same direction, mixing aesthetics & sport. I definitely want to work one day on a proper collection mixing core basketball gear with a higher fashion flavor. I think Jun Takahashi with his Nike Gyakusou running line, or the soccer inspired brand F.C.R.B. are good exemples. I have a few ideas in mind, like doing something in Sarajevo, Bosnia. I have a strong connexion with this amazing and heavy past country. Plus they're really good basketball players. Let's see & ball!
Photographer - Ysa Perez