From Tokyo to Los Angeles, designer Keagan Hoffman has made quite a reputation for himself over the last couple of years. If you aren’t familiar with the name, perhaps you may have seen his one-of-a-kind sneakers appear on your Instagram feed from time to time. The 19 year old artist has specialized in creating some of the darkest and cleanest footwear designs of the decade, lacing up prominent pop culture figures such as Playboi Carti and Thouxanbanfauni in his grail-worthy kicks; most notably the “Chain Force 0’s,” an ominous take on the Nike Air Force One, complete with chain laces and barbed wire. Hoffman’s bloodthirsty attitude towards urban fashion has led him to continue to push boundaries and set himself apart from the crowd, allowing him to flourish in whichever creative medium he chooses. We caught up with Keagan recently to speak on his background, inspirations, future aspirations, and more.
Keagan, where are you from?
I was born in Tokyo, Japan. My father is American though so I currently live in Los Angeles.
What was life like growing up?
My early life consisted of moving to different schools, and I lived most of my childhood in Tokyo. After the big earthquake in 2011 my mother decided to move to the states where my dad lived, around when I was 12. I’ve been here ever since.
What inspired you to pursue fashion design in the first place?
I’ve always done graphic design, so I thought it would go hand in hand to make my own designs and wear them since the clothes that I wanted hadn’t been created yet.
Speaking of graphic design, your cover arts are one-of-a-kind as well. Who would you like to work with in the near future?
I would love to work with Lil Uzi Vert and Ecco2K.
What is your favorite pair of shoes that you’ve designed so far?
Definitely the Chain Forces right now!
How did Playboi Carti end up in a pair of Chain Forces?
My friend Jeremy Gonzalez showed it to him and I guess Carti liked it. After a while he just sent me a DM of him wearing the shoes, it was a cool moment.
Should we expect full collections in the future? If so, what do you have planned?
Yeah definitely. It would consist of alot of grunge designs, some pieces may be dirty. Very raw and also hand distressed.
What inspires you the most?
Just historical context in general.
Anyone in particular you would like wearing your work?
Dennis Rodman, Brad Pitt, Lil Uzi Vert.. Ecco2K. Although there’s others that aren’t coming to mind right now.
You wear your heart on your sleeve, how big a role do your emotions play in your creative process?
My passion, motivation, and the doubts keep me going to create. I tend to think about the future consequences if I don’t capitalize on what’s in front of me right now.
What would you tell your 16 year old self today?
I’d tell myself I’m going to become what I’ve always anticipated. Don’t worry, be patient.