Hometeam: One-on-One with Dino Hatfield Pt. 2

It was a mere 18 months ago; the last Baltimore Sneaker Show where we spoke with Dino Hatfield, one-third of the brains behind the Baltimore Sneaker Show. And things have changed within that time span; new challenges, new paths. Now in its eighth year, the annual show has taken on new life as of 2017 with the introduction and curation of a multi-sneaker project with Baltimore-based brand, Under Armour. And now in 2018 as Nike has entered the fold. Bringing BSS into a new arena and the city in a new light. We virtually sit with Dino on the eve of the BSS 2018 who took the time again for the hometown blog. With the show this year comes one word that connects all of Baltimore…HOMETEAM.

Dino, good to have you back. Thanks for taking the time as always. Last year (June 2017) we did the Q&A leading into BSS and I asked; “what did the UA project and Baltimore Sneaker Show mean to you?” To which you replied; “Everything”, now one year later you’re working with Nike. So the question warrants itself yet again slightly…

Q: What does the Nike project mean to you?

A: Everything and then some! Took a lot of hard work to put it together. These are two pair out of like 12 different samples. Ones that I’ve showed you privately behind the scenes lol

Q: Give us some background; how did this project come together with Nike?

A: We just playing bully ball. We making it happen however want it to happen. Whenever we want it to happen.

 

Samples we certainly cannot speak on or show publicly just yet. But from what I have seen it is going to be an excellent rollout once the collection surfaces. Last year was your first major collaboration with a footwear company but also it was unique in the sense that it was Under Armour’s first collaboration. Granted there is Project Rock, and now A$AP Rocky has his project with UA…but this was the first. So it was a learning experience for not just you but Under Armour as well. Speaking to that…

Q: What lessons and things did you take from the UA experience in 2017 that you were able to apply to this new experience?

A: Don’t let these companies f*ck you. For lack of better words. These companies will if you let ’em. Gotta make sure you do what’s best for YOURSELF and your brand at all times. Much love to them but they know what’s up.

Expanding upon the juxtaposition between the UA x BSS project of 2017 versus the Nike x BSS project of 2018. When we conducted part one of the interview one of the questions that arose was:

“What is the significance of this project; do you feel that it is more an embodiment of the city of Baltimore?”

Now on the other side of the UA collaboration and now on the eve of BSS 2018; you had a homegrown Baltimore product, between Under Armour and BSS. Two Baltimore entities meeting to create something for the city, for the culture overall. It was very much so for Baltimore. However, Nike is a different tier [with all due respect]. Not pitting the two projects against one another, the question looms:

Q: What does Nike x BSS mean for the city of Baltimore? As a sneaker city?

A: Good question. It means us taking our respect. It took a while for us to get our little name of a city out there for anything besides dope strips, murders and the wire. But we really gets busy sneaker wise. Always have. As these companies who kept the AF1 alive, who kept up with DC/VA on the New Balance tip, who boosted that ACG wave with the Goadome boots, who was switching up Air Max 95s twice a day on that pavement. I could go on forever about the history. But we’ll keep telling that history with our releases. We’ve been overlooked enough.

“WE’RE THE GREATEST CITY STRAIGHT UP!” – Dino Hatfield

Q: You’ve been a fabric of the city’s sneaker scene for years…so in your opinion…how would you assess where we are as a city? Where can we grow…is the city finally gaining some of the recognition it deserves?

A: There’s some retail spaces and upcoming projects I can’t speak on just yet. But I’m here to tell the major companies, you gotta step it up. We the bottom of the barrel when it comes to that distribution and allocation of that real good product. No reason why we gotta drive to Philly, DC, NY and that to get certain silhouettes that us in the town helped make popping. Fix that.

Agreed. Switching gears a bit…last year, you took a break from social media. Still haven’t made any moves on Twitter…yet you’ve been able to still maintain a social presence. Providing early looks and editorials…it wouldn’t be right to ask if you still love the game and culture.

Q: But rather has the passions shifted some? 

A: The culture is what keeps me going. No matter how I feel. No matter what lessons I learn. No matter my potential. No matter what happen I KNOW this what I’m out here to do. The early shit isn’t my core anymore. I still do it though. Like the “Mars Nike 270” and 270 React next year. See what I just did there? Lmao

Q: Having now been on both sides of the culture and industry; consumer and designer…is the love and appreciation deeper? Or in a way does it feel jaded if you had to pick one side or the other?

A: Definitely deeper. And there’s a way bigger understanding on how things happen. Stuff that I’d question before I fully understand now. I’m gonna always be a consumer. Nothing will ever stop that. I’ll always want more than I can create. That’s just natural.

Bringing things back around…full circle. Baltimore Sneaker Show 2018, Saturday. Going to be a good show as always…but the centerpiece of all this for this year is the collaboration. So we have to know…

Q: What else can we expect from BSS and BSS x Nike?

A: More goodies. More things that embody the town. Things that fill that void in the game right. Things that represent me and my partners. How we grew up. Shit that’ll never drop again that we’ll cook up on our own. And it aint all boxed in with just Nike. We gonna play around with whatever brands we want. I wanna salute my team of guys Roy, Ronnie, Lil Kev, Gino and Jeff for our team effort to make all this possible.

Q: I’ve seen previews of the Nike collaboration over the months; some you teased publicly, others you haven’t…what can we expect to see from the project? Will it come in waves?

A: We got the “Hometeam” Air Max 1 containing that hometown vibe. The usual thing we hold onto, sports. Baltimore Colts before some of us was even born, Baltimore Ravens with the two chips, Baltimore Orioles while Cal (Ripken) was most consistent in the sport, Maryland Terrapins when Juan Dixon brought it back to the town…yeah that’s our feel. The “Damn Right, You Saved the AF1” Air Force 1. With almost the same theme as the Air Max 1. But it’s more geared towards the MD flag. We Baltimore kids but we’ve been all through the state coming up. Running down Chevy Chase (Friendship Heights) busting down all the designer stores as teens [RIP Bjay], hitting all the college campuses all the way over to Eastern Shore, just being everywhere you know? Gotta include the STATE too.

So it’s like one joint is for Baltimore, one is for Maryland. Both are $250 a pair, a lot less pairs available than you think are available. So come to Baltimore Sneaker Show December 15th at St Frances to get your hands on em!

Once again thanks to “Big Brother Dino” for taking the time and be sure to support the show, support the city, support the growth and movement and positivity within the city. Baltimore this is is for you, this is for us. Much love to Dino for providing the exclusive and the scoop. Be sure to cop your tickets for the show in the post below. And scroll through the imagery for the BSS x Nike Air Force 1 and Air Max 1.