We made this list as part of our “Do it Like Oski & Janoski” session in which multiple teams competed in the Skatehalle Berlin to skate as much as both Oski & Janoski.
Check out the winner here:
Anyway, we made a placelist based on songs our two protagonists could have skated to, might still skate to or just love to play. Instead of letting it go to waste we thought “fuck it” might as well share it with you guys.
This year marks 10 years of Stefan’s shoe with Nike SB. As such we get multiple looks, we get Trust Fall, we get a talk in Paris and now we get a look at his creative side paired with some really good skateboard moves.
All things being as they may this is a really cool look behind the curtain and into what Stefan does on the daily.
Some people need no introduction and Stefan is one of those people! But we were lucky and got to sit down with him and his wife Jessica, coincidentally their relationship started when his shoe first dropped so you get both takes on the process today.
Happy 10 years Stefan, we hope for at least 10 more!
First of all, thank you for sitting down with us and doing the interview.
No problem, my pleasure.
So a little context first. Why are we here?
We are here to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of my Nike SB shoe
Do you remember when you first saw the shoe?
Yeah, I even remember when I first saw the drawing of the shoe. I also remember when I got the first samples.
The first time I saw a drawing was at my wife Jessica’s house, it was when we first started dating and that is also probably why I remember it so well. It was fresh love at the same time as a fresh design. I remember it very specifically.
A fun fact is the first samples were, in fact, the way the shoe is now. I got in (the office) and saw the shoe and was like “Oh my god this is great” and I skated it and actually someone reminded me recently and said that I never even gave the samples back or even told them that I liked it.
I skated those first samples for about a year and never gave them back which actually let them know I liked them
Jessica, since you were there when he saw the drawing, what did you think of the shoe?
I liked it, the shoe was like a streamlined, classy, nice… clean, timeless type of shoe and I remember he was excited when he saw the drawings.
Timeless might be the best way to describe the shoe. Do you remember the first time you saw other people wearing it?
At first, it was my friends, they started calling me “I keep seeing your shoe everywhere!” it builds up fast and then I started seeing people with my shoe everywhere.
At the time I was living in New York so you are out in the streets a lot. Around the same time, I was out in Barcelona and every single person had them on… it started really snowballing. Every single day when I go out now I see somebody wearing my shoe.
That must be a special feeling.
I love it. We always see people on the street and say that guy is wearing my shoes and then Jessica will tell him “Hey you got some nice shoes on”. So many times it has happened when someone would come up to me and say “Yo man, nice Janoski’s!” and I would be like “Yeah, you to man!” (laughs).
Back in the day, people would come into my local shop and ask for some Janoski’s and not even know it was a person’s shoe. They just thought Janoski was the name of the model shoe.
I like the way you pronounced my name, the Polish way, proper Polish with a soft J.
Funny segue, I was meaning to ask about your Polish heritage, I remember a 411 around the world where American skaters with Polish heritage toured the country.
Yup! That was in 2001 I think. We went to Poland with Joe Brook & Anthony Claraval, Ed Selego, Kristian Svitak, Mike Ruczyk, Justin Strubing was there but he isn’t Polish he just came with us. Anthony Claraval also isn’t Polish (laughs).
That was one of my first trips to somewhere “different”, it was so long ago that I had a paper plane ticket that I lost and it was actually a really big deal!
I actually met a kid there on the streets who skated and his name was Stefan Janoski and he said to me “You are Stefan Janoski! – I am Stefan Janoski!” and I was like “What, nice to meet you!” (laughs).
411vm – Around The World 2
You being Polish is a big deal in Poland, they really keep track of which pro’s have Polish heritage.
That’s cool! I would actually like to go back to Poland, it was fun, it was such an experience for me because I was still so young.
How old were you at the time?
22 or 21. We actually went to multiple places, cities like Warsaw and Krakow. To be honest, it was such an experience, the whole thing was very different for me but a lot of fun! Yeah, 411 Around the world 2.
Michal Juras actually gave me that information, as I said the Polish know about heritage.
I actually brought like 10 boards on that trip because I just got sponsored and was like “Whooo, new boards every day!” But I only brought 1 pair of trucks and back then the axles on Indy’s and Ventures would bend.
