On September 16, Lil Jupiter’s Instagram account was deactivated. It might not seem like a big deal to the average person, but for the 24-year-old creator, who has spent close to three years accumulating roughly 480,000 followers with posts ranging from Lil Uzi Vert fit pics to screenshots of old Pokémon episodes from the late ‘90s, his account is his bread and butter. And the New York City native’s influence evaporated from social media overnight.
“I was devastated," says Jupiter, who prefers not to disclose his real name. "I was on the train. I didn't think about myself. I thought more about the people that I was not going to get to help anymore. Those people who make sneakers I post. Or those people that I show love to that are creative. Now other people might not see. It was just tough. I just felt like the world was falling on me.”
It couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time. Jupiter was gearing up to begin promoting his second official sneaker collaboration with K-Swiss. The first, two colorways of the CR-239, released in March 2019 and currently resells for a substantial markup from its $75 retail price on the aftermarket. His profile was going to give glimpses of the three new colorways leading up to their launch. After almost two months, and some time posting on his backup account @bbjupiterr, the young creative finally got his first profile, which is followed by the likes of Jerry Lorenzo, Drake, John Elliott, and Lil Yachty, back up.
“It was a tough two months. I’m just happy and grateful to be back. The process was a bit hard because you have to be patient. When I finally got it back I was the happiest kid, it just felt good.”
With the official Lil Jupiter x K-Swiss CR-Terrati drop on the horizon, we spoke with Jupiterr about losing his account, meeting Jerry Lorenzo, his new K-Swiss sneaker, and more.
This interview has been condensed for clarity.
You have another project with K-Swiss on the way. How does it differ from the first?
I feel like the new collab is more detailed. I think the first one was me just starting off, just something simple, just doing the shoe and not really knowing the process. I didn’t know how many samples I was going to get, or how it works basically. It was just me getting my foot in the door. With this one, I was able to put more time and creativity into. Overall it felt like a better process, and I feel like I got a better outcome out of it.
So where are you taking inspiration from for the design this time?
I think for me, I work backwards. It's more of everything I've seen. Like what I've seen in the past two years through Instagram, and what's on my mind. I just put it all together at the same time. Sometimes I have inspiration, but once I see the shoe I'm able to know what colors might go with that shoe. It's putting things together while I go through it. I'm into space stuff. So I guess I take some inspiration from that, but I feel like I just go through a process.
I was trying to go in a completely different direction. I feel like the first one was just a basic shoe. The shoe only had about five options for you to change colors in. This one probably had 12. I definitely didn't want to do anything that was similar to [the first one]. I wanted to do something that was a little bit more complex. That's why it has a lot of reflective and iridescent [details] on it. It’s like an upgrade from the first shoe.
Your Instagram page was deactivated a few weeks ago (Sept. 16). What was your reaction?
I was devastated. I was on the train. I didn't think about myself. I thought more about the people that I was not going to get to help anymore. Those people who make sneakers I post. Or those people that I show love to that are creative. Now other people might not see. It was just tough. I just felt like the world was falling on me. Three years of my life putting in work. It was really hard. The first two weeks I couldn't think straight. I could barely sleep. Life keeps on going regardless of what happens. I was like, ‘I've got to get back up.’ I made the backup account and I just recently got back to posting.
That was essentially your brand. Did it affect anything for you immediately?
Personally, it didn't affect anything. I do the same thing I did for the past three years. I wake up, post on Instagram, take my little brother to school sometimes, meet up with friends. Nothing has changed. With K-Swiss, they are very supportive. They understood the situation and then they helped me with trying to get the account back. As far as the shoe release, it definitely affected it. [The account] got deactivated Sept. 16, and then I had to do an event in Tokyo on Oct. 3. So I didn't have my account for that. It was just a hard moment. I wouldn't want anybody to go through a situation like that, even though it's not something crazy. I started thinking about my future, like, what's going to happen?
You are one of the first Instagram curators to get this type of deal. Do you feel like you're opening that door for those types of creatives to get these brand deals?
Yeah, definitely. There's going to be a lot of people out there that are not going to be celebrities, that are not going to have friends that are celebrities, that are not going to have connects. You know, that's how I felt. I'm like, "Hey, I know I'm creative." I feel creative, but how do you put your foot in the door? How do you get an opportunity, besides something small? As far as paving the way, I feel like I guess I have in a way. But there's definitely other people that are doing similar stuff that I think will get opportunities. I'm just intrigued. I just want people to do good. I think it's cool to give a collab to somebody that is doing inspiration on Instagram and posting cool stuff.
