You may have seen his Bake Designs tees in the HUGE giveaway we did early last year.. Since first meeting him on NYE 2010/2011 I’ve wanted to sit and sift through his MASSIVE tower of sneakers. Unfortunately, I don’t get to go to Bristol very often, but after sending him the interview questions nearly 8 months ago, Ben finally got them back to me, and here goes!
My name’s Ben Hasking and I’m a freelance graphic designer as well as owning my own brand Bake Designs.
First sneakers you ever bought?
There are a couple of pairs that could answer this question, the first pair I ever remember buying for myself were a pair of Air Force 1 mid NYC’s. I picked them up from Footlocker in Reading back before I was really heavily into sneakers. That was back when I used to wear one pair of trainers into the ground then buy a new pair.
Then when I started to get more interested in trainers it was different; the pair that started my collection was a pair of Air Max 1s, in white, neutral grey, and flamingo. They’re still to this day one of the nicest pairs I own but they’re pretty battered now.
Is there a particular sneaker that sticks out from your youth?
Back when I was young I used to wear a lot of Reebok classics and Nike Cortez. When I grew up I completely wrote off the Cortez, it just seemed like such a standard shoe because it was the sort of sneaker I had worn to school in P.E. and things like that. About two years ago I picked up another pair on Carnaby Street, bit of nostalgia.
Did you own them?
Like I said I had a few pairs of them in the past and I have a pair of them now. My style’s definitely changed but the kicks haven’t.
What’s your favourite pair of sneakers of all time and why?
There’s one or two that really sit top of my tree in terms of all time sneakers. The two that stand out most to me are the Kidrobot Air Max 1 and the Air Jordan 6 DMP.
The Kidrobot just has something about it, the Max 1 is a favourite silhouette for me and there aren’t many full leather Air Max 1s released any more. The perforated toe box just set of the perfect material make up. The colourway is just spot on as well, the colours just shouldn’t work together, black beige and pink. But they do and it just looks like such a sick premium shoe on foot.
The Jordan 6 DMP is a similar story for me, a favourite silhouette, in a favourite colourway. There has always been something black and gold colour ups. Where ever you see them or however they are used it is hard to get wrong. I just think the Black and Gold on that 6 are damn near perfect.
Do you have a pair of kicks in your collection that you don’t wear very often and why?
To be fair I tend to mix up it quite a bit, I don’t have a solid rotation of four or five styles, and with a different style fitting a different outfit I do wear a lot of variety. However in spite of that there are still pairs that get special treatment and get held back. I don’t own any kicks that many people would consider ‘grails’ but I own a lot that I hold in very high esteem.
I try my best not to wear either of my OG Max 1s too much, purely because they’re such beautiful shoes and I just don’t want to ruin them. Other than that my Jordan 3s don’t make too many appearances, neither do my Spacejams.
Staple everyday pair in your collection and why?
To be fair my staples are probably my Black and Red Jordan 6′s, I’ve got more wear out of them than any other shoe I own and they still look perfect. Such a nice shape and such a perfect colourway.
Beaters or best for raves?
I’ve got a pair of all black leather Air Max 90s that I picked up from Overkill in Berlin, the quality of the materials on them is perfect and they’re one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve worn in years. Best thing is because they have a fully leather upper they’re pretty simple to clean. If I’m on a smarter tip for the rave the leather Janoskis make an appearance.
Grails are hands down the Kidrobot Air Max 1, the Jordan 6 DMP rank similarly for me, but the Kidrobot is just that little bit less attainable.
Furthest you’ve ever gone to get a pair?
I’ve picked up a few pairs abroad but I haven’t ever gone particularly far for a specific pair. I love sneakers and picking up something rare or unusual but I’m not going to fly to another country to queue to pick up a pair unless it’s next level.
Last pick up was a pair of Clarks Desert Troopers, picked them up from the Clarks online store in the sale. Nothing fancy, but a really nice shoe nonetheless. Before that it was the Nike ACG Meriwether Product (red), which is genuinely one of my best pick-ups in years. I had my eye on them as soon as I spotted them online. A couple of weeks later, I was in London for an interview and swung by 1948 to pick them up. So pleased with them.
Best sneaker experience?
Although I don’t actually like the Sneakers that came out of it anymore, doing my Nike IDs in the studio in New York was a pretty awesome experience. I had played around with make-ups online for years and never actually gone in on a pair.
A couple of years ago I was in New York pretty much on my own, I made an appointment, went in and designed some Air Max 90’s. The whole experience just felt so extravagant and brilliant. But as I said I’m not keen on the shoes any more, there were too many options and I got a bit carried away. I think I’ve worn them twice. The nicest part of the shoe is the laser etching on the upper.
Worst sneaker experience?
My worst sneaker experience is one I shared with my friend Adam Scotland, and to be fair I think you (Yani) and Witts were both there too. It was just before Christmas a couple of years ago and we all went down to Basement 45 in Bristol. Think it was James Blake, LV, and Girl Unit, I wore a pair of Air Max 1′s that I’ve always been a big fan of and hadn’t thought about where we were going.
We had been there a while, and Adam and I were stood at the back of the room and spotted someone hunched over pushing towards the back of the room. He got right in front of us and threw up all over our feet. Brutal.
Ten minutes later I saw the same guy necking some girl on the dance floor. Poor girl obviously didn’t have a clue. But the Air Max’s are all good now, a good clean sorted them right out.
Favourite sneaker stores?
I pick up a lot of my sneakers online to be fair, but for that it’s normally Crooked Tongues, Urban Industry, End Clothing, Hanon, and WellGosh. In Bristol the stand out stores are Cooshti, Fifty Fifty and Angry Daves, there’s obviously Size? as well but it’s nice to support the locals, they’re good guys.
Any new releases you’ve got your eye on?
At the moment I’ve got my eyes firmly fixed on two releases, I’m holding out for the Cement 4s when they drop. Such a nice sneaker and it hasn’t seen a release in too long so I’m keen on those. As well as that I’ve taken a certain shine to the Leopard print Gourmet 35s. I’m not big on animal prints and lairy shoes but they’re just so clean.
Will we see any sneaker related prints for your tees?
It’s definitely something I’ve thought about, I mean a little while back I dropped a one off white tee with a black and Infrared print. I don’t know about direct references, it works for a lot of companies and brands but I’d rather make loose connections than direct references.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Hold Tight The Daily Street boys, Urban Industry boys, Donuts boys and anyone who has ever supported what I’m doing through Bake and subsequently given me sneaker monies.
Thanks so much Ben!
Follow Ben and Bake Designs on Twitter here.