My axles got bent the first day and there was no way of getting new trucks in Poland. So I rode bent axles the whole time in the end if you would kick my board it would almost boomerang. But I was so young and excited to be there that I didn’t really care, I would still skate those double sets.
Back to the shoe. Over the years there have been many versions of your model. Could you name them all?
Lunarlon, Hyperfeel, Mid-top, Slip-on, Air Max, High Tape, Velcro, Air Max 2, Remastered, Wallabee, crafted, Camo turtle neck thing and Woven. And every time I am amazed that they managed to make a new shoe out of my original Janoski design.
How involved are you in those adaptations?
Well, they have to show me everything and I have to approve it and lately, there are some really awesome designers working on my shoe. Every time they show me something I am just blown away and I love their ideas.
Every shoe they have been showing me lately has been a return to a classy and serious look for the shoe. I like that because when the shoe got really popular there were a lot of “Mall Colors” so to say. Janoski’s with polka dots and tillies for people who don’t have taste (laughs).
I like the honesty.
But now it is back to the type that you can save and wear ’em a year and still be stoked on the way the shoes look.
It feels like it has been tailored to your own style again.
That is exactly how I feel. It kinda became its own monster in a way, it went away and did this huge successful thing.
It kind off rebelled.
It did. The shoe kind of rebelled against me. Sometimes your kids do that, too. But, you have to support them anyway and be like “Okay, if you want to go to (X) go ahead but…”
(Laughs) You do you!
Which version besides the classic is your favorite at the moment?
I really love the Velcro… Alternative closure I mean, you know Velcro was the name of a company that developed the stuff.
I also love the Slip Ons lately, for skating they are just so good but I do keep going back to the classic ones. Actually, these new ones called the “Wovens” are some of my favorites that they came out with, in a long time. They are just beautiful.
Were you testing those out during this years CPH Open in Berlin?
The all black leather ones? Yeah, those are the coolest. Actually, I wore those so much that I had to leave them outside because they smelt so bad.
He actually tried to bring those smelly things back home after the trip and they were disgusting.
Yeah, the thing is those stayed good for such a long time, I didn’t want to let them go but I had to. Because they are all leather they didn’t break they just broke in and became better and better.
It is also the type of shoe that you can wear on multiple occasions.
Oh yeah, you could go to a funeral in those or a wedding. Man, people are getting married in my shoes all the time. Someone just told me the other day at Republique “Man, me and my friends all got married in your shoe!” and a couple of my other friends wore them at wedding parties.
#janoskiwedding must be a thing.
Yeah, it is! It is cool because the people still looked dressed up when they are wearing the shoe.
To be honest, that was also one of the main objectives when we made the shoe, we wanted to cancel out the “chill shoe”.
Everyone wore their skate shoes for skating and afterward they would be like “Let’s get these things off!” and they would put on some “chill shoes”. And I was like why does your skate shoe have to be so bad that you have to go to the hotel and change before going out to dinner? That sucks!
You actually follow that concept yourself as well, I can’t really remember you in any other shoes since the shoe came out. Back in the day some blazers maybe but…
That was before the shoe dropped, actually, since the samples came out 11 years ago I haven’t changed my shoes. I just like my shoe.
Today we are celebrating 10 years of the shoe but actually the shoe you have on now looked the same but it is not the same as the one that came out 10 years ago right?
No, it is not, it got a little souped up.
We didn’t really have to do much, no number 2 shoe or anything because we did it right the first time. We took the time to change little details. Take away some piping, add another stitch, we took away the embroidery and added perforation.
When we first made the shoe I wanted the least amount of everything, materials, the look, the absolute minimal between my foot and my board. With the remastered, we have just taken what we have learned and gotten closer to those ideas.
A sleeker shoe, a slimmer sole and so it is just the same but with minor details changed to improve it.
I actually heard from people that the fit is different, it is a bit better for wider feet.
I wouldn’t have noticed because I have really tiny feet but yeah I heard that is true. Somebody asked me that before and yeah we changed it a bit because that was the number 1 complaint about the shoe.
The original was tailor-made for your feet so it makes sense.
Yes, that is true and I have narrow fucking feet.
In the skate shop, people would complain about the fit but they would still buy them because they needed to have the shoe.
