Hypethetic, A Sneak Peek

Two Saturdays ago, I had a chance to pop around the Sole Obsession sneaker event at Know It Nothing. This was no ordinary exhibition, showcasing humble sneakers which you can pick up at a local retail space. I am talking one-of-a-kind, limited-edition kicks with attitude, for the die-hard sneakerphiliacs.

I found myself on pause and mouth agape at the utter brilliance of the fully customized cult kicks from master local pimps SBTG, Meth, Lazy, PhuEk!, Hypethetic, Ol’ Charlie’s, Republic Union, and Killer Gerbil, and guest pimps Darbotz (Indonesia), Spoonman (Malaysia) and Very Masa (Australia).

After the event, I sat down with Shaun of Hypethetic to get the full story on their custom puppies and the direction in which their brand is going. The name may be unfamiliar to most of you, but sneakerheads and people who are fashion forward in the street wear scene, most commonly recognize Hypethetic for their fabric outfitted sneaker creations. Read Up!

Who are the guys behind the Hypethetic label?

Hypethetic is an up-and-coming label founded by three young sneaker lovers namely, Joe aka TwistedJoe, Clark aka CT and myself, Shaun aka Yen. Joe is the chief customizer handling most of the sneaker design work while Clark and myself lend him a helping hand. Apart from that, I also handle the website, photography, marketing and technical aspects of the label. At the end of the day, each of us contribute to the building of the Hypethetic label in a different way.

Is this a full time job or it just something you like to do in your spare time?

Customizing is what I would call ‘a part time thingy’ for us now as we all have day jobs. TwistedJoe and Clark are both engineers and I’m a web creative consultant by day.

How long have you guys been pimpin’ kicks and how did you learn to customize?

The team has gone through the hard knocks of learning how to customize from scratch and that involves lots of time and money. Kudos to our chief customizer, TwistedJoe for all the hard work on the experimentation. We deconstructed and reconstructed numerous pairs of shoes by hand, trashed the materials with all sorts of paints and chemicals. Ultimately, we decided that paints didn’t quite work out for us and got comfortable with working on fabrics instead. Things also got a bit easier when we acquired new machinery to help speed up the production process from the initial two weeks to a couple of days now for each pair. Joe has been pimpin’ kicks for a good twelve years, whereas myself and Clark joined the pack just a couple of years back. Anyway, you’re never too old to pimp kicks !

How did you start making a name for yourself?

Hypethetic’s growth and recognition worldwide is attributed to clinching second spot in the fabrics category in a sneaker design competition organized by U.S. based sneaker magazine, Sole Collector. And also thanks to prominent websites, magazines and forums like SneakerFreaker, NikeSkateboarding.org, Streething.com and ISSforums.com (Sole Collector).

What is it you are trying to do to a sneaker?

Essentially what we really want to do is bring out a certain theme to each of our shoes and compliment that with some materials which big boys like Nike don’t really use. Every now and then we do try to change the shape of the sneaker a little bit. We also put strong emphasis on durability, which is something that you cannot guarantee on a pair of kicks that uses “cut n paste” of materials onto the shoes. Because after rocking for some time, the materials will peel off …

Hypethetic 7

‘The Armadillo’ was created on the occasion of Hypethetic’s first anniversary. Using real quality leather, this unique pair was hand stitched from ground up.

What is your favorite shoe to work with?

We love working with the Nike dunks, as it offers us numerous panels to work on as compared to other shoes. That alone gives us the flexibility to mix and match materials, experiment on different mediums as well. Each sneaker that we produce in our lab is based on different themes, stories and daily encounters.

How’s the competition between the local customizers?

From our humble point of view, we don’t see it as competition amongst the local customizers as we all have a certain specialty. You may have noticed at the recent Sole Obsession event that there is a kind of synergy going on between the designers and customizers. We are looking at working closely with the rest of the local customizers to promote a healthy co-petitive (competitive and co-operative) streetwear scene.

What do you have planned next?

Hypethetic is going through a major revamp on both the website and our operations, though I cannot reveal much at this point in time. We will definitely expand our range of products. We are also working on building a brand name in the international streetwear scene.

Top five sneakers?

Futura FLOM Dunk Hi, Mark Smith Laser (1st series), Air Shake & Destrukt, Nike Entourage Turtle AF1 …

Your favourite place to shop for sneakers?

We have a couple of hangouts for shoes, namely Leftfoot, L.E and Gallery in town and some random shops around Queensway.

I guess you’ve seen Tweeqim’s low gold and silver dunks for Nike. What do you think?

Tweeqim’s gold and silver dunks are as sick as hell with its clean lines all round. One of the most awesome shoes we’ve seen since the Nike x Undefeated x Entourage Turtles AF-1. Every now and then, and I’m sure you will agree, there is something fresh coming out from the sneaker scene that simply takes your breath away.

Visit the Hypethetic site to see more great stuff. For pictures of the Sole Obsession, 3rd chapter event, click here.



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