Co-founder of the vintage shop Second roundcreator of the most popular sneaker of the year 2018, Youtube phenomenon, passionate collector—Sean Wotherspoon It could be all of those things, but this hyphenated individual goes way beyond the accolades on his resume. While Wotherspoon may not fit the stereotypical mold of what is considered an “artist,” his sneaker designs with Nike and adidas, as well as his deep-rooted passion for music, sings a whole different tune.
Not far from Wotherspoon’s recent collab with adidas on the ZX 8000 SuperEarth™ sneaker – a design built with sustainable resources – he’s built an empire fueled by sourcing vintage products and promoting upcycled fashion at a high level. of range.
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Growing up, you went to skate camp Woodward PA. I know from seeing your photos that you were into all sorts of different things such as space jam. Was there alternative music in your life when you were young, and what was your window on it?
I love that you ask about this. Alternative music was a big part of my life growing up. I guess my introduction to music was through my dad. My father is the leader of alternative rock. All my life I remember he listened to alternative rock music. I didn’t know the bands at the time, but I knew what was cool because he brought me the CDs. I remember some of my first CDs that he bought me: a Cake CDs, one Bjork CD, Nirvana. He introduced me to a wide variety of music. Now I hear a song, and I’m like, “Oh, my God! I love this song. I remember listening to this in the car. It’s fun since I’m into vintage now, like constantly looking for T-shirts for these specific solos. It’s my alternative rock connection, through my father. These days I have homies who like alternative rock, and I’ll see a specific shirt like Chained Alice or something that goes for a ton of money. I feel like my dad was so far ahead of what was cool.
I think we’d both probably agree that alt stuff these days isn’t just about one gender or one type of person like it was when we first arrived. You look at people like Lil Uzi Vert. I’m a huge Dominic Fike fan. Dominic Fike is for me the new Sublime, the new Bradley Nowell. I know there are a lot of sick people going through the second round, and there are all kinds of people you meet. I’m sure there are so many people we don’t even know. Are there people from the “alternative world” coming to Round Two that you have met?
For sure. I’d say one of the greatest has to be – I don’t know if he’s considered alternative – but someone from the rock world is Travis Barker. when your brothers [Joel and Benji Madden] started to pass, we were stumbling. The fact that your brothers pass by the store really tripped us up. I feel like, honestly, maybe the Madden Brothers, in general, are some of the greatest leaders in the streetwear community.
I know Toby Morse from H2O goes there. I know there are random people. I was there once and saw Sean Kingston. I feel like Pete Wentz was in the second round.
Dude, 100%! He was actually in the store maybe two or three months ago, and all of our staff were tripping. He goes to the Vintage store. A lot of guys from the alternative scene or the music scene, in general, all go to the Vintage store to buy old hardcore t-shirts or old metal t-shirts or shit like that. And we also get a lot of guys from the hardcore scene.
Everyone is onto this upcycling thing. Your attitude is so positive and so sick. People have taken to upcycling and vintage, and you invite people in. You are so promotional.
For me, it’s the only way to really shake things up. If you find that thing that says, “Oh man, I love this. I kill him on that,” you need to tell as many people as you can. If you’re really trying to make a change or a difference, it’s impossible without the community. This is where I get excited about something. I even like touching it because it’s so much fun. I get excited about something and thrive on seeing other people’s excitement alongside my own.
I wanted to ask you about some other projects you’re working on that you’d like to shout out. I know you have a few.
The biggest project I can shout out to is really the adidas SuperEarth™ project. It’s become 75% of my life right now. That was my goal, to make this look as fun as possible, so that everyone wanted to participate and everyone wanted to say, “Oh, let’s explore some vegan options for our company or for our brand.” I’m just excited for it to hit the mainstream. It’s fun that people want to get involved. And so I think it’s a really exciting time right now, on every level.
I have to shout we’re talking to you because when Awsten Knight and the Waterparks guys first came to LA, they had never really played outside of their hometown. They had never really left Texas. Round two is one of the first places I took Awsten and the guys. And I remember he found Benetton in the second round and kept buying all kinds of stuff there. Basically, Round Two was really the gateway to Benetton and other vintages for him.
That’s always the goal. What I’m hoping to hear is that someone found something in the store that they fell in love with. It’s as if he discovered Benetton and said to himself: “Oh, my God, I need everything!” I remember those early days when you took Awsten and the guys from the store. What good times. It was when I worked in the store, every day, all day. It was so nice knowing you were coming in. Either we’d have some great stories, or maybe you’d have an awesome OG piece in your collection, or you’d bring someone new. From those early days of meeting Awsten, we just had this connection. I feel like we’re more or less in these different worlds, but there are commonalities. I discovered his music through you. I follow Awsten’s Instagram. I’m on it all the time to see what his next album is or what they’re doing next or where they’re playing. I feel like the second round is a place where we were lucky to have those relationships with everyone.
You really created a community, and I can’t even put into words the amount of love for Chris [Russow]Luke [Fracher] and your work. We are super grateful. It’s interesting to see when we started doing what we were doing, and you were starting around the same time, to see the effect you had on all kinds of communities and in music and in popular culture and subcultures. Just to close and let you go, what are you listening to now, new or old?
I’m on some old school shit right now. I listen to the Mamas & The Papas, the Byrdsold beach boys, Joni Mitchell, Curtis Mayfield. I’m on this old musical journey right now, and I love it. I listened to Bobby Womack every day. I’ve been into this 60s and 70s music vibe for a few months now. It’s such a heavy vibe to me that I even tried to hit Yachty or someone I knew just hanging out so they could listen to music. I’m like, “Man, I want someone else to hear this music that’s never heard it before.” It is so good.”
This interview appeared in issue 394, available here.