If you walk in them they mold but it takes a moment. Also, different materials have different fits.
You actually physically hurt a lot of people with your shoe.
(laughs) Yeah, toes, ankles… definitely I actually hurt myself too sometimes.
I guess we kind of turned a corner from the past into the future though with the remastered version. In a way, it is a shoe that made a heavy mark in skating and I can’t imagine the shoe business without the Janoski’s around.
I think that is great.
It is an achievement.
And you know, we didn’t think about using things from other designs, it was just me selfishly wanting a thing that Nike didn’t have at the time and no one predicted it to go like this.
I was surprised when the kids really started wearing it but it is a really good skate shoe not only a good looking shoe.
It even went as far as Shane O’Neill having his name on your pro model shoe.
That was really crazy… that was really cool. Shane is great! One of my favorite skaters and I have known him since he was a little “Nugget” that is what they used to call him.
It is always great to see your friends grow up to become the best skateboarder in the world (laughs).
So with you progressing and growing older in skating what is your role in skateboarding as time goes on?
Personally, for me, it is like you are trying to do it and then you hopefully do it and then the next step is to stay doing it. Many people become pro but not many stay pro for very long so just to still be a pro skater and doing everything is an achievement in itself.
There is not much longevity in skateboarding and there is not a lot of back up plans in skateboarding. People are all in or all out, some people get jobs at a skateboard company or you start a skateboard company but for me, it is still being a skater.
Right now is a fun time for me doing it but also watching the kids doing it and going on trips and to watch them struggle at spots where I already did tricks (laughs).
As far as longevity goes, your shoe is like a classic album. People keep coming back to it. Your generation and even the generation before you seem to have found their place in skating and are able to stay in it longer than most.
Look at Lance Mountain, he is still out there doing it and there are not a lot of his peers involved in skateboarding any more as a pro. Mark Gonzales obviously is the same but there is not a lot without owning or working for a company in skating. And I just want to keep going and see where it goes and right now it is going.
The very loveable Steve Forstner made a video about his summer 2017 and it is very honest, just like the man himself. Stefan Janoski, Wes Kremer, Remy Taveira, Konstantin Rutschmann, Valeri Rosomako & too many others to count are featured in this hi-end production from wherever Steve is at the moment.
When your favorite filmer films your favorite skaters. Well, in that case, it has to be written in past tense because this was filmed before 2010. Alex Olson in Lakai’s, Jake Johnson skating an AWS Board and Janoski in Janoskis, ha. Some things never change. Go, watch the video it is amazing:
Eigentlich scheint eine weitere Dokumentation über das Leben des Kurt Cobain keine sonderlich gute Idee zu sein. Vor allem wenn man hört, dass in der Doku einiges in Animationen dargestellt wird. Doch dieser Film ist der erste voll authorisierte, welcher mit Unterstützung von Cobains Ex-Frau Courtney Love und der gemeinsamen Tochter Frances Bean entstand – Cobains engsten Wegbegleitern. Der Film ist um ehrliche Tiefe bemüht und gespickt mit Szenen, die unter die Haut gehen. Noch nie wurde die Grunge-Legende so persönlich dargestellt.
Wir haben unsere drei liebsten – mit Kurt Cobains Musik bespielten – Parts für euch zusammengesucht und bemerkten bei unserer Recherche schnell, das nur eine kleine Auslese an Skatern sich an Cobains Sound gewagt haben. Janoski. War klar, oder?
Stefan Janoski in Expedition One – Alone:
Ryan Smith in Zero – Dying To Live:
Kenny Hoyle in Expedition One – Gone Fishin(10:50):
Am 4. Mai wird “Montage of Heck” auf HBO ausgestrahlt, die dazugehörige DVD erscheint in Deutschland am 28. Mai. Ausserdem wird es am 9. und 10. April ein Special-Screening in teilnehmenden CinemaxX Kinos geben. Mehr Infos gibt es hier: www.cinemaxx.de/cobain.
