Oliver "Power" Grant is the man behind the scenes that has kept Wu-Tang churning for the past 20 years. It's been two decades since the release of Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and 18 years since the start of Wu-Wear, and now Power has linked up with DC Shoes for a collection that celebrates the influence of the crew from Shaolin.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Power and discuss the collection that drops today, and get into the boots, jacket, and hat that he designed for DC. But the discussion with Power also got into how Wu-Tang has been influential to the world of skateboarding. Not because the crew was trying to make money, but it just made sense. Take a trip through Power's design process and brush up on your Wu history, you're bound to learn something new today.
Interview by Matt Welty (@matthewjwelty)
How did your collection with DC start?
I actually seeked DC out, along with a few other companies and after doing my due diligence and just getting feedback, I figured DC was the best place to be and the most natural place to be.
How did you decide to do a boot and clothing collection?
The boot was actually DC’s idea. There was originally going to be a different boot. Somewhere along the line we switched that up, and were talking about us doing other products. I wanted to do things that were legitimately respective to the skate world and not have people confuse it with being “urban.” Things do crossover now, and I like to come to the people as the people. So for skate, working with DC was a great place to be, and great people to work with.
I know you did the boot, but do you picture yourself doing a straight up sneaker in the future, or do what to keep it a little more rugged?
It’s funny, because going to the meetings with the team at DC they would always say I’m greedy. I want to see the product with the Wu-Tang brand on it. I’ve got a habit of going in places and messing with stuff. I pick it up, I feel it, I see it. I try to feel what it is and understand it. Every product that I would gravitate towards, they would be like, “Yo, you got this down.” They noticed everything I've picked up from visiting them, and have already identified a nice selection of things that are coming out.
Can you give us a hint on that? Or is it super under-wraps?
No I can’t give you a hint on that, because they would try and kill me [laughs].
How did you want to reflect Wu-tang within sneaker culture?
Just by making dope product that fits the market. A lot of people will love the Wu-Tang and DC collection. But when you’ve got people that love the things you do, you've also got people that hate on what you do. In the future, we can push things into their respective lanes, so that it translates to the people. I wouldn’t bring a DC shoe to a guy that’s looking for a Nike because you’ll obviously catch slack. But if you put things in a lane where they belong, it becomes easier for people to understand what’s going on. And the sneaker culture is definitely all about the lanes.
It’s the same process because I implement my style, but it changes all the time and it's improvised.
You had the Nike Dunk that was limited and people still go crazy over it. And from that you went to FILA, and now you’re doing DC. Is there a difference, or is it the same process for you every time?
It’s the same process because I implement my style, but it changes all the time and it's improvised. FILA was actually the first boot I did like that, but I also did a Dekline sneaker. With FILA, it could only go a certain way, because you couldn’t really do too much with the silhouette. I didn’t get into it like I did with DC. But the process is the same. It doesn’t matter to me if I’m working with a small company or a big company because I still take the same steps and go through my creative process. Depending in who you’re working with, you have to adapt your creative process and how you work.