Today, ASAP Bari is finally opening the doors to his weekend-long VLONE x NikeLab pop-up in Harlem. The pop-up, located at 113 West 116th St., will carry various VLONE items, including the insanely hyped Air Force 1s, clothing, accessories (a headband, basketball, and pins), and white AF1s that will be customized by an artist on the spot.
We stopped by the pop-up yesterday for a media preview. By the time we left, there was already a line—hours before the pop-up even opens to the public. While we were there, we spoke to Bari about VLONE, whether or not he ever expected the brand to get this big, and if he's planning a wider release for the special AF1s. Of course, we also had to ask the question on everyone's mind: What's up with the VLONE x Nike AF1 high he teased?
What was your reaction when the VLONE x NikeLab Air Force 1s were, allegedly, being resold on eBay for over $90,000? Did you expect that?
It was amazing. I guess people was waiting for this shoe, before me. I can't really explain it. It's overwhelming. It was like Kobe Bryant scoring points he didn't even know he could score. It was just like, I put out a shoe. How many buckets could I make in this quarter or in the game?
Talk about the pop-up.
VLONE is a lifestyle brand, so I wanted to bring enough culture to Harlem—sweatpants, crewnecks, headbands, stuff that kids could wear on the daily and rock on their freshest days. Mix the crewneck up with your favorite denim or mix your sweatpants up with your favorite T-shirt in the summer and you could match it with your VLONE kicks.
Has anyone offered you anything crazy for a pair of the AF1s?
I can't say the craziest shit I got offered, but I've gotten a lot of crazy ass offers for these sneakers.
Was it money?
I can't... It has to do with females [laughs].
The sneakers have been pretty limited so far. Do you have any plans to do a wider release?
Later on in the future. I try to keep the first run as rare as possible. I'm actually going on a national tour where I travel to 50 states and do 50 pop-ups with VLONE. That could possibly be the worldwide release.
You teased a pair fo VLONE x NikeLab Air Force 1 highs. ASAP Rocky wore them today during New York Fashion Week. Are you releasing those?
It may be coming up next, maybe not. Hopefully Nike still fucks with me after this.
You've talked about opening VLONE barbershops and cafes. What's the big plan for the brand?
VLONE is a lifestyle. People live this, people breathe this. The kids want it, so I want to make it as social as possible so kids can connect with each other. If I was younger, I would want somebody to open up a barbershop or chill spot where kids could come like, VLONE schools. It's for the culture. It's for the kids.
Would you consider opening a VLONE flagship store?
Possibly, if I'm ever going broke. That might be the last option.
You started VLONE around 2011-2012. How important was it for you to take your time with it?
Mostly it just started because I ain't have no money, you understand? I got my money up and started investing it into VLONE more. I was mostly known as a guy with cool style, I was styling different artists, and I had rapper friends. It was like, I'm not a rapper so I may as well start designing clothes. That's how VLONE started.
What advice would you give to kids who look up to you and what to start their own brand?
Chase your dreams. If you put work in you get work. If you sit at home, be lazy, and just keep playing video games, you're gonna sit on the same couch. Get out there, travel as much as possible, get out of your comfort zone, and meet new people as much as possible.
You were at the Louis Vuitton show where Kim Jones debuted the Supreme collaboration. What did you think about that collab?
I love it. If Louis Vuitton lets [men's artistic director] Kim Jones go, I'm protesting against Louis Vuitton. He's a wonderful person and he's changing the culture.
The VLONE x NikeLab pop-up is located at 113 West 116th St. in Harlem. It'll be open Saturday, Feb. 11 and Sunday Feb. 12 from noon to 7pm.
The price list for the items are as follows:
VLONE AF1 $250
All white AF1, customized on the spot $300
Long sleeve tee $200