Kevin Lowry ist frisch gebackener Pro für Habitat Skateboards. Man möge nun vermuten, dass er sich in das Team bestehend aus Al Davis, Daryl Angel,Stefan Janoski, Marius Syvanen, Silas Baxter-Neal, Danny Garcia, Mark Suciu und Brian Delatorre einreihen würde, aber dem ist nicht so. Sein Board wird lediglich in Kanada erhältlich sein. Kevin bezieht damit einen Ausnahmestatus den auch schon Leute wie Manuel Magreiter und Günes Özdogan für den europäischen Markt besaßen. Wie dem auch sei, Kevin hat es verdient:
When I think about Stefan Janoski, I still see this guy with a loose sweater and a big smile from Habitat’s “Mosaic” video (2003), and then I’ll also think of his part in Transworld’s “Subtleties” video that came out only a year after that. Both have had a stronger influence on me than most other parts, to be honest: Everything about them, his style, the selection of tricks, the editing, music, clothing and atmosphere, the whole package was fresh and unique. He was in his early-twenties when he filmed these two parts, and to me, this period was the magic moment of his career as a professional skateboarder.
Right after, Stefan signed a deal with Nike Skateboarding and got the opportunity to design his signature shoe: the Nike SB Stefan Janoski. Actually, the process to develop his shoe took longer than average; Stefan put a lot of effort in this project, he turned down a whole lot of designs, did a lot of revisions, and he made no compromises until he was one hundred percent satisfied. Regarding the design, he always claimed: “function over protection”. The result of the demanding and challenging development process was a terrifically simple and contemporary shoe.
Accordingly, it has become one of the most successful signature models of all time, and Nike has released countless color-ways over the last seven years. There is a downside, however: The excessive success of Stefan’s shoe has unfoxrtunately overshadowed his skating in recent years. Today, Stefan is thirty-five years old, he lives between New York and Sacramento, California, and when he’s not skating, he dedicates some of his time to creating art and music. Early in October, we met up with him in Paris…
“Ist Skateboard-Deutschland noch zu retten?”
Yes, your German is perfect. Is it?
Well, do you know what that actually means?
Maybe… is skateboarding in Germany really good? Is skateboarding in Germany not the best? I don’t know… Yeah, pretty close. It means: Is there actually any hope left for the German skate scene?
Ah… I don’t know what’s up in Germany when it comes to skateboarding.
What do you know about the German skate scene? Do you know anything about it?
No, I don’t know anything, but you said you could save it. What’s wrong with it?
Nothing, it’s all good. It’s just an article in which we tried to find some answers. How other countries see German skateboarding. What do they see in general, what you guys know about it…
I’ve been to Berlin, I’ve been to Germany a couple times but… Where did I go? It’s been a while… Frankfurt!
Frankfurt? That’s Crackfurt. Kind of… it’s so cracky over there.
So you’ve been to Berlin?
Any funny Berlin story to share? What did you explore?
There is a lot going on… I’ve been there for Analog with Arto and…
Yeah, with Gentsch.
Well, then you must have a funny story.
Oh yeah, pretty crazy. He’s a funny guy with orange jackets and stuff like that. Yeah, Berlin was fun. It was, like, a few years ago, I guess. But I like Berlin, it’s a good city to skate and really artsy, too. So international… Doesn’t feel like you’re in any country really. Sort of like a mix of everything.
Yeah, everybody is coming there.
So yeah, everybody is from another town, almost, so it’s like a very international city.
Are there some skaters you know from Germany?
Willow! Is Willow German?
Yes, Willow is German.
I said! (laughs)
Then you probably know Lem.
Lem? He’s German? I didn’t know that!
And Alex Mizurov – the world champion.
Yeah, I know that guy. World champion?
It’s like this running gag, that he is the world champion.
Wait, is he the switch Ollie world champion?
No, he won the éS Game of Skate against Chris Cole back in the days. So we always call him the world champion!
Haha, that’s awesome!
So you know Berlin and a couple of skaters, but you’re not really into the German skate scene. For you, it’s more the European scene, right!?
I mean, I haven’t been to many other parts of Germany. So, I don’t know much about the skate scene. But my friend Steve Forstner does.
Yes, he lives in Berlin.
Yeah, he lives in Berlin. He’s the one… He’s not German but Austrian, it’s kind of close… (laughs)
Not when it comes to the accent… but yeah!
He’s a friend and took us around Germany, so I’m sure I met a lot more people than I remember right now.
We took a look at your sponsors and we didn’t find any energy drink. You need shoes and clothes, but you also have to drink something. Why is there no drink on your list of sponsors?
I guess because water and beer and wine don’t sponsor skaters. Coffee, water, wine, beer and juice.
What about cigarettes?
No, that’s not a drink. But you asked me about energy drinks. Energy drinks are just horrible, terrible things that are just poisoning children and people, and they just use them to make tons of money. And that’s all they are. Everybody who rides for an energy drink company does not drink that drink and they just wear their clothes for the money. And that’s why I don’t have any energy drink sponsors. Because energy drinks are worse than alcohol.
What about the rumor that you bought the name Nike?
Oh no, no, they bought me. I didn’t buy the name Nike. You’re saying there’s rumors that they bought my name?
No, that you bought the name Nike, didn’t you?
I think the rumor is Nike bought my name. But it’s just stupid internet shit… I don’t know where that came from. The rumor is that I sold my name to Nike, but I don’t even know how that works really. I think it was the talk-show kid who started this… I don’t know why.
So we were skating last night in Paris, and everybody is wearing Chucks and is doing No Complies and Wallrides. We went from Wallride spot to Wallride spot to Wallride spot and everybody is doing No Complies. And that’s, like, a thing from the 80s. How do you like this trend in skateboarding, this indie/alternative style… No Complies. Are you practicing them or doing them all the time?
No Complies? I mean it’s just flat-ground skateboarding. Skateboarding is just this thing that’s heavily trendy, you know… It’s like trend to trend to trend to trend. It’s just the way it is. Like what are the tricks we should be doing? Is it Bigspins this month or should we now crook the rails? So right now the people do No Complies. I think it’s a lot better than these pressure flips. They try to seek their way back in, too. I don’t think they should. At least No Complies are cool. (laughs)
So is there anything you really hate in skateboarding right now or something you can’t look at? Like Street League or some other stuff?
I don’t hate anything. Street League is good for the skaters who get to make some real money, so I think it’s good. I mean, it’s like the outside world trying to make skateboarding into something that they can understand and it’s never gonna happen. It’s a good thing for the skaters, you know?
Yeah, and I also like to watch it. Just for fun!
And it’s exposing skateboarding to more people. You know, like, you can’t hate it, it’s just the kind of stuff that makes it on TV exposes more people to skateboarding. So they might start with a Rob Dyrdek board or a Bam board. Then they get into actual skateboarding and then there’s other skaters too, you know?
Was there one moment when you realized that your shoes were selling really well?
No, it was pretty gradual, but I have to say, last month I went to Barcelona and I saw a lot of people wearing my shoe. Just like people, tourists and kids and women…. That was just insane, really crazy.
Isn’t it the same in the US?
Yeah, it is. But I guess it was Barcelona during holiday season. So you kinda had, like, all the European backpackers and tourists. So there were like longboarders and backpackers and skaters and girls and everyone. But they all had my shoe. In every group was one person that had my shoe.
And then I’d be right next to them, they wouldn’t know who I was. And this is just like pretty wow. If you’re coming up asking me for directions in Barcelona wearing my shoe, like having no clue… That was insane. But isn’t that way cooler compared to everybody who wears your shoe knowing who you are?
Oh no, I love it so much! It’s perfect, yeah. (laughs) It was gradual, but it’s pretty crazy now.
Background girl: Last question. Do you have a last question?
Actually, yeah, there’s probably one thing. So you make these bronze sculptures…
Oh yeah, you can polish them or you can let them raw. So that’s why some sculptures are black and some are really shiny and some are green. There are different ways to treat them when you’re done. Tonight there will be some sculptures at the party. Two of them are really shiny and then all the others are darker. I polished the shiny ones and the others I just left really raw. So it’s just like kind of metal. If you rub it a lot, they become shiny. If you see sculptures that people touched a lot they are really shiny.
Ah, okay, but you don’t want all of them to shine?
It depends on what the sculpture desires.
There is one question left, what are you doing in Paris right now? Just skating?
There is a party, an art show tonight. With a little video about me that Desillusion did. And that’s what I’m here for.
When do you leave?
Ok cool, that’s it. See you at the party later. And thanks for the interview.
No problem, you’re welcome.
