What happens when an Olympian gets hold of a paintbrush and a leather jacket: THIS! Shaun White’s WHT SPACE men’s collection launched this month and features a very limited number (only 140 total!) of leather jackets hand-painted by Shaun and his friends. Even better, the new line also offers tees, denim, outerwear and more that capture the thrill-seeking and extreme style of this pro snowboarder and skateboarder. We are so excited about how involved Shaun White was in the collection that we just had to get his take. Here’s what he had to say!
mBLOG: Your collection includes everything from tees to jeans, and we especially love the hand-painted leather jackets. What was the process like?
SW: The process took place over the course of five days and nights at the Imperial Art Studio in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. We used spray paint, paint markers and paintbrushes. I was covered in paint for the whole five days because I would paint from 9am to 3am everyday and decided to sleep rather than get clean… just to get dirty again. I’m not a painter or a very good artist, but I had a style and vibe in mind. The rest was just winging it. But through this whole process, I feel like I’m a much more confident painter now.
mBLOG: Does “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance” have a special meaning? Fave song?
SW: I’m always writing down phrases and ideas in a notebook or on my phone everywhere I go. I forget where this phrase came from, but I really liked it and wanted to put it on a shirt. It doesn’t necessarily have a special meaning, but I liked the idea that in many ways we are kinda set up to fail and the odds seem overwhelming at times, but everyone—”the kids”—seem to make it work anyway.
mBLOG: The WHT Space collection really has your personal touch. We love that you were a part of the entire process from naming the collection to creating it. Can you tell us a little about that?
SW: Every step of the way, whether it was a buyer or a new designer talking about the line, they were always asking, “What’s the white space? How is it gonna fit in, where is it gonna go, how is it gonna fulfill different needs?” You know, the white space—referring to the blank space on the floor plan, as well as the position in the market. I remember just thinking, if the white space is so important, why don’t we just name the brand after it?
Obviously, it’s a play on words, like it’s literally the white space, but my last name is also White. So the whole deal kind of works because it’s a retail term as well as my last name, and it’s a cool name in general. It checked all those boxes.
For the abbreviation, “WHT Space,” I wanted to do something different. There are so many products that I’ve put out in the market that have the word “white” spelled out in full. I’ve had signature product and collections for over 15 years, and we always have my full name on it, so we decided to do something a little different.
mBLOG: Did you come up with the ideas for the designs? Do you have a favorite?
SW: I started with the idea of WHT Space as a literal white space or blank space that could be filled in with various designs. But since I’m not a skilled illustrator, I filled the white spaces with paint splatter and drips. So I guess my lack of skill led to the overall style we ended up with, which I feel is very unique.