Legendary streetwear designer Jeff Staple teamed with Dutch Masters’ Craft Syndicate to find an up-and-coming designer to mentor and, ultimately, to collaborate with on a new design. The winner of the Craft Syndicate initiative was honored Friday night (November 11) at the Metamorphism reveal party, a celebration of the first-ever collaboration between Jeff Staple and up-and-coming designer Alexander-John. The event was held at the sneaker-and-apparel boutique Extra Butter.

Staple chose Alexander-John from thousands of submissions; they collaborated on the new Metamorphism line of hand-painted Adidas NMDs, T-shirts, hoodies and more. Derrick “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins was one of the contest judges.

“We’re two days after the election of our new president, and I don’t know a time in recent years where the country’s been so divisive," Fonzworth insisted. "I think the country needs a lot of healing right now, and I think that has a lot to do with why people came out to this event. There’s hundreds of things going on in New York City right now, but it’s packed in here because at the heart of this, it's about collaboration, creativity and mentorship and that’s exactly what we need right now.”

In his presentation of Metamorphism Staple introduced Alexander-John and explained the project's genesis and vision.

"Metamorphism is how marble is made," he stated. "If you ask a scientist, 'How is marble made?', he’ll tell you metamorphism. Me and AJ, we’re nerds, but we’re not scientists -- so we don’t really care about the actual definition of metamorphism. What I thought was dope is like, how an MC breaks down a word. We broke down 'metamorphism.' Meta-morph ... and ism. 'Meta' means like, next-level thinking. 'Morph' is change, and 'ism' is a belief. So we took all those things like, 'next-level thinking,' 'gradually changing' … and 'a belief.' So we took that word [metamorphism], sliced it up, and remixed it ourselves. And that’s what we titled our whole collection."

Staple also explained ways that hip-hop shaped the approach. "Hip-Hop has influenced more than 50 percent of my life," he shared. "More so the lyricism and the MCs just growing up hip-hop was… I can’t even articulate how important hip-hop was to me. It has written the blueprint for Staple and Reid Space."


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