Benji Blunt x adidas Superstar 80s “Trojan”
- MODEL: ADIDAS SUPERSTAR 80S
- DESIGNED BY: Benji Blunt
- MADE ON: --/10
Every artist has their early days, and Benji Blunt is no exception, putting out these Superstar 80s in 2010 inspired by the Trojan record label. The dark olive green uppers are accented with gold yellow side stripes and heel patch, as well as maroon red detailing. The finer points include Benji’s signature “b” on the tongue, and the Trojan name and logo branded on and below the heel patch.
Experimenting with technique by creating a simple colorway and clean design was Benji’s trick on these babies, as he learned the trade and got comfy in his customs lab. We were lucky enough to catch up with him and get the full lowdown on his inspiration and direction.
Benji, looking back, can you tell us why you picked Trojan Records as your inspiration for a custom shoe design?
I love the way British culture and music in particular is so diverse; we embrace the flavours of the world and that’s what Trojan did with the early Ska and Reggae sound. I like how it was able to reinvent itself for people like myself who were not old enough to appreciate it in its early days. Plus they packaged it all so well, the iconography and graphics were, and still are, genius.
Did their packaging and iconography also inspire the colorway you chose?
Yes, the colours are the red, gold, and green related to Rasta culture, albeit with a slight manipulation of the hues. I’m always drawn towards deep and rich colours and in this case I was heavily influenced in my love for the colours found in Indian fabric, food, and art. These shoes remind me of Saffron, Turmeric, and rich green leaves.
Back in those days what were you using to create your work?
I use a range of brushes with varying shaped tips and in a range of sizes, right down to 10/0 depending on the part of the shoe or design I am working on. This shoe was no exception, being painted with brushes and acrylic paint. The Trojan Helmet was painted using a metallic paint.
Speaking of details, can you tell us a bit about the finer points of your design?
These were the first shoes that I had bought new at full retail price for the purpose of customising so I really wanted to try and make them unique. The colourway, the logo, and the heel tab had to be a challenge for me to feel that I’d improved. Looking back I can see the ways in which I have gotten better at certain things now, but at that time this was really hard work! I wanted the tongue to represent my identity, so a letter “b” in the adidas font seemed quirky and original. The Trojan writing on the heel took forever to do, as I tried to copy the Trojan Records latin style script keeping it authentic looking. The Superstar 80s is a great silhouette as there’s no embossing on the heel tab so you’ve a clean, blank surface to work on.
It sounds like you learned a lot from these shoes!
Yeah, I definitely did, and it really helped to speed up my workflow. This shoe helped me grow in confidence as it was the first to earn me a little reassuring praise from my fellow sneaker heads. I guess the Safaristar (the shoe I did several months later) took the same amount of time, which seems crazy now, as there is far more detailing on that shoe. I really learned about the paint too; how it flows, dries and reflects light. I’m still learning all the time because every shoe is different and you’ve got to try new things.
This pair certainly seems to represent an important turning point in your customising career. What about Trojan themselves, how did they react?
They [the shoes] have done the rounds on the official Trojan site, which was a surprise to me! But what I’m most happy about is the response from the Trojan fans: these shoes got a lot of attention from them and I’ve had some really lovely comments on Facebook. Now I’m really glad that they have been photographed by you guys at eatmoreshoes as the pictures I took were a little amateur!
We’re happy too Benji, and quite thankful to feature yet another creative and meaningful piece of artwork from your laboratory. From these Superstar 80s Trojan’s in 2010 to the Superstar 2 Spitey’s in 2011, we’re eager to see what you’ve got hidden up your sleeves (or down your sockliners) for 2012!
written by Dylan Cromwell
photography by errol