Now that I got this opportunity, I don't take it for granted. I'm going to just run with it. I feel like, [Hidden NY will] be the next person that probably gets an opportunity, which is great. You can tell that he has knowledge. I'm a fan of his page. I could tell he has a lot of knowledge based on what he posts, and what he writes. Me, that's not me. I'm not the person that is going to give you knowledge on this. Every little person's going to give you something that the other might not give you.
When you started the page, was it ever your intention to get these types of projects?
On no. I don't think about that. I remember I said it when I got into it, my goal was to get like 4,000 followers. Then, I could do my brand. I never expected to get a big following. I was doing this like my job. I was really risking it all, not risking it all, but I gave up school. I gave up working a regular job. ‘All right, I'm going to put it all on the line and hopefully I'll get an opportunity.’ Throughout the process, I didn't think I was going to get an opportunity like this because you understand, these people are investing money in you. I thought in the moment, ‘Oh, people will see I have a good eye, and I have a sense of style.’ I also thought in the back of my head, these people don't know who I am. I don't really post myself. So they didn't really know the person behind the account.
You would occasionally post yourself on your page. Is there a point when you decided you wanted to be a little less anonymous?
Yeah. I don't like to be out there. I don't care about posting myself. I have no problem with that. When I started getting a following I was like, ‘Okay. I don't care about the money. I just want to be able to wake up and create.’ I just want to do something I enjoy. As far as me posting myself, I felt like I had to show myself. I feel like I couldn't just run a page and people not know me. I was thinking, ‘Are people going to really give you the opportunities not knowing who's behind it?’ After you show yourself, people are going to see, ‘Oh cool. Like his style matches what he's posted.’ So it makes more sense. I just felt like, after a while, it was cool, people not knowing who you are. But at the same time, you want to be able to get out there. You want to be able to grow and collab with people.
You've done the two K-Swiss sneakers. You worked with Advisory Board Crystals too. What other opportunities have come from your Instagram popularity?
As far as my day-to-day life, it hasn't affected me. I still do the same thing. I don't meet celebs. I don't go and meet people that I could have met. I don't go out of my way to meet people. I wasn't ever in that scene. I was never in the fashion scene. I'm coming from the outside in. I don't know any of these big time people. As far as the following, it definitely helped me grow to the point where the big people knew me. I got to meet Jerry Lorenzo. That's pretty much the only big person I would say I've met.
The most important thing from this is allowing me to do what I want to do. That's the most important thing for me. I don't care if I have 20 million or 300,000 followers, at least I'm able to wake up and know I get to do something I enjoy doing. I wouldn't be able to work at a bank. I would lose my mind. You could be like, ‘I got $100,000 for you, just to sit down once a week.’ I can't do it, because I'd rather enjoy every step, the good and the bad.
How did the meeting with Jerry Lorenzo come about?
I went to LA to see my second shoe samples. I met up with him. He gave me a pair of his sneakers. You meet people in person, it's different from the internet, through the energy and the vibes. For me, it's regular, but at the same time, in the back of my head, I'm like, ‘Damn, this is Jerry Lorenzo. This is mad big. It's really him.’
Your page has a good amount of notable followers. Do they ever reach out to you for anything?
They used to think I was a shoe customizer. So I've gotten into interactions where they'd be like, ‘I need this.’ I'm not a shoe informant. I just post what I like. There's days where I'll feel down like, is it time to just stop posting and make this about me now? Then a celebrity will hit me up, like, ‘Hey man, I see what you're doing. Keep doing your thing.’ It motivates you.
I've spoken to Trav, Travis Scott. He showed love. He has tagged me twice. I'm a big fan of him. That's pretty much it. When I was first starting out, [ASAP Rocky] reached out. I kept in contact with Jerry Lorenzo and he has good advice. Tells you to keep going, keep doing what you're doing. Salehe [Bembury] from Versace. I've spoken to Ronnie [Fieg] too. He said he was a fan of the page, stuff like that.
What are your plans, moving forward?
I think I want to be more independent. I don't know if I would want to be a brand consultant. I think for me going forward I'm probably going to just keep designing and putting my work out there more, my brand. This is something I'm passionate about. I think that will be the main thing.