Seit längerer Zeit empfangen wir sehr positive Signale aus München und es scheint sich offensichtlich etwas zu verändern. So sehr zu verändern und außerdem zu begeistern, dass wir neugierig geworden sind und nachfragen mussten. In dreierlei Artikeln geht es in verschiedenen Perspektiven um die bayerische Hauptstadt und deren Skateboard-Kultur, zudem waren wir in Paris, London, Berlin, Kassel und der Eifel unterwegs und haben folgende Artikel mitgebracht:
• Stefan Janoski Interview
• Vans Vagabonds
• Brian Delatorre Interview
• Polaroid Pogo
• Long Story Short by Robin Wulf
• PLACE Weartest: CONS x Polar
• Polerstuff – Von Portland in die Eifel
• adidas 3Stripes Germany Tour
Am kommenden Samstag findet in München der offizielle Launch von Ausgabe 049 im Rahmen des 3 GANG MENÜ statt, zu dem wir herzlich einladen möchten!
Mia San Mia – München Story by Mixen, Preisinger und Burny
Vans Vagabonds in Berlin by Davy Van Laere
No Eiffel Tower In This One – Brian Delatorre in Paris by Kevin Metallier
Long Story Short by Robin Wulf
Behind The Scenes mit Robinson Kuhlmann
Spurensuche by Conny Mirbach
London Hours – PLACE Weartest by Daniel Pannemann und Danny Sommerfeld
Polerstuff by Robert Christ
adidas 3Stripes Germany Tour feat. Na-Kel Smith, Tyshawn Jones, Lucas Puig, Dennis Busenitz und Lem Villemin
Sprachmemo Am Flughafen vom 30.September 2014, 06:23 Uhr, Rollkoffergeräusche: “So: Kippe, Tegel, morgens um halb sieben, mir ist mega schwindelig, Kaffee gibt’s dann in Paris…” Mit diesen Worten beginnt die Reise unseres Außenreporters Bmin Boje, bewaffnet mit diversen Snapshots, einer Leica Minilux Kompaktkamera und dem Spezialauftrag Stefan Janoski zum Interview zu treffen. Dieser treibt sich in der französischen Hauptstadt herum, da am Abend sein Videofeature “This Is Janoski” vom Desillusion Magazin premiert werden wird. Sprachmemo Der Flug, 08:32 Uhr, Stimme des Flugbegleiters: “Remaining flight time is 10 to 15 minutes and the temperature in Paris is quite chilly, 14°.”
Stefan Janoski – dieser Name steht für unfassbar viel Style und Switchskills von einem anderen Stern. Das Desillusion Magazine hat mit “This is Janoski” einen Kurzfilm geschaffen, der persönliche Einblicke in das Leben und Schaffen des Habitat Pros gibt. Wer gerade 13 Minuten übrig hat, sollte sich den Streifen unbedingt zu Gemüte führen.
Passend zur dunklen Jahreszeit bringt Nike SB mit dem Flash Pack eine spezielle Kollektion auf den Markt – damit werdet ihr im Straßenverkehr ganz sicher nicht übersehen Eric Koston, Stefan Janoski und Paul Rodriguez zeigen wie das Ganze aussieht…
Frische Stefan Janoski Footage ist ein absoluter No-Brainer, also klickt auf Play und genießt den wahrscheinlich lässigsten Style unserer Branche. Ob sein Dauergrinsen der Schlüssel zum Erfolg sein könnte? Die nächsten 1:22min gehören dir, Stefan!
“Times are weird, that’s for sure. I can’t really speak for AWS but I know myself and the [Habitat] skate team are still unified and we have good respectable options for the future. There are just legal and financial details we are working through at the moment with the I.P. (Investment partner). I’m feeling pretty stoked for Habitat’s future though. I’m sure things will look much different but I love change, so I’m not that mad at it. I’ll keep you posted as things progress! Thanks, Joe” — Joe Castrucci, Habitat Skateboards.
Wir dürfen somit vorerst aufatmen und hoffen auf baldige Entschleunigung aller Turbulenzen. Bei einem Team mit Leuten wie: Stefan Janoski, Silas Baxter-Neal, Mark Suciu und Brian Delatorre sollte man meinen, dass sich einiges wieder gerade biegen wird.