One of the greatest pleasures in life, to me, is interacting with people who have passion. Passion is infectious when it is honest and true, it changes the colour and taste of your world, gives you a small insight into another mind.
A few years ago I met an incredibly passionate and knowledgable gent - Papa Nui. His story was similar to mine - he followed his passion in clothing to Japan, where the vintage and military replica market was strongest. Being there in the mid to late nineties, he was there for the thick of the creative days. The domestic denim market boomed in ‘92 with Denime, Evis, Warehouse, Gardener. Military started to take off with Buzz in Nylon, McCoys in leather. Everyone was specialised, bringing something new and well thought out, seemingly trying to compete for who could be the most authentic, who could provide the highest quality. Papa was there, consulting to the industry and specifically to McCoys.
By the time I arrived in 2001, the industry had changed. McCoys had splintered off into Toys, RMNZ and Nylon. Evis was nearly Evisu, and the hip hop connection was beginning. There were new young guys coming up - Skull by Alchemist was then a shrine to the Beatles, and guys like Samurai were bringing new things. 45RPM was laying the foundation for brands like Kapital. It was exciting, but it was the second wave.
Meeting Papa, it was clear that this was a guy who understood. He had a wealth of knowledge that the RRL’s of the world needed, but he was too busy catching early morning waves to get himself out there and be noticed.
When Papa started producing small bits and pieces, it was a no brainer for me. If he is making something, I am buying it, that simple. That I can write to him and ask him first hand is something I value even more highly, as guys like this don’t come along that often. It is what makes my life slightly surreal and astonishing.
Papa x